Una Vida Digna (A Dignified Life) is a program for returned immigrant youth which seeks to increase their educational and economic opportunities through workshops, internship placements and mentoring.
Why Una Vida Digna?
Una Vida Digna is not a conventional educational program. To understand the program it is important to recognize the broader context. “The migration problem” does not start with the individuals who search for a better life in other lands, but rather structural problems that push people off their lands and pull them to other ones.
Please read our words on migration in Guatemala and what you need to know about returning immigrant youth for a deeper understanding.
DESGUA sees the youth in the various communities where we work as future leaders. Without youth in Guatemalan communities there is little hope for integral ground-up development. We have seen that many of the community members who have the most initiative and capacity are the ones that feel obliged to migrate in search of opportunities. In effect, organizational processes in the communities become disarticulated.
Una Vida Digna is about creating opportunities in the rural communities so people do not have to migrate. It is about reminding youth that they are needed right here in Guatemala and that they have a right to a dignified life. It is about helping families to understand the structural causes of Guatemalan migration as well as the importance of their cultural practices as inherently important and significant.
About Una Vida Digna
This program is part of the Guatemalan Child Return and Reintegration Project funded by the Global Fund for Children . DESGUA works together with three national non-profits and the US organization, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), coordinating the return and reintegration of Guatemalan immigrant youth that have been detained by U.S. immigration authorities.
How it works:
• We receive references from KIND of Guatemalan youth detained in youth detention centers in the US that are going to be returning.
• We conduct extensive research on local support opportunities and on the culture in their communities of origin.
• We coordinate with family members in order to ensure a safe reunification at the airport in Guatemala City and a safe return to their communities of origin.
• Youth are invited to visit us at our educational center in Quetzaltenango where we discuss the youth´s and family´s current needs.
• Over a series of meetings we discuss their career and educational goals and youth develop their economic or educational plans.
• Youth are invited to participate in workshop where they meet up with other youth.
• Youth may also choose to do internships with our network, with local businesses in their communities or at Café RED.
• DESGUA continuously advocates for the youth on a local, national and international level building networks and conducting research that seek to address the structural problems of migration in Guatemala and economic and educational opportunities in local communities.
For more information about this program and how you can help please contact Anna Aziza Grewe, MSW firstname.lastname@example.org