Regardless if we want it or not, becoming aware of the atrocities that occur constantly, is not only unavoidable in the age of information but essential to developing our character, and it’ll be defined by how we respond to this brutal clash with the real world.
Recently I got a painful reminder about something I knew but unintentionally forgot, or at least that’s what I like to think; After finish working on a Sunday afternoon in Antigua, I decided to go for a walk at the central park to distract myself.
The exact opposite happened, and my attention was caught by a flier being handed to me that said ”AYUDAME” (HELP ME), it came with a short speech from two young volunteers of a group called Claves – Buentrato para la Vida (keys – Well-manners for life), my emotions went numb as they articulated their message to re-inform me about the sexual exploitation of children happening in Antigua.
And just as uncomfortable as being dazzled with light, the information of this devastating truth resurfaced as an invisible monster that seems impossible to defeat, but hopefully I’m writing this for those who wish to make a difference, because the opportunity to perceive these creatures and stop their vile acts, grows drastically if we bear this heavy burden in mind and act as a collective.
I’m not asking for anyone who goes to Antigua to act like a hero and start kicking doors down or play detective and follow strange people around, that costs a lot of money and takes huge amounts of time, not to mention the risk to lose your life, and most probably you’re in Antigua to enjoy yourself, not to apprehend pedophiles.
My petition is simpler, it’s for you to use your cellphone in a meaningful way, as a local or international tourist in Antigua, (you’re protected by law to) take pictures of dubious places, record conversations from doubtful characters, and report any offerings of this kind to these phones numbers:
110 (police department)
1555 (Human Rights Council)
2250-0575 (Public Ministry)
2414-8787 (Attorney General of the Nation)
Your actions could stop a child’s torment and change their life, but please keep in mind to never put yourself or others in danger while trying to help.
”We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.”
– Malcolm X
If you ever need a translator to report for local authorities please contact Cool Cats Creed Facebook web page, we’ll write you back ASAP to help you communicate, and if you need us to record the conversations for legal purposes, when we connect in the web call, say only your first name and repeat the word ”cool” three times, we’ll respond by asking for your full name this time, after that everything will be recorded until the call ends.
Nobody tells us that becoming aware of the cruelties of the world and the unjust nature of reality will make us depressed, the feelings of impotence, powerless, and inadequacy are unpreventable but by unifying and organizing effectively, we can make a difference.
J. Andres R. Chevez