Vanessa (13)

from El Salvador
Vanessa lives in Zaragoza, a small city located between La Libertad and San Salvador. “There are a lot of people here with evil in their hearts,” she says despairingly about her home country of El Salvador. Violence is everywhere in the streets, and many youths drop out of school prematurely. Girls often become pregnant unintentionally and leave school without gaining qualifications.

«People here need peace so that they can make their country a better place for us all to live in.»

Vanessa, 13 – Pupil at Guadalupe Canton School
However, despite the criminality and the uncertain prospects for the future, Vanessa remains optimistic. At school, she is learning a lot about child rights and health education. The courses are giving her the self-awareness to identify her own needs and dreams. They also instil a sense of hope that in the future, her country will be dominated not by violence, but by peace.