Violence is all too present in Guatemala.  Whether it’s a gang killing, violence within the home, or verbal attacks towards those who are different, violence saturates the realities of our students.  Consequentially, violence is often a primary behavioral issue for many students when they first arrive to study with us.  In fact, a recent report by the Institute for Economics and Peace ranked Guatemala the 111th most peaceful country out of 144 countries surveyed. [1]

The Asturias Academy teaches non-violent conflict resolution, and strategies for creating peace.  We want all of our students to be active peacemakers in the community.  One strategy that we use is intentionally creating peaceful practices.  For instance, at the annual independence parade there are many schools whose marchers celebrate images of war, weapons and conformity.  Past themes of ours have been “Central American Solidarity” and “The Little Mermaid”.  By empowering our students to create peaceful imagery they get practice in leading without violence.

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[1] Vision of Humanity. Retrieved 2010-05-24.