Juan founded the Warriors Zulu Nation Honduras in 2011, with the goal of creating a safe space for young people in Honduras to express their artistic talents and reject gang culture. The organisation has impacted 1,576 young people through cultural programmes and events.
Honduras has one of the highest rates of violence in the world, with 43 people per 100,000 murdered annually. The country also has high rates of extortion and other forms of gang violence. There are currently more than 10,000 active gang members in Honduras2. When Warriors Zulu Nation Honduras was first founded, Juan had to meet with local gang leaders to inform them of his intentions for working in the local community of San Pedro Sula. Warriors Zulu Nation uses hip hop culture, particularly dance and music, to attract young people with common interests to create a safe and supportive community. The foundation offers artist workshops on breakdancing, rapping, graffiti, and even photography. The organisation also offers youth discussion groups on topics such as respect, politics, education and how to counter violence in local communities.
Juan also coordinates music and art festivals, which in recent years have attracted more than 6,000 attendees. The 2018 festival featured 70 artists from various cities in Honduras and other countries across Central America. Students that partake in art workshops also have the opportunity to perform publicly during these festivals. By offering these opportunities, the organisation promotes self-confidence, and empowers young people to present their new found skills on a public platform.
Last updated: 11 April 2019