As the International Congress of Youth Voices kicks off in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Guardian invited young delegates to write about their fight against the climate crisis
Teenagers speak with a directness and a moral clarity that is desperately rare in our elected leaders, and perhaps in the adult species as a whole. That’s why we created the International Congress of Youth Voices. It’s an annual gathering of young writers and activists, ages 16 to 22, who speak and live with urgency.
The first conference was last summer in San Francisco, where almost a hundred delegates from twenty-six countries gathered, and were mentored by the likes of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Khaled Hosseini, and congressman John Lewis. One of our most inspiring young delegates in that first conference was 15-year-old Salvador Góomez-Colón from Puerto Rico, who created his own non-profit to help the island’s recovery after Hurricane Maria.
‘I am growing up in a world whose life systems are unraveling’