By Moonyeen King
President of the Board for Tepehua
JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENCE describes the developmental dynamics where parents of high risk adolescent boys reduce their involvement when confronted with the challenges of problem behavior. Observations show the deviant friendship process at approximately 14 years of age, with degradation of family management. It was shown 50% had unprotected sex by age 18. unquote.
Girls are the same, with the exception they are more likely to join group activity in centers to meet peers, devious and otherwise, than boys are, especially if they have a problematic home.
In 2017 in Mexico, 10,000 babies were born to girls of 10 to 14 years of age, with 70% of the pregnancies caused by someone over the age of 18 attached to the family group.
Adolescents of Tepehua are no different. Unless there is full parental involvement and guidance, it is usually a time of bad choices that should be viewed as a learning curve. Unfortunately, it is not always the case and the “choice” is hard to drop. Especially in poor areas where choices are few and usually destructive.
Since opening the gymnasium in the Tepehua Center there has been a remarkable change in the adolescents who come - bad attitude turns into a pride. Plus, there is an involvement of some mothers who bring their younger children, catching them whilst they are still influenced by a parent. For adolescents, their young bodies change quickly as they exercise and drop the puppy fat - they can actually flex their plex and it shows. The girls taking part in the program also begin to take independence and pride in self. The young trainer taking over as the influence and turning those bad choices around. He is the pivot of change.
The light burns brightly for the future as opportunities are changing through education and communication, where we learn so much from each other. It is easier through technology than it ever was before. Even in the isolated Mexican vast barren waste, where life and water struggle to make it, the media breaks the silence.
It will be a long time to achieve equality, but if just the few are liberated through choice and education, it can change the world.
“Be ashamed to die until you have won a victory for humanity” Horace Mann.
MOONYEEN PATRICIA KING
Column: Profiling Tepehua
Settled in Mexico 13 years ago. The intention was to retire into the arts as a writer, poet and painter...that didn’t happen. Beneath the smiles of the peoples of Mexico there was such a great need for change, especially for the women and children of the barrios, Moonyeen has dedicated these years to change the face of this little corner of the world. The work done by the volunteers of the Tepehua Community Center is teaching that change is possible anywhere. Moonyeen was portrayed as “Woman of the Year,” also two Paul Harris Rotary awards for the work done at Tepehua. “Life in Mexico is very fulfilling. The Mexican people give so much more to us immigrants than we can possible return.