DEAR HACIA COMMUNITY,
It is with the great honor that I address you as President of HACIA Democracy at its XXVI Summit of the Americas. This year, our event will be adapted to the virtual modality for the first time in its history. Carmen Enrique, Vice President of HACIA Democracy, and I are faithful believers in the opportunities, safety and quality that the adoption of this new format will bring us while the inescapable world situation is resolved. We are still finalizing the details of the event, but we can share with you that it will take place from March 13 to 16, 2021 via Zoom.
My story with HACIA Democracy begins in 2018 when I served as Co-chair of the Summit of the Americas. I remember the excitement and nerves that overwhelmed me throughout the experience, as I had never led a committee or been part of a structured debate before. Reflecting on the problems that afflict our region, I selected the issue of labor informality and its consequent lack of social protection, thinking that the key to a good committee was to engage the delegates in topics that they could easily connect with their own lives at home. In my case, I had witnessed informality in the streets of Medellín, my hometown, where street vendors offered various products at most traffic lights. Additionally, this reality, contrasted with the modern buildings of one of the most innovative cities in Latin America, presented a ubiquitous and at the same time curious problem, like many of the issues that arise in our various committees. When the date of the XXV HACIA Democracy summit arrived, it was clear that the debate was going to be a success. Watching delegates embrace this issue and interpret it in their own way to produce high-level recommendations was extremely fulfilling. There, I decided that I ought to continue with HACIA Democracy and offer our debate experience to an even greater number of students from the region.
In my role as Director of Recruitment, I was able to advance our efforts to share conference resources with even more institutions. I enlisted the participation of schools of various languages and instructional models, as well as schools from cities that had never experienced HACIA Democracy before. The idea of offering an experience like the one I had in the Summit of the Americas committee to a larger audience greatly motivated me to improve HACIA Democracy. Due to events beyond our control, we were not able to reap the fruit of our efforts at the 2020 event, and, therefore, I went ahead and presented my candidacy for HACIA Democracy’s presidency.
Now in my critical role as President of our 2020 Summit of the Americas, I wish to reiterate my commitment to providing you with a conference that continues to challenge delegates and seeks to include all voices from Latin America. I am confident that with these two goals guiding our event, we will be able to honor the legacy of the conference and inspire our delegates, whom I trust will be the future leaders of the region one day.
I am counting on you, and I hope that you will count on me to provide a conference that differs from all those that have preceded us.