Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas with an estimated population of over 120 million. It has a growing economy, many UNESCO world heritage sites, and an incredible history and culture. Unfortunately, the country also has a large socioeconomic gap, neglected rural areas, and urban shanty towns. Moreover, in the past 10 years alone, thousands of people have been killed by gang violence. Tensions around issues of human rights, immigration, and other issues have also divided Mexico's population.
Play for Peace Mexico started in 2017 from the interest of Francisco Hueyatl, an acclaimed artist, university professor, and Play for Peace graphic design volunteer. Feeling a deeper connection to the organization after reading life-changing stories and viewing impactful pictures and videos, he knew that Play for Peace’s values of compassion, inclusion, and openness needed to have a space in Mexico.
Play for Peace's mission was shared via online workshops and through Francisco, who as a college professor shared his passion for the organization with his students. Soon Mexico participated in World Interfaith Harmony Week, with one hundred youth working together to tackle an array of important issues. They have also promoted Play for Peace's mission with the support of other professors and the club's youth facilitators, by leading radio campaigns and conferences to spread the word. Their hope is that young people will recognize Play for Peace's impact, leading to the initiation of new clubs and increased support for the organization as a whole.
"Hope. And a window that lets us peek into what a better society could look like. This is what Play for Peace is for me."
Francisco Hueyatl León
Play for Peace Mentor
Mexico City, Distrito Federal
Every day, hundreds of migrants pass through Huehuetoca, Mexico, on a perilous journey to find a better life. Thanks to a local rest house and the compassion of groups like Play for Peace Mexico, migrants can find care and support along the way.
This past September 17 marked an important milestone in the history of Play for Peace: the 20th year of the organization. In honor of this special milestone, Play for Peace Mexico joined the party to celebrate the past two decades, as well as all that's to come.
Francisco Hueyatl León is a facilitator with Play for Peace Mexico City. An artist and educator, he graciously agreed to sit down with us to talk about the work he is doing with his community in Mexico City. Read on for the interview.
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