Juan Carlos Antezana Pérez

Ashoka Fellow
Cochabamba, Bolivia
Fellow Since 1997

Citation

This profile was prepared when Juan Carlos Antezana Pérez was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1997.
The New Idea
Juan Carlos Antezana believes that informed and engaged Bolivian youths can successfully persuade their society to take better care of life in all its forms and safeguard opportunities for future generations in their country. He is organizing the first national Bolivian youth movement, Inti Wara Yasi (Sun, Star, Moon), to defend the lives of animals, plants, trees and even human beings. For the first time, brigades of young volunteers are cleaning rivers, lakes and parks, organizing protests and marching to denounce illegal logging by timber companies. They plan their own interventions and raise the money to fund them. All the while, they target their actions for maximum coverage by the media, in order to make others care and to bring them along. For producing environmental awareness, there has never been anything like Inti Wara Yasi in the entire Andean region. Instead of spending their free time watching television or getting involved with drugs or violence, the members of Inti Wara Yasi are busy making a difference. To date, at a total cost of $300 per month, about 2,000 fifteen-to twenty-year-olds from five of Bolivia's nine regions have joined the movement. Even the name of the organization reflects the diversity of the members: each of the words in Inti Wara Yasi comes from a different indigenous language-Quechua, Aymara and Chiriwara, respectively.
Inti Wara Yasi has targeted its promotional efforts at low-income youth. As the organization grows, children from all different backgrounds and socio-economic classes are joining the movement-even the Bolivian President's teenaged granddaughter, who saw them on television.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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