Grecia de la O Abarca, IPD ’19

Peace Boat US in Latin America

Being on the Peace Boat US Summer program 2018 not only gave me the chance to learn about the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Latin America, but also gave me the privilege of meeting young people from all over the world who are fighting towards social change in the region. During this SDG summer voyage a group of selected youth were able to visit local NGOs and other public and private institutions who are working directly on SDG issues related to climate change, youth engagement, and policy-making. For example, in Panama the program visited the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) office to learn about efforts in the Latin American region to maintain peace and sustainability, highlighting SDG #17: Partnerships for the Goals. The group also had a cultural exchange with indigenous communities and refugee youth with the Embera quera community and the group RET. In Puntarenas, Costa Rica, we explored the rich natural environment of the rain forests and coastlines, while focusing on SDG #13: Climate Action. To finalize the trip in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, we held a program focused on SDG #14: Life Below Water and the conservation of marine resources. Our group was able to take part of one of the beach-cleaning initiatives by My World Mexico and visit the Marieta islands, a natural protected area in Mexico.

Out of all the opportunities that I had during this program, my highlight was when I was able to connect with Mexican NGOs, the private sector and local people in Puerto Vallarta, and organized them towards a common goal: SDG 14 Life Below Water. Peace Boat US, My World Mexico, Voluntad Organizada A.C., the University of Guadalajara and Palladium Hotel Group worked together to clean Las Olas Altas beach in downtown Puerto Vallarta.

“Beach cleaning day at Las Olas Altas Beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.”

Click here to read Grecia’s report, “Peace Education and Sustainable Development Goals in Latin America”

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