Allaying Climate Anxiety in Mexican Youth

Allaying Climate Anxiety in Mexican Youth

Despite widespread anxiety about climate change, particularly among  youth, there’s a notable lack of in-depth climate knowledge among the public. There’s a global trend of diminishing climate literacy, particularly in understanding crucial climate issues, actions, climate policies, and institutions. Yet, addressing climate change effectively requires balancing emotional engagement with informed policymaking and enhanced climate education.

To address this issue, CCI Mexico leader Ms Alba R. Peña Parra brought EnROADS policy simulator workshops into the classroom. In 2021, Ms. Peña became an En-ROADS ambassador and is currently one of only 5 people in Mexico with the certification to facilitate the En-ROADS workshop.

The En-ROADS Climate Simulation Workshop is an interactive group exercise where people, guided by a facilitator, use the En-ROADS simulator developed by Climate Interactive to test climate solutions. The workshop not only makes the most important concepts of climate science accessible to people; it helps participants to connect them to their daily life and translate them into the actions needed to limit the increase of global temperature to less than 2°C and ideally 1.5°C  to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.

During the months of September, October and November, Ms. Peña, in collaboration with Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, the largest university in the state, facilitated a series of workshops to high school students in 7 high schools. 370 students, mostly between 17 and 18 years of age, participated in the workshops. The following list shows the specific dates, schools and number of students reached during each workshop.

  • September 11: Esc. Prep. Guamúchil, 100 students.
  • September 18: Esc. Prep. Lázaro Cárdenas, 70 students.
  • October 2: Esc. Prep. La Reforma, 50 students.
  • October 20: Esc. Prep. Guasave, 50 students.
  • October 25: Esc. Prep. Angostura, 30 students.
  • November 10: Esc. Prep. Casa Blanca, 40 students.
  • November 27: Esc. Prep. Profesor Venancio Leyva Murillo, 30 students.

Students reported in general feeling excited, highlighting the similarities of the workshop to a game, as well as hopeful and willing to take action regarding climate change.

Building on the experience of this series of workshops, Citizens’ Climate International Mexico is propsing to hold 80 workshops that will reach 5000 high school and university students during the January-May 2024 school period in high schools and universities throughout Sinaloa, this time including a questionnaire component to evaluate the learning.

More about Alba R. Peña Parra
Alba R. Peña Parra is a graduate of International Relations with honors from the Tecnológico de Monterrey. She is a climate activist with the Mexico chapter of Citizens’ Climate International since 2019. Her work focuses on empowering citizens to approach their political representatives to boost climate ambition and action by the Mexican government at the local and national level.

Resident of the municipality of Salvador Alvarado in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, she is the organizer of the first Local Conference of Youth (LCOY) in Sinaloa, in addition to being a collaborator of the national conference of youth, LCOY Mexico, since 2020 and member of YOUNGO, the official children and youth constituency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In 2021, she became an En-ROADS ambassador and is currently one of only 5 people in Mexico with the certification to facilitate the En-ROADS workshop.

Ms. Peña’s leadership is also inspiring program ideas in our network.