Out of War
Johemir is 16 years old. He grew up in Monteria, a very poor neighborhood in northwest Colombia. At a young age, his father left him and his mother and was murdered shortly afterward. At ten, his mother left him to earn money for the family. Almost one year later she came back with news; they were moving to a banana plantation in La Chinta with his new stepfather. All little Johemir could think about though, was that his mother was home and she was with him. Poor Johemir had to cook for himself and keep their small house clean. No one ever knew that he was alone because Johemir was afraid someone would try to rob the house or even hurt him. As he grew older, he started to work with children affected by the war, which led him to the Children’s Peace Movement.
Johemir lives in a section of Colombia called Antioquia. Antioquia is a tightly packed place full of cities crammed between mountainous regions. The climate is very warm and humid. There are many banana plantations on the outskirts of the cities and many people are employed through these farms. If it weren't for all of the tight conditions, tropical life would be plentiful. Unfortunately, there is barely any greenery in cities like these.
Johemir lives on a banana plantation in a small wooden house he and his family built themselves. His mother sells meals to the workers and his stepfather, who he is not very close to, works in the plantations. Johemir goes to the local school and is continuing his studies. Because he lives on the banana plantation, Johemir doesn't really have a neighborhood. When he does go into town, though, there are many dangers to watch out for such as robbers and military groups. His hometown is known as a very dangerous place where many kidnappings and murders take place. As for living conditions, they are not wonderful, but at least they have a stationary house. Even though Johemir is poor, he doesn't live in the slums. He is in the middle of poor; his family can’t afford food all of the time, but he doesn't have a house made out of scrap material.