Look! It's our community, it's so beautiful!
Like many boys his age, what Carlos*, 9, doesn't lack is energy. However, until Play for Peace began in his community two years ago, he had been spending most of his time behind locked gates in his home or school. This is because fear is an everyday part of his life. After 36 years of civil war with Guerrillas fighting the military, often using the jungle, forests and mountainous areas as their strongholds, drug lords and other clandestine groups have taken their place. But while Carlos lives in one of the most dangerous regions in the world, the courageous Play for Peace youth leaders in his home town of Palencia, Guatemala, are teaching peace education in schools, reuniting a community torn apart by conflict and reclaiming beautiful spaces for families to play, grow and learn together. On this sunny, cool morning, children, youth and adults came together to climb the small mountain "Pico de Palencia" with the support of the local municipality and businesses to clear paths and put up safety signs along the way so that the families and friends could hike the paths and enjoy nature.
Not even out of breath Carlos, shouted for joy when he saw his home from the mountain top for the first time.
For more stories and images of Play for Peace in Palencia look at our Case Study in Images: Heroes of Guatemala
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