Providing guidance for at-risk youth.
Poverty, lack of education, abuse, and trauma all add to a teen’s vulnerability in Mexico. There is an urgent need to get youth off the streets, where they are susceptible to crime and drug involvement, and into a safe space where they can be mentored. Our youth center provides positive mentorship for at-risk youth, addressing issues such as self-esteem, relationships, discipleship, goal-setting and healthy lifestyle choices. Youth are given a place to learn and grow, a safe space to make mistakes and ask questions, a place to be challenged and to be held accountable. We come alongside youth and allow them to dream, to hope, and to have a vision for their future.
You may have seen the news or heard stories about Mexico, but being on the ground in Primo Tapia offers us an up-close and very real view. From what we see, one of the most strategic and instrumental places we want to be involved and invest in is the lives of teens.
Statistically, 62% of youth in Mexico never reach secondary education. Mexico boasts one of the world’s highest rates of teenage pregnancies. Worldwide, Mexico has the eighth-highest number of child marriages. On top of that, gender inequality is a huge concern, and violence against women is a cultural norm.
Added to this, youth in Mexico are extremely vulnerable to gang involvement. Teens who come from poverty, lack education, can’t find sustainable employment, come from single-parent homes, suffer abuse or trauma in their home and who live in poor areas with a lack of public services become so susceptible to this way of life.
In Primo Tapia, there is an urgent need to get youth off the streets and into a safe space where they can be mentored.
We see it time and time again. A single mother, doing her best to provide for her family but her best efforts still leave her family lacking as gainful employment is scarce. A mom’s need to work means teens are often left alone or on the streets.
The fallout in Mexico is teens looking for somewhere to belong, a way to earn money, and a chance to survive. Teens find all of these things when they belong to a gang or in criminal activity and we’ve seen first hand, once you are in – there is very little way out.
The picture is bleak. The answers are costly. But we believe there is an answer.
We are committed to ensuring that youth in Primo Tapia have what they need to break out of the cycle of poverty and instead have thriving and hope-filled futures.
Casa de Luz launched our Youth Center as part of the CDL Village. This program provides regular positive mentorship for at-risk middle school and high school youth. It is a space for the most vulnerable teens to come and experience safety and stability. They receive food, support both emotionally and spiritually, tutoring, and help with education gaps.
Our Youth Center is a place we come alongside teens and allow them to hope, dream, and create opportunities for a brighter vision for their future.