Men in the Movement: Lucas Villalba

Leonardo Elizondo, Guest Contributor

Lucas Villalba has been a part of Red de Jóvenes por la Salud (RJS) since its inception six years ago. RJS brings youth groups from around Buenos Aires, Argentina together to prevent HIV/AIDS and promote youth sexual and reproductive rights. Lucas is from the Lomas de Zamora province, a city in the province of Buenos Aires that is located just south of the capital. He is part of the group "Youth Network for Life," one of the many projects of RJS, and in the opinion of my colleagues and me, Lucas is an essential part of the organization's communications strategy.

Lucas was involved in several projects that deal with information and communications technology, which led him to represent RJS in the region. He also led several initiatives to disseminate information about our activities over the Internet and in social networks. He has participated in national health conferences, symposiums, national and regional meetings, and other experiences aimed at developing strategies for youth participation and advocacy. Currently, Lucas is one of the coordinators of dance4life, a project that RJS and the Huésped Foundation have implemented in Argentina. Lucas is one of the people responsible for the project’s great success.

Although it is important to recognize the many activities Lucas is involved with that demonstrate his commitment to the health and rights of young people, I’d like to highlight how supportive and warmhearted Lucas is as well. It is so pleasant to work with him because he is always willing to lend a helping hand to whoever needs it. Without a doubt, I see Lucas as someone who contribute to making the world a better place, a place where all people can exercise their rights freely. It gives me great satisfaction and great pride to be his friend and colleague.

Lucas' actions show that we can always move forward, even though things don’t always go as we’d like. We simply have to learn from our mistakes. With this short statement, I humbly share with you what knowing Lucas means to me:

To you, who taught me that we have only one life and that it is worth living.
To you, who are able to spread peace and warmth with yours smiles and kind eyes.
To you, who dream of changing the world, but always stand with your feet on the ground.
To you, with whom I shared days of storms and ones of fair weather.
To you, with whom I learned that one should always act according to his principles and that there are no obstacles in life that cannot be overcome.
To you, a man of infinite capacity who, without even noticing, can transform those around you.
To you, my dear friend, who I respect, miss and love.
I want to recognize in this humble message the loving person you demonstrate through your actions. Thank you for helping so many people live in a more just and healthy world.
To you, dear Lucas Villalba.

Leonardo Elizondo is a youth member of Red de Jóvenes por la Salud in Argentina.

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