Ciclovía Salinas: Planting positivity in our city

Ciclovístas and people from the community participate in the 2016 Ciclovía event by painting street art.

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Ciclovía Salinas: Planting positivity in our city

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The city of Salinas has more of a negative image rather than a positive one due to youth gang activity. However, the youth that live in the city have a completely different perspective.

Ciclovía Salinas is an open street event, led mainly by high school students, which will take place on October 15 from 9-1 pm. Students in Ciclovia, also known as Ciclovístas, dedicate a great amount of time to the program. As a current Ciclovísta, I can say our meetings are very productive. We meet once a week for four months to plan for the event.

During these meetings, we make sure to not forget Ciclovía’s five goals – change the narrative of our city, unite Salinas, promote health to the public, stimulate the local economy, and develop leadership skills. These goals allow us to provide a better image for the community and help the people.

Ciclovía changes the narrative of Salinas by demonstrating that our city can be peaceful and welcoming. To unite Salinas means to bring all of Salinas together, despite what one’s ethnicities are. The event promotes health by having hospitals set up a booth and inform the public about health. It stimulates the local economy by supporting local businesses. Last, but definitely not least, Ciclovístas develop leadership skills by organizing the event and having a positive impact on the community. From my experience, I can say that we become leaders by taking responsibility upon ourselves and managing to stay proactive.

Ciclovístas are divided into four committees: volunteers, activities, publicity, and logistics. The volunteers committee is in charge of recruiting volunteers to help out at the event. Activities is in charge of making the event entertaining by providing games for children, including game booths, and having family activities. Publicity’s purpose is to inform the public about Ciclovía through the radio, social media, and talking to businesses as well as the people in the city. The logistics committee is also in charge of spreading the word about the event.

Gabriel Perez, a sophomore at Everett Alvarez High School, is an active member of Ciclovía and sees many benefits. “I gain lots of public speaking, social, and networking skills, as well experience in leadership,” he said. He feels it is important to instill knowledge and empowerment in high school students to be able to make a difference.

Francisco Martinez, a junior at Alisal High School, also enjoys being in the program. “It is a great way to help my community. I’m making my community a better place,” he says. He believes it is important to know what is happening in our city and what we can do to help those in need.

Overall, Ciclovístas finish the program with a different aspect of Salinas and themselves. It is important for youth to realize the amount of potential they carry within themselves and to use it towards positivity.

People can be informed about the event through social media – Ciclovía Salinas on Facebook, and @cicloviasalinas on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

By Lizbeth Guerra

 

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