Recreational center for gay young people in Tapachula, Chiapas (Grandmoms house)

Published: August 1, 2008

Recreational center for gay young people in Tapachula, Chiapas (Grandmom´s house)

Issues: In the south zone of Chiapas (Mexico) no recreational places for young gay people and other MSM are available. Mexico has a concentrated epidemic in male MSM. Given the cultural rejection to homosexuality, in this conservative State of Mexico, it is to difficult to have spaces to bring prevention information, condoms and other services for young gay people.

Description: A house to create a safe space of recreation for young gay people was established. The Grandmom´s house can give services to 120 individuals and it is equipped with audio and video systems. Tapachula is a small town with high stigma and discrimination environment, for this reason e-mail lists for gay people were used for the services diffusion. A quarterly meetings and participants received information; condoms and can use the Internet services for a low fee. This space also contributes to build social mobilization, and the creation of social networks to discuss STI, HIV prevention, human rights and other issues such as love, family, fiend’s school, etc.

Lessons learned: Opportune information is crucial to promote self-care and to provide tools to help young people in their empowerment process. This kind of spaces provides safe averments to share experiences and to arise respect and integration. Peer-education is a fundamental tool to promote prevention and self-care issues among young people.

Next steps: 500 young gay and 100 heterosexual were beneficiate. A Social Network was established. Counseling and testing services and reference services were provided.

-Abstract available at link below-

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