Kike, 17

17-year-old Enrique, or Kike as everyone affectionately calls him, lives in a small community in the north of Petén called la Unión Maya Itza (or la UMI).

Kike recently returned from Mexico where he migrated to work. While he casually mentions he left la UMI so he could afford to pay for his things – clothes and shoes – we also know that he has been supporting his mother who was diagnosed with cancer last year and has been travelling to Santa Elena (about 6 hours drive from la UMI) on a monthly basis for treatment. Kike and his two older brothers have worked in Mexico off and on to help their mother. Now back in la UMI, Kike is studying again and wants to go to University to study computer science. Unfortunately, household resources are limited so his aspirations may have to wait a bit longer.

Earlier this year, WINGS’ Youth Leader Daly invited Kike to a talk she was giving and as she became a full time member of the staff, asked Kike to replace her as a Youth Leader in la UMI. And he is a perfect fit. Boys are always asking him about condoms and he is more than happy to explain how they work and refer them to Daly’s mother, WINGS’ promoter, for more counseling and birth control.

“I feel happy because I can see that the attitudes of young people are changing. Recently a few of my friends congratulated me on my work, they say it’s very important that someone openly talks about these topics, because the need here is huge. I always tell young men and women that planning is the most important. As soon as they have a girlfriend or boyfriend, it is time to think about birth control because we need to be in control of how many children we have and with whom”.

He himself says he wants no more than 2 children and when they grow up, he will to talk to them about sexual and reproductive health: “It’s necessary! Too often parents don’t have enough confidence to do it but I believe that discussing these subjects at home makes all the difference”.

Support WINGS to help more young women and men in Guatemala become Youth Leaders and change lives.

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