I live with my mom and my younger siblings. At one point, I did build my own house and lived on my own for a short period of time.
The original objective was to be a group that hosted cultural community events and have fun. We made trips to Rivas to visit the firefighter and police stations. We organized beach cleanups and other activities and quickly this group of teenagers became leaders in their community.
After Whitney left the country, she encouraged the group to continue. Without help from any local organization the group, unfortunately, stopped functioning. But a fire was sparked within me!
In that same year (2011), I was awarded a grant through the organization iLEAP to head to Seattle, WA, for an intensive 10-week leadership training course. Upon returning to Limón, I came with new opportunities and ideas to re-start the youth group.
In 2012, with the support of Casa Verde and the Seattle Foundation, this youth group was re-born with the new name, Formación Fénix, and a more focused mission. The new name came from how I felt in my experience with iLEAP, like a Fénix bird appearing with new ideas and expectations, starting from nothing to achieve many things that we didn’t know we could do.
5. What are the hopes you have for the Fénix students?
6. Why is the Fénix program and education support critical for participants?
In May of 2016, Formación Fénix and Casa Verde accepted an invitation to join CREA, officially creating CREA’s Youth Development Initiative.