A Colombian peace maker's story

About Mayerly

Mayerly is from Socha and is a 16 year old girl. She has an older sister named Yemi who she lives with including her parents and grandparents. She lives in a poor community with gangs and broken down houses. Her friend was killed in a gang fight and blames Colombia for it. She thought living closer to Bogota would make their life easier after her old farm house on the south of Bogota got swallowed up by the earth. She was very close to Sister Martha and Pastor Javier who introduced her into her group called “Timoteo Club” which helped other children that needed it.

Socha Colombia

Socha is a poor village in Colombia located near Bogota. It is not taken care of and very run down. Many there are poor and in poverty. It has many dirt roads and contaminated water where Mayerly lived.

Her Surroundings

As I mentioned before, Mayerly lives in a poor community in Socha. There are many gangs and people get killed there daily, even close friends or parents. But in her case, it was a friend who was killed by a gang. Also, they had work but it was hard and paid poorly. Many people fell into poverty because of low pays. The schools are poorly maintained. Her house was a two room shack.

What Got Her To Join The Change

What got her to join the change was the death of her good friend Milton who got killed by a gang. She thought that all the violence was going too far and wanted to put an end to it. She and Monica were voted to be representatives for the Socha group.


The movement was for peace. After all the gangs and children soldiers they wanted to change that. Everyone in the group has had someone that was killed or kidnapped, so they all strongly believe in the movement. Thousands wanted to vote. on October 25, 1996 she rode on a bus with 50 others to go to Plaza Bolivar in Bogota to vote in Children's Mandate.

What They Wanted For The Future

What they wanted for the future was less violence on the streets. They also hopped to eliminate many gangs and child soldiers. The government agreed not to let kids under 18 join the armed forces, but sadly other groups still accepted them. But they have gone far in the movement.