From rebel to responsible role model

As a teenager he was almost expelled from school. He was feared for his outrage and admired for his speaking talent. Fernando comes from a difficult and stressful environment. Thanks to understanding teachers as well as due to his own motivation and strength, the rebel turned into a gifted communicator.

 

His smile and his charm are irresistible, fascinating his precise and intelligent articulation. At an age of only 19 years, Luis Fernando Chavez Casco faces life with an impressive maturity and wisdom. Hence, that has not always been the case. He was born as the only son with four younger sisters in the rural region of Lechecuagos, León. His parents did not have a profound education and worked hard in the fields to make ends meet. Additionally his father’s alcohol abuse caused big problems. The young, intelligent Fernando only knew one answer to all the misery and became a mischief-maker in school. „I wanted to be heard and was looking for attention“, he remembers. „I never realized how much I harmed myself. I just wanted the others to listen to what I have to say”. After various threats of expulsion, Fernando took a lucky strike. „Along came my teacher Dionisia and saved me“, he smiles, adding that the dedicated and feisty woman saw the potential in him. „This was like a booster. She taught me self-responsibility and triggered a big interest in another form of life.” Fernando is beaming and bubbles with enthusiasm: “I knew all of a sudden that I’d like to study communication. Not to become simply a TV-star, although that would be cool too. In fact I’d like to use my abilities and my education to achieve social improvement and change in my environment”.

 

NEW CHANCE

 

As from this moment on Fernando enjoyed studying, became a member of the „communicators network“, and soon one of the leaders. This network created by Fe y Alegría, supports young men and women expressing themselves, learning all about communication as well as regarding personal and social topics like violence, drugs, relationships and self-esteem. In the last three years Fernando already travelled to Spain, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic to speak at the international Fe y Alegría forums. Asked what he benefitted most from, Fernando replies without hesitating: „I benefit from everything. The workshop in photography given by Diana, however, was really great. Now I’m looking forward to benefitting from your experience”.

 

 

 

BIG PLANS

 

Fernando is not only enthusiastic about his studies, but similarly dedicated to his job at Fe y Alegría. The national director Silvio Gutierrez was so impressed by the development and strong will of his young student, that he offered him a job as voluntary worker in the area of communication at the FyA headquarter. At the end of our interview, I ask Fernando about his biggest dream. He ponders shortly and then answers: „Do you know Plato’s Cave Allegory? Like the guy who left the cage, saw the light (and the truth) outside and wanted to bring it back to the cave, I’d like to study abroad and then come back and triumph in my country”. Hearing his firm voice and seeing his sparkling eyes, I believe every word of it.

Interviewed by Mani Sokoll, communications specialist from Switzerland, working for INTERTEAM at Fe y Alegría, Nicaragua