What are your region’s broad goals for the upcoming school year?
For a long time, Latin America has been immersed in a culture that praises socialism – let’s take Che Guevara for example – and we can see now how that has materialized in politics. It is imperative that we begin to create a Latin American culture of freedom and this involves bringing the ideas of liberty to spaces that Latin American libertarians have left untapped. e need to not only spread the ideas among young people, but create passion for them and start creating narratives that can easily move from one place to another and that people, especially youth, can identify with.
We want to reach more students by humanizing the language of liberty and relating the ideas of liberty to the Latin American reality so that they can be spread with more impact in our context.
How many Local Coordinators have you accepted this year? And how many conferences are you planning?
Milica Pandžić, EsLibertad President was recently interviewed by the PanAm Post.
In terms of leaders, our growth has been exponential. From 36 LCs our first year and 58 the second, we now have 121 new LCs from 16 countries across Latin America. One thing to notice is that the countries in which we have more leadership are ones with more repressive regimes like Venezuela or Ecuador. That shows the importance of EsLibertad in supporting young leaders that otherwise would be alone in a hostile environment and probably would not take the initiative of engaging in pro-liberty activism.
In terms of conferences, this year is going to be huge for EsLibertad. Up from one annual Regional Conference forthe two past years, we will have 6 this year(counting 2 that already took place in Bolivia and Ecuador). That will mean an impact to thousands students in the region – many of whom have never heard of liberalism before.
What, in your opinion, is the greatest opportunity for social change in your region?
Unfortunately, Latin America is experiencing first hand the consequences of wrong ideas. A great part of our youth is now living under authoritarian regimes. But no matter how demotivating our context can be, EsLibertad sees a big opportunity. Among discontent and disappointment, young people are redefining what liberty really means to them; they are speaking up, looking for new alternatives, new ideas, and foremost, they have a great desire to improve things. This is why the ideas of liberty have more relevance than ever in our countries and we can see how they are strongly influencing the debates of the most important issues of the region such as rule of law, freedom of press and freedom of speech, the war on drugs, immigration, and protectionism.
If there’s one thing you could tell the world about SFL, what would it be?
SFL represents the bravest generation of young leaders for liberty that has ever existed.