June 1, 2020 – My name is Juan Diego Garcia Ruiz. I am from the Tumbo community in Mexico’s Chiapas state. I live within the natural protected areas of the Lacandon Jungle and my community has a deep connection with the land.
I started the process of becoming a WPDI youth peacemaker in 2018. During my year of intensive training, I learned about positive conflict transformation, Information and Communications Technology, and Social Entrepreneurship. These are all tools that have helped me be a peace builder, and since when I graduated in August 2019, I have been able to give workshops on these topics to others in my community. To work with youths and families and change their perceptions – to help them see life positively and the opportunities around them for transformation – has been very rewarding. We have all made steps towards achieving inner peace with these workshops.
Agriculture is very important to us in Tumbo, especially for our culture. In my family, I have five brothers and we all work in the field. I have organized an agricultural project with them, and together we have a farm and grow a diversity of produce, including corn, beans, and pumpkins. We have been successful in our efforts and can feed the 15 people in our family while also covering our economic needs. This has helped strengthen food security and resilience in the greater community, and by working together in a communitarian nature, we exercise democratic leadership while thinking about the common good.
My WPDI training has helped me become more passionate, happy, and at ease being a leader in my community. Since I graduated, we have worked to promote solidarity and peace in our community with agriculture. This has been my pride and passion.