Yesterday the City of Guatemala hosted the First National Youth Conference for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Approximately 175 youth and over 25 different civil organizations in Guatemala met at the Holiday Inn of Zone 10, in the City of Guatemala, to exchange their experiences in the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and present their proposed solutions to the Guatemalan government. Nine GOJoven Fellows helped organize and facilitate the event and 10 beneficiaries from the GOJoven Fellows’ Leadership Action Plans attended to share their experiences in SRHR.
Attorney Tracie Saravia, AGALI/PHI Fellow, from the Collective Youth Revolution and Juan Pablo Escalante, GOJoven/PHI Fellow, inaugurated the conference and emphasized the need to listen to youth in the creation and implementation of public policies to improve access to sexual education and SRH services. Some of the attendees represented various Guatemalan authorities and international entities, including Dr. Ludy Rodas, National Program Coordinator of Reproductive Health, Dr. Gustavo Batres from the Public Health Ministry and Social Assistance, Ana Luisa Rivas, Guatemalan UNFPA Representative, Christian Skoog, Guatemalan UNICEF Representative, and Kathy Hall, Program Officer at the Summit Foundation.
The youth attendees of the conference met in five simultaneous round-tables facilitated by youth groups to talk about SRHR, teen pregnancy, HIV and sexual violence. Today, September 25th, the youth participants will present their proposed solutions to the Guatemalan government.