New municipal office for youths in Tejutla, Guatemala
Organized young men and women from the municipality of Tejutla, in San Marcos Guatemala, have opened the Municipal Youth Office, to aid and support the Departmental Youth Commission, a group that designs municipal plans and agendas in favor of young people.
Hard work and committment
This is a major achievement for youths of this municipality, as they now have an institutional space at the heart of the local government. From the Youth Municipal Office, the Youth Commission will follow up a work agenda that includes creating dialogue and lobbying spaces with local and state authorities, as well as with civil society, to implement plans and programs in favor of youth.
The installation of this office is the result of hard work and commitment. It all began in 2017, when the Tejutla Municipal Council approved the opening of the Office. For three years, Tejutla young leaders followed-up on the proposal, through dialogue with the Mayor’s office and in alliance with other civil society actors in town. Althoug the municipality approved a budget to cover the salaries of two staff members for the Youth Office, more resources are needed to achieve sustainability. The Youth Commission is carrying out actions to obtain additional funding that guarantees the proper functioning of their office.
Challenges for the San Marcos youth
Even though they have found some level of political openness, Tejutla and San Marcos youth face many obstacles, particularly when it comes to management and political advocacy. One of their biggest challenges is to maintain the work pace of multiplication and youth organization to strengthen their municipal and departmental political advocacy process. To help them successfully resolve these difficulties, members of the Departmental Youth Comission are being trained through socio educational processes at the local level, as well as through the Youth Sociopolitical Training Academy for a New Leadership, sponsored by the National Youth Front.
2019 will be a decisive year for Guatemalans, as there will be general elections. The young leaders of Tejutla and San Marcos are preparing themselves and are lobbying to maintain the office open during the next political administration 2021-2024.
Tejutla is a municipality of the San Marcos Department, located 282 kilometers from the capital city; it has a population of 45, 000 people, most of whom are from the Maya Mam ethnic group.