Casa Sana held a workshop on self esteem and positive self-image. The name of the workshop was “Looking good, loving myself and much more”. Shanty town 4 de Mayo is home to one of our Casa Sana kids; Belen Paredes, age 17.

It was Belen who took the lead of the activity. Casa Sana’s psychologist and counselor, Jessica Coronado, wrote the workshop and the Casa Sana kids presented the information to the teens of the shanty town. We had 20 teenagers signed up for this event.

During the event, it was hard to find a positive answer from these teenagers because most of them work and/or are in charge of their houses and their younger siblings (while parents are at work). They are so busy surviving they don’t have time to even think about these things.

The workshop was divided in three parts. They were games to find out and recognize how equal and different we are from others, how much we value ourselves and the time we dedicate to grow as the brilliant people we are to be.

Peruvian society is constantly changing because of globalization. The Media sometimes can be harmful to kids/teens that don’t have real role models to look up to and/or parents/mentors that they can rely for some advice.

Here at Casa Sana, we have seen our own kids dealing with drama, rooted on trivial things, envy and jealousy. We have been teaching them about self respect, generosity and paying it forward. Now they are here to teach the same information to other teens in the villages and shanty towns.

Belen Paredes did a great job. She had the generous support of her older sister Lilian Paredes, as well as former English teacher Pilar Correa, plus the art student Ana Paula Machuca and volunteer photographer Andrea Machuca.

We also give our gratitude to dentist Carlos Cordova, who came to join us and explain the importance of a healthy smile as a way to boost our positive self-image.

The twenty kids that were part of the workshop have already asked us to come back with more interesting and fun activities. The common message we received from the kids during the day was “There’s nothing for us.” “They mostly care about babies, toddler and infants. They forget that we (adolescents) want a time/place to learn and to have fun.”

Mason Smith and Paige Glissman made good friends with the kids that were part of the workshop because LOVE, FRIENDSHIP AND GRATITUDE are universal.

A special thanks goes to Rosario Zegarra – President of Casa Sana Peru for coordinating all that goes into making a successful community service day.

The Casa Sana Team – Piura, Peru.