To answer the question about our identity, we should find something immutable in us, something that never changes, can you think of identity in today's world? Can you think of something that does not change in a world where everything is constantly changing?


The word "identity" comes from Latin meaning "the same". That is, what is always the same. However, many of the actions we identify as "equal", and that recur consistently in our lives, are very few. Some of them are names, surnames, the family, and the place where we were born. This leads us to conclude that there are more factors that identify and construct our "identity".

Therefore, we could say that "identity" is a human condition. As people we have the need to belong to the most visceral issues, which are usually derived from a cultural construct. This construct is usually defined by the elements generated by the social, geographical, cultural and historical environment of each one and / or group of belonging, which is formed over time, and is molded and enriched.

With all the existing and promoting changes by the influence of the mass media, we prioritize the possession (objects) and leave aside the being (identity), social learning and the experiences of oneself.

For example, our membership groups are based on an activity that involves a common object that unites us (surfer, buggie, skateboarder, biker, etc.), but does not go beyond the activity towards the construction of "being".

Thinking the social, in terms of identity and intervention, involves the construction of a meeting point between the person, the culture and its environment in general. Contextual aspects dialogue, cross-link, elaborate different types of demands and identify with them.

Nevertheless, within the analysis that is made from the work carried out by FAJ with people in situations of social vulnerability, specifically in the community of Chacarita, Puntarenas, we find an important variable and, in many cases, determinants for the identity development of one and / or the other: the development of the person as a "unitary individual".

A young person who develops as a unitary individual has few social ties, relationships and constructs from a group to the other. This leads to the construction of an identity that certainly influences the environment, the context and the culture, which does not allow him or her to contemplate himself or herself in a whole group, the place where he or she is immersed implicitly.

Above all, in the youth with whom we are working, and those who propose to work under the concept of identification, destruction, construction, and reconstruction of identity, they usually generate a little apprehension in terms of sharing their feelings and their identity at group levels, but not individually. Why? The answer is simple: they are immersed within certain patterns that require them to follow a series of expected practices, such as macho behaviors for example.

All this leads us to demand, train and educate the perception, to break the mold and to challenge from the construction of the "being", the way of not falling into prejudices, oriented to care and link from the accompaniment, the listener, the construction with and for them with equal form.

Agustina Gómez Cáceres

Project Coordinator of Young Action Foundation / Puntarenas Headquarters