Sebastian Alvarez, 13, found out he had a passion through writing workshops. “I like writing about everything. Normally I focus on novels, focused on my environment. I also like writing poems. And chronicles,” he says.
He has been participating for two years in cultural activities, organized by the Mi Sangre Foundation, founded by the famous Colombian singer Juanes. Through arts and culture, and one of the Foundation’s methodologies “Pazalobien” – a word game between the expression “have a good time” and “peace”, the organization interacts with young students in problematic areas of Antioquia and other regions.
Sebastian for example is from the Comuna 13, one of the most districts most affected by violence of Medellin, the second largest city of Colombia and a name that reminds most people in and out of this country of urban violence and high crime rates. Although the situation is still not ideal, things are getting better.
Sebastian remembers that two years ago, it was very common to see students fighting almost every day. Now, he says, it is a little better, and more try to deal with conflict by dialoguing.
He explains that the project is not only about painting or writing, but also about “creating people that have the capacity to forgive, to love, to discuss and to communicate amongst them.”
For him, the objective of Mi Sangre Foundation’s project is no less than a social transformation. “You can already see it in my community. With very simple aspects, like that the ambiance is better in school and in the neighborhood,” he says.