Juan Elias

By, Aakash Terra and Jackson Dropick


Juan Elias is eighteen years old. Juan lives in Aguachica Colombia. He works for peace in Colombia because of the death of his father.


Juan lives in Aguachica Colombia. Juan's family is currently very wealthy, they live in a mansion. But for fourteen years Juan lived on a banana plantation ten miles from Apartado. Juan's father worked on the plantation before he became a dentist. His family and him lived in a small adobe house, with a tin roof and a dusty compound. Juan's mother ran a small business from their house selling refreshments to the workers. Juan grew up rough like other farm kids, playing in the fields, and swimming in the pool where they washed the bananas. Juan and his siblings rode to school on the back of a banana truck. They had to do whatever it took to get and education and most importantly, stay alive.

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Juan’s family members are his father, mother, aunt, and four siblings and four cousins. Juan’s home life was great, he went to school, everything a child should do. His childhood was ideal, or what some people would call privileged. Juan’s family was very wealthy, because after fourteen years of working on a plantation, Juan's father became a dentist. Juan's family lived in a huge mansion. However, they did face many issues. They had faced many dangerous situations.once they had recieved an anonymous letter demanding 10,000 dollars. Or they would, ¨Face the consequences.¨Then Juanś mother was threatened to be kidnapped and was being followed. Next they got phone call saying she should be, ¨Very Careful.¨ Juan´s mother said, ¨What I feared most became reality.¨


In the Aguachica community there were battles in streets during the night. Juan was often woken up by gunfire. There were always guerrilla and paramilitaries army soldier fighting in the street. Every week something bad would happen in town, a violent storm seemed to rage through their town all the time. Once ten teenagers were killed by a police officer after they tried to kidnap a farmer. After a massacre, people would go to the morgue to see if anyone they knew was killed. Juan once went into the morgue with the other and said, “I was not afraid, it was just so sad.” In 1955 a new mayor was elected everything began to change. Suddenly, it was less violent. On August 27th, 1995 the town finally voted for peace. 10,800 people voted for peace, and less than 50 against peace, that was only half of the Aguachica population, most of the people were too scared to vote. They were too scared because they were afraid the guerrillas and paramilitaries would kill them. Things began to improve in Aguachica but the peace did not last long, by the end of 1995 the violence became just as fierce because a majority of the people who spoke out for peace were forced to leave town. To most people the town was a, ¨Small village, big hell.¨

Reasons For Peace

Juan’s father was killed while he was at work. No one has a clue why his father was killed. Juan said his father never expected to be killed because he had never done anything to hurt anyone. Juan wants to avenge his father’s death, but not through violence through peace. Juan said ¨Sometimes peace is the best revenge.¨

What Juan Accomplished

Juan wants to accomplish peace throughout Colombia. Juan joined a peace group only for children. The group try´s to find ways to spread peace, and come up with ways to find young people that can say how they feel about the war. Juan has made much progress, he has got his word spread throughout Colombia. Juan´s work was so well known and appreciated Juan was elected child mayor, because his leadership skills and his work for peace.

Why he keeps fighting

Juan has never been threatened for his work, he has never done anything violent he has only worked for peace in Colombia. Since he has never been threatened Juan will never stop fighting for peace. Until he accomplishes peace throughout Colombia. Once Peace comes to Colombia he will have avenged his father´s death.

Juan's Other Options

Juan’s other options is to join the army, a paramilitary, or a guerrilla group. To try and fight for one of the groups until one group wins, or the other surrender. Most likely Juan will not join either a paramilitary or guerrilla group, because one of those groups killed Juan’s father. So the only other option Juan would consider is joining the army. I doubt he will join the army because, Juan believes the right thing to do is spread the word of peace.