Juan Elias

The hard life of a brave Colombian boy by Julianne Dolecki

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About Juan Elias's life

Juan Elias is an 18 year old boy who lives in Aguachica, Colombia. Juan lives with his mother and older brother named Andres. His mother and brother are caring and so was his brave father. Besides all of the violence and crime going on all around them, Juan and his family had a pretty good life. In Juan's early childhood he and his family would spend the week in a huge mansion, where his father did his dental practice. Then on the weekend they went back to their 31 acre farm.

Juan's neighborhood is not good at all. There were battles in the streets during the night, and when he went outside during the day he would see blood on the sidewalks and holes in buildings were bullets had gone through. After many protests and meetings, the violence in the town went down a bit, but things are still pretty bad.


Juan was influenced by his fathers acts of bravery. He wanted to be like his father. Juan's father was aware of all of the terrible violence around, and he wanted to make a change. Juan wanted to make a change too. Another event that influenced Juan was the peace referendum and children peace conference that he took place in. Both events made him even more aware that change was needed, and if everyone took place in these kinds of conferences, there would be a change.


Juan and his whole family have been threatend numerous times. Men would come to their farm and beg for food, shelter, and money and if they didn't get anything they would threaten to take their cattle. Eventually, their cattle was stolen. His family would often get suspicious calls asking when Juan was getting out of school, and that they would soon come to their house.


Juan chose to fight for peace for a few reasons. Both the peace referendum and children peace conference made him realize things could change if everyone tried. He hated all of the violence happening so closely around him. In addition, once his dad and his cousin were killed when they were at work Juan could no longer bare the terrible violence happening in not only his own town, but the whole world.


I was impressed that Juan was so brave. So many times he and his family were threatend, but he still never refused to fight for peace.


If I could ask Juan one question I would ask him how he felt when he lost his cousin and his dad to all of the fighting. I know that he desprately wanted change even before he lost the 2 of them, but I would like to know how much more triggered he was after the death of his family members.



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