Escalando Fronteras - Santa Catarina

Escalando Fronteras/Climbing Borders uses climbing to empower and build the skills of at-risk youth in underdeveloped areas. Usamos la escalada empoderar jovenes en situaciones de riesgo para ser lideres.

We are currently launching a unique youth development project in Monterrey, Mexico that will utilize climbing as a principle tool to get youth to pursue lives outside of gangs and organized crime/drug cartels.

The Problem/Situation: 
Monterrey, Mexico is home to a massive at-risk youth population. In the most vulnerable areas of the city there are over 1600 youth gangs (composed of boys and girls as young as 5) with over 35,000 members (Secretary of Public Security 2010). Pervasive drug use, high rates of school dropout, and family disintegration leave many of these youth with low levels of formal capacities and skills (Pérez et al. 2008). With no real education, few formal skills, and extensive drug addiction they become easy recruits for the major drug cartel/organized criminal groups (Los Zetas and El Cartel del Golfo). Many of these youth end up either dead or in prison. The youth of Monterrey are quickly becoming the new child soldiers of the 21st century and are currently the chief workforce of the drug trade in the region.

Project Objective: 
To create a youth center (free to all youth and equipped with climbing walls) in the most vulnerable area of Monterrey (the neighborhood Independencia) that uses rock-climbing to empower and capacitate at-risk-youth. The center will offer climbing both inside and outside as well as access to tutors and psychologists in order to encourage (among other things) the construction of positive values, improved self-esteem and discipline, the reintegration of youth into the education system (for those that have dropped out), higher rates of school retention, and increased rates of higher education achievement. The chief purpose of the project is to give youth the tools to pursue positive and self-fulfilling lives outside of gangs and organized crime/drug cartels. In the long run we envision the center to ultimately be owned and run by the community itself so that it becomes a sustainable source of positive change over time.

The Vision: 
It is thus the vision of Escalando Fronteras to rebuild the social fabric of these severely marginalized areas in Monterrey through the capacity development and empowerment of at-risk youth as well as the creation of a collective and peaceful youth identity that transcends cliques, territories, and borders. The organization endeavors to positively influence youth through the creation of a center that offers climbing, education, art, and music, so that youth develop the tools to access and create a future that does not include the injurious influences of gangs, organized crime, drugs and violence. The promotion of positive values, improved self-esteem, confidence, and discipline through rock-climbing and music, combined with better access to education is seen as a potent way towards the self-fulfillment of youth, the creation of jobs and local economic growth, improved security, and a reduction in the number of youth involved in gangs and organized crime. Escalando Fronteras seeks to allow youth not only be free from their present constraints but also to exercise the autonomy and skills to choose a future according to their interests, but also a generation that is selfless and committed to the ongoing development of the communities from which they came.

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sep 2016 climb, youth, uruguay

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