Juan Elias

Fighting for peace


Juan Elias is 18 years old, but his story takes place when he is 15. His father and cousin, Luche was shot and killed two weeks after Juan's fifteenth birthday in. They were in Juan's fathers office and Luche was helping out as a Receptionist. Juan had a brother named Andres who was five years older than Juan. Juan's dad was a dentist who served to people who couldn't afford to pay for one. Juan's father loved to help people. In 1989 Juan's aunt moved in with the Elias's with four children one including Luche.

Geographical Information

Juan Elias lives in a small town called Aguachcia. Juan lived in a nice middle class section of town. His father took them to his farm and Juan's family lived there on the weekends. There were two rivers that ran through the farm one was right behind there house and the other was about half a mile away. At the farm they grew tomatoes, plantain, papaya, oranges, avocados and other fruits. He gave most of these plants away.

The Enviorment

Juan lived in a nice middle class neighborhood. Although this was a middle class neighborhood Juan was often woken up gunfire on there streets. There were always gangs fighting on the streets. He saw a bomb go off not a block from his house. He was so little he stood where he was and watched the smoke rise until his mom rushed him into the house. Juan went to a private school called Francisco Jose de Caldas School.

Why fight for change?

Juan decided he had to step up and fight for change because two weeks after his fiveteenth birthday some men walked into Juan's Dad's office and shot him and Juan's cousin, Luche, who was helping out as a receptionist. Juan Elias worked with his dad to get peace rights into the city. His dad got him in touch with the mayor. Eventually the mayor named Juan Child Mayor. When UNICEF invited the mayor to go to a meeting, the mayor sent Juan to the meeting. That was where the Colombian Childrens Fund was made. Juan got lots of attention. As the referendum began to grow closer people said that it would be no way to get closer to peace because the voters would have to suffer the consequences because the men would steal the list of votes. Juan created a workshop where kids around Colombia would come express there feelings about Peace and all the kids would suggest and share how they could help to create peace.

What does Juan want to happen in the future?

Juan wants all of the fighting to stop and wants peace to rise up in between the people. He is sick of all of the wars that have been going on between the drugs, the gangs, and the FARC. His dad always said that the only way to solve violence is with peace not more violence