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Today, we visited the office of the Secretaria de Integracion Social in City Hall, took part in a workshop on participation and autoethnography facilitated by a CINDE professor, had a debriefing discussion and ended with a reception filled with music, food and promises to be in touch. For this our final blog, we present a collection of quotes from all 15 participants, 13 CUNY students and 2 faculty.  We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our journey.

  • To quote the Secretary of Social Integration from the Bogotá Mayor’s Office, build policy futures while asking the question: “What does it mean to be young in Bogotá?”
  • Today’s trip to City Hall reminded me that young people occupy a powerful space within our society. Rather than positioning young minds, bodies and spirits relative to their contributions and impact as “future- adults” or “young adults” it is important to position their right to participate and contribute because they are valuable in the here and now. All of us are working together to make space for and amplify this fact. This work remains hard in the face of many challenges, and it was important to end our experience with CINDE in celebration of love and connection. It is our fuel.
  • The inclusion of both youth and adults are what make a difference; our passion lies within the change we want to see for future generations to succeed and better the lives of those that struggle.

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  • The interactive participation workshop followed by the reception CINDE put on for us was the perfect end to a fabulous learning experience.
  • Makes me hopeful to see so many passionate youth workers globally!!!!
  • It was powerful to spend the week witnessing the work of so many passionate, dedicated youth and youth workers, and closing with a dance party with our hosts at CINDE was the perfect reminder of the importance of bringing joy to all we do. To paraphrase Emma Goldman, if we can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.
  • Connection is what makes us human, it makes us understand, it uplifts and builds possibility for new opportunities.
  • The party CINDE hosted for us was such a joyful and meaningful way to end our internship. We bonded through the universal languages of music and dance.
  • You cannot be rewarded without hard work! Work hard, play harder!
  • Participation is a right not a given.
  • Adults partners can provide the space for dialogue amongst the youth but the youth create the dialogue and become the leaders.
  • The (elastic) bands exercise was a reminder that we are all interconnected. 🎤
  • Paraphrasing the afternoon’s speaker: “Las huellas de alegria y dolor se ven marcados en nuestros cuerpos individuales y colectivos.” How our bodies minds and spirits can individually and collectively be marked by our contexts, be they of violence or peace-building.
  • I am inspired by the culture and the passion of the youth workers in Colombia to dive deeper into my own culture so I may be complete in myself to better support the youth.
  • Closing this deeply personal, cultural and immersive experience, my mind and body will continue to strengthen my desire to learn more, ask questions and be critical.

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