¡Quédate aquí! Conversation with Administrator Power

Speeches Shim

¡Quédate Aquí! is a series of videos produced by USAID, filmed by Golden-Globe-nominated director Jayro Bustamante, and hosted by Golden-Globe-nominated actress María Mercedes Coroy. With the purpose of helping young people from 15 to 24 years of age take control of their future, each video features a young Guatemalan who through USAID’s Puentes Project, hard work, and determination is now a successful member of their community. These videos inspire young people to plan for their future, continue their education, and improve their economic situation, so as to not resort to irregular migration.

During her visit to Guatemala in June 15 and 16, 2021, the Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, had the opportunity to visit several of the USAID projects featured in ¡Quédate Aquí! and participate in a discussion with Maria Mercedes Coroy and three young participants of the Puentes Project from USAID and World Vision.

¡Quédate aquí! A series from Jayro Bustamante and presented by María Mercedes Coroy
¡Quédate aquí! A series from Jayro Bustamante and presented by María Mercedes Coroy

It is a fundamental goal of USAID to support young Guatemalans to take control of their future and lead prosperous lives in Guatemala. ¡Quedate Aqui!, is a video series featuring a young Guatemalan who through USAID’s Puentes Project, hard work, and determination is now a successful member of their community.

Video Transcript 
[ES] Muchas gracias una vez más por ver esta presentación hoy estamos reunidos para hablar de lo que hacen nuestros hermanos en sus comunidades. Un día muy especial en nuestro calendario maya, Kawoq un gran día para platicar de lo que hacemos los jóvenes en las comunidades y en el país. ¡Muchas gracias!Ha sido lleno de acción, Me ha permitido tener la oportunidad de interactuar con muchas mujeres jóvenes, quienes están siendo capacitadas con el apoyo de USAID como comadronas para que puedan tener un medio de vida y también ayudar a las mujeres de su comunidad. Tuve la oportunidad de reunirme con el Presidente para platicar acerca de cómo puede contribuir los Estados Unidos para estimular más oportunidades económicas aquí no solo a través de ayuda sino de comercio y cuáles son los pasos a seguir. Y también hablamos de la importancia de tener una democracia firme, una sociedad civil fortalecida, un firme estado de derecho, así cuando yo regrese a los Estados Unidos yo pueda convencer algunas compañías, al sector privado, negocios e inversionistas que vengan e inviertan en el increíble talento de la juventud de este país. Así que ha sido un gran viaje por el momento, muy corto, así que tendré que regresar. La juventud es el corazón latente del país, la juventud da esperanza, grandes sueños, una capacidad de innovar y brindar nuevas ideas en vez de reciclar ideas viejas. Creo que la clave esta en cómo alcanzamos esas aspiraciones, cómo asegurarnos que la juventud tenga la oportunidad de alcanzar sus sueños aquí en Guatemala. Así que yo creo que el desafío no es la juventud, la juventud tiene todo el talento, todos los sueños y todas las capacidades. El desafío es cómo juntos podemos formar un ambiente en el cual ellos puedan alcanzar sus sueños. No podría estar más de acuerdo, yo siento que el rol de los Estados Unidos y otros países que les apoyan, que apoyan a los jóvenes guatemaltecos, nuestro trabajo es hacer lo posible por proveer una pequeña entrada pero si le das una pequeña entrada a un joven ellos entrarán por lo grande por la puerta. La puerta está medio abierta pero ellos harán el resto, entrando por lo grande hacia el otro lado. Yo creo que lo que Nelly está hablando es increíblemente importante, si las oportunidades existen pero la gente las desconoce es como si no existieran para nada. Entonces parte de lo que estamos haciendo en USAID es a parte de traer inversionistas del sector privado, apoyar la agricultura, apoyar la educación y apoyar la salud. Estamos haciendo eso pero también debemos asegurarnos en comunicar que estamos haciéndolo. Somos afortunados de contar con una gran actriz aquí hablando con nosotros, la gente que tiene plataformas y seguidores dentro del país con el hecho de que tu voz sea utilizada para este esfuerzo es extremadamente importante. Los jóvenes que han aprovechado estas oportunidades y que les han contado a sus amigos y a sus familiares. Nosotros también como Estados Unidos, nos gustaría escuchar sus ideas de cómo podríamos mejorar la comunicación de estas oportunidades porque de nuevo, la clave es de los jóvenes que tienen mucho que ofrecer sepan que tienen estas oportunidades aquí mismo para que puedan utilizar su talento. Muy pocas personas quieren dejar sus familias y sus comunidades pero necesitan ganarse la vida, necesitan darles de comer a sus familias, quieren un mejor futuro para sus hijos. Necesitamos ayudar a transmitir a estos jóvenes que estas oportunidades existen aquí mismo en Guatemala. Hemos hablado hoy acerca de la educación, supongo que quisiera terminar aquí enfatizando que hay muchas formas de educación. Yo he tenido el privilegio de haberme educado en los Estados Unidos en la Universidad de Harvard, una universidad famosa, pero yo no tengo la educación que tiene Francisco de cómo sembrar Arveja Dulce y Brócoli. Yo no tengo la educación de Betzaida de como sacarme de la pobreza y crear una vida relacionada con las leyes. Yo no tengo la educación de Nelly en saber como ser un emprendedor en circunstancias que son muy difíciles. Estoy muy impresionada de las múltiples maneras en que la gente adquiere cierto tipo de educación, puede ser vocacional, aprender a ser un carpintero o un constructor, puede ser en el área de agricultura, ser educado en una agricultura más resistente al terrible cambio climático que todos estamos experimentando, puede ser de adquirir una educación bilingüe. Yo estudié 5 años el español, en el colegio y como verán mi educación bilingüe no fue muy buena o estaría hablándoles en español. Pero mi punto es que cuando escuchas que la gente necesita ser educada o buscar tus propias oportunidades, puede sonar bastante intimidante, necesitas todos estos requisitos para poder empezar, pero hay muchas maneras de ponerte en una mejor posición para poder hacer una diferencia en tu propia comunidad. Por ejemplo, nuestro programa de comadronas aquí llega a mujeres jóvenes indígenas quienes pueden hablarle a sus comunidades en su lenguaje local de una forma que alguien de la Ciudad de Guatemala no podría, ellas tienen la educación correcta que se requiere en sus comunidades. Así que nosotros en USAID y en los Estados Unidos estamos constantemente escuchando y no solo hablando, sino escuchando que oportunidades de educación necesitan, de nuevo ya sea vocacional, de lenguaje, educación formal del tipo que Betzaida esta recibiendo, pero queremos transmitirles que estamos aquí para ustedes. Sabemos que tienen los sueños grandes, los mismos sueños que mis hijos tienen en los Estados Unidos. Nuestra alianza es muy especial para nosotros en los Estados Unidos, de verdad es una alianza muy especial. Queremos aprender de ustedes como podemos apoyarlos para poder alcanzar estos sueños. [EN] Thank you once again for watching this conversation today we are here reunited to talk about what our brothers do in their communities. Today is a very special day in our Mayan Calendar, Kawoq a great day to talk about what we as young people do in our communities and the country. Thank you! Well, I am very proud of being here in this roundtable but must of all share with you about these talented young people and what they do in their communities. This is a very special day for us, today in our Mayan calendar is the day of the Kawoq energy, which represents the unity of a community or a country that fights for their natural resources and for the goods of our loved ones that fights for their natural resources and for the goods of our loved ones throughout different parts of our country. I am also very proud to welcome the administrator of international development, Samantha Power. It is a pleasure to have you here in the Country of Springs, specially here in Huehuetenango. Please have a pleasant stay today here sharing with us and specially with our young boys and girls who are here to present their success with their endeavors here in Guatemala. We will start by them telling us who they are but must of all we want you to feel at home and share many things with us. Let’s start here with our friend: Hello, my name is Nelly Monzón. Hello, my name is Francisco Saucedo. Hello, my name is Betzaida Morales. Well, these are young people that outstand here in Guatemala with all the enthusiasm they have. Administrator, tell us how has been your trip so far here in Guatemala? Thank you, administrator Power. Around 63% of the population here in Guatemala are under 30 years old, in your opinion what is the role of the young people in the development of Guatemala? Thank you very much Samantha. Betzaida, I see that you are studying law, what can you tell us about the challenges that you faced in the development of your life plan and where it took you? My life has faced many challenges, especially in the economic aspect but that doesn’t mean that it limits you, it is a challenge that we must see it as a goal to reach. Currently I am studying legal sciences, a Bachelor in Law and Social Studies, that is why I have been focused in that goal. I have worked and also started an entrepreneurship and because of that I was able to access the university, because of this income I was able to work and study at the same time. So it is not a limitation, we as young people can do it here, most of all set the goal and reach it, that is the only objective. Thank you. Francisco, you had success managing farming cooperatives and organizing farmers so they can improve when it comes to negotiating the price of their products. What have you learned by overcoming these challenges that you have faced? What we are doing at the “Regadios” Cantón in the District of Chiantla, is using the local resources as a starting point. We realized that the agriculture production had the most potential, with the production of broccoli and sweet peas. We also realized that it is important to partner with local exporting companies so we can bring a better development to the community. Throughout the certificate “Entrepreneur with Success”, we realized that it was necessary to organize ourselves as a group of young people we also realized that it was necessary to include technology to optimize the natural resources that we have in the community. That is what we are doing right now with all the young people, is try to change that, start with the markets so we can fuel an economic impact in the community with the generation of jobs, and improving prices. Previously at the community we only had representatives that paid the product at a low price, we were able to give the farmers the right resources. When there’s more competition and you establish a fixed price, the farmers are benefited. Without a doubt it is impressive to listen about all these entrepreneurships that we have in Guatemala as young boys and girls that sometimes have low visibility. The access to education and jobs combined with essential skills so that you can contribute actively at your communities is a very impressive labor. I know that the young people that are watching us by different platforms, like a television or a cellphone, we are showing that if I am capable of achieving these things you can also do it, and together we can be successful and pursue each goal in our path as Guatemalans. Specially working with the resources from our own country. That`s right. Nelly, what do you think about the youth ignoring the existence about certain groups that are organized? It is necessary that the young people know about the existence about these organized groups because sometimes there are opportunities they don’t know about and they don’t take advantage of them. USAID has supported us providing us the tools and resources to find and create opportunities together. We as the youth must invite other young people, motivate them to join us because together we can build a better country. We have the tools, we have the enthusiasm, and the ability is also something we have, so it is necessary that these young boys and girls start to participate in all these different processes and the country will definitely have a huge transformation. Totally agree and I don’t know if the administrator Samantha would like to add something about what Nelly said. That’s right. I don’t know if you want to add something related to the skills that we have as young people but specially as a single mother, that potential as a woman, as an entrepreneur, as a successful woman, Would you like to share with us about your own experience, on how was it to start this job so you could study at the university, I grant you the time. Thanks a lot, I am a clear example that there are no limitations for the youth, we as young people have the potential and it would be good if we could have more access to education, it is not only a tool, we can also start a venture but I feel like that the tool to succeed is basic education and if we are given the opportunity to study at the university so that we can be successful people here in Guatemala. Without a doubt, there are not many job opportunities available at the formal economy so that is the reason that many see migration as the only way to improve the wellbeing of their family. Francisco, what are the young farmers lacking to be successful? I know some young people that they have the wish to start an entrepreneurship but if they don’t find the economic resources those wishes become frustrations and they cannot generate an economic impact within the areas in their communities. it would create an economic impact if they received some guidance on how to pursue an opportunity in commerce The international markets are there, we as young boys and girls cannot have access to them by ourselves, we need to have an accompaniment so we can generate an economic impact in the community. It is really impressive to watch each expectation of every young person, but most of all watch not only the success of each young boy and girl but also see how they involve more young people so they can become successful young people, But most of all we have an important key, I feel like it is very important that we have this opportunity to export our products to other countries, but just like we said earlier today we are in this beautiful day that is “Kawoq”, we are in this beautiful day that is “Kawoq”, that is related to the strive of a community and the prosperity of a community. The most beautiful thing we can have is to work together as a community, as a group of young people, as women, as men with strength and say that we can move forward. I would like to ask an inspirational question to each of one you. Would you like to share your final thoughts to the young people of Guatemala about the best way to embark and start an entrepreneurship? I think that the young people first need to plan their life, because when they have a plan they know which path to take, they know how to build that process that will allow them to generate more opportunities, not only at the personal level but at a community level. Also join other groups of young people that are organized so that you can benefit from the tools and programs that USAID and other organizations provides. The support amongst the youth must remain and improve because we are the extract of a territory and of the culture. Besides this, we have many other abilities like artistic or the ability to manufacture products, we must take advantage of this. I urge other young people that are not affiliated to an organization to join other groups, one that is close to your community because it is necessary, that is going to be the first step to improve and generate opportunities. That is what I would add, urge other young people. Nelly, thank you very much. Francisco, what would you like to add? Yes, I think that young people are not the future of our country, we are the present of our country. If we educate ourselves, learn and receive guidance from more knowledgeable people we can generate a positive impact in our community and our country. What I’ve seen is that, I started with a group endeavor within our community, but I’ve seen that it is important an individual endeavor because it also generates an economic impact within the community because of the jobs it generates. Thank you very much Francisco. Would you like to share Betzaida? Of course. A message to the young people is that all of us have weakness, there will always be obstacles but the most important part is to create a lifelong project, that is the most important part to have a clear visibility of where we want to go and just like he said: we are not the future, we are the present, if we want a change in our country we have to do it today. Let’s look for the solutions for our country, together we will rise. The support of USAID is very important to us, we thank them for considering us, only that, thank you. Thank you very much. Administrator Samantha, I would love to hear some words to the young people of Guatemala, so they can motivate and also let them know that USAID is providing support to young people with the implementation of trainings, providing basic resources so people can start their endeavors. We would like for you to give us your thoughts. Thank you very much administrator Samantha. Thank you to each one of the youngsters that are here with us at this roundtable that was very enlightening, it leaves us with the will of knowing more, it leaves with the desire of inquiring more about what young people are doing. Without a doubt, this has been another presentation with USAID, introducing successful young people but most of all with dreams and goals becoming examples to other young boys and girls. I believe that the key is to land our dreams so we can make them come true. I believe that the key is to land our dreams so we can make them come true. Work every day for that goal but above all that it is a joint effort, an effort that involves more people, that motivates more people and this is something that we do as Guatemalans, we inspire others, others that for example in the pandemic lost all hope, but they are having other alternatives like the ones these young people are showing us by saying that we don’t have an open door but we can look for another one in other areas, that’s the best. Thank you for letting me know your stories, thank you for allowing me to go to the farms, to go see how Betzaida works and other young boys and girls that we see in the videos that we are presenting and honestly thank you for being an inspiration and why not say it, you motivate me to keep on going because you are an example of strength despite every obstacle you keep going. this is a fight we do together, and we all march towards our goal which is to improve as young people and succeed in life at a local level and as an international level as well, maybe not migrate the way it is being currently done but to cross borders with our abilities but to cross borders with our abilities and to export the rest of the world what we do and our enthusiasm. Thank you very much.

Last updated: September 22, 2022

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