Campamento Paz (Peace Camp, El Salvador)

El Salvador is the smallest country in the Americas. From 1979 to 1992, El Salvador went through a violent civil war, characterized by human rights violations, chronic violence and systemic fear. Almost 20 years later, El Salvador is still recovering from its legacy of war. Most of today’s youth in El Salvador have been raised by parents who suffered continuous exposure to extreme and chronic trauma. The level of violence exposure during the civil war had a silencing impact on most adults. As a result, there is a whole generation of youth raised without appropriate role modeling for managing differences or the vocabulary for coping with conflict. Violence or complete conflict avoidance have been legitimized as valid options for managing differences. Youth are in dire need of mentoring and leadership development for learning dialogue skills.The purpose of Campamento Paz is three fold: 1. To build the capacity of Salvadoran youth for addressing conflict issues in a constructive way. 2. To stop the intergenerational transmission of violence. 3. To provide positive recreational experiences for youth. Campamento Paz will be co-led by Selena Sermeno, Ph.D in February of 2011 in collaboration with students from the United World College Costa Rica ,volunteers from Peace Corps, El Salvador, and UWC-USA alumni and mentors.

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