Information about Mayerly
Mayerly lives in a town named Soacha and she has an older sister named Yemi a really good friend named Milton he was fifteen and she was twelve at the time. Her friend Milton had been in a gang and got killed but she had blamed the war for his death. After he had been killed Mayerly wanted to then fight for peace. The environment was very poor where she lived the houses were made out of cardboard and plastic sheeting some of them were low and made out of cement and the floor was made out of dirt. The family thought that living closer to Bogota would make life easier because Bogota is where the rich lived. Mayerly's family including her grandparents, sister and her parents used to live on a farm far south of Bogota but her house got swallowed up by a sink hole. Her father worked as a bus-fare collector. She was very close to Sister Martha and Pastor Javier. When she got a little older she was in the "Timoteo Club", this club helped other children that needed it.
Conditions in the town Soacha
The town of Soacha got very violent and there was gangs that were attacking children to and from school. They would demand money, take their pens and pencils, and destroying their books and worse. The kids that were joining the gangs thought it was cool or thought it would give them protection. Some of the people that were in the gangs were as young as the age of eight or nine. Some of the gangs claimed that they were protecting the country when they were actually making it worse and then kids joined the gangs because of all the violence at their homes. The jobs that people made very little money and children got displaced from their families and homes, some of their families had fallen is such deep poverty that children had to drop out of school and did anything they could to earn money. She was walking across the road in ankle deep mud and over a bridge which crossed a sinking contaminated river. The schools were mad of six run-down rooms cluttered underneath a tin roof, the desks were broken and battered and garbage was littering the sides of the school and the floor was made of dirt.
Fighting for peace
In August of 1996 the group heard about the child movement, Monica and herself got elected the representatives of the Soacha group, they then met Juan Elias who's fathrer was murdered which made him work for peace. The group the met Farlis who helped organize the Child Organization in Apartdo In August of 1996 the group heard about the child movement, Monica and herself got elected the representatives of the Soacha group, they then met Juan Elias who's fathrer was murdered which made him work for peace. The group the met Farlis who helped organize the Child Organization in Apartdo. The group started going to schools and talk about their rights and encourage them to take part in voting. Then on October 26, 1996 the group rode on a bus with 50 other children to Plaza Bolivar in Bogota to vote in the Children's Mandate. The Citizens Mandate asked adult Colombians to support Childrens Mandate and condemn the kidnapping, disaperaences, massacres and forced displacement of the war. On October 26, 1997 they went to Soacha urging people to vote and children as young as four and five wanted to vote for peace. Six months after the group, Citizens Mandate, Andres Pastrana was elected president of Colombia promising peace, but kidnappings and massacres happened more often and children were the targets. The government agreed not to let boys under the age of 18 to join the army but other armed groups continued to let children fight and put them in the greatest danger.
About a girl named "Gladys" and her family
Mayerly met a fifteen year old girl from El Progresso named "Gladys" and she would often fight with other children. The family had been living on a farm and one of the armed groups had forced them to leave their home and the family lost everything. The family had been living in a one room shack with no door.
People in the country
Many of the parents had looks of sadness, some of them thought they had to beat their children to make them behave but after awhile they realized that beating them could also drive them away onto the dangerous streets. Mayerly's friend Johanny would write phrases for peace in his notebook, but then his father would see them and rip them up, finally he had written a wish in his notebook about how he wished his father would stop beating him, when his father saw that his mood and life changed completely from that day.