Martha Zulay Zapata González – Aunt of Ludeyner, Si Mujer Young Leader

Whenever I need advice, my nephew is there.

Ludeyner has always been very open to talking, he has been like an advisor to the family since he was a child. When he told me he was going to get involved with this project where they were going to talk about sexuality, I encouraged him to take part. I have always supported him in everything.

Now for the past three years I’ve seen him be very dedicated to this work – I see a lot of responsibility in him.

I didn’t finish high school, and at school they never really taught me anything about things like sexuality and abortion.

And what I heard from my family was that abortion was a sin, that if you had an abortion you went “straight to hell”. Since Ludeyner started sharing information with me I came across things that I had never heard in my life.

My nephew told me “no aunty, I agree with abortion” and I got angry and told him “Ludeyner, that’s a sin, don’t say that, how can you think that”, because that was what I’d heard growing up. But then he started to tell me everything related to abortion and now I have a different way of thinking. Today I believe that if a person is raped and she wants to have an abortion, it is her decision.

It seems to me that schools should focus more on these issues, because here in Colombia, schools only teach the basics. When you see Ludeyner give a talk it is very dynamic. He doesn’t bore people with the talk, because he is very empathetic and engaging.

I feel very proud of him, because he has been a very humble child, he hasn’t had much support. He has been a very lonely child, now he shares more with us. 

I have seen a phenomenal change in himhe is honestly a different person.

He talks a lot more since he joined Si Mujer – he looks at you and says “aunty, something is wrong with you” and you say “no, I’m fine” and he says “no, something is wrong with you and you’re going to tell me about it” and he starts talking to you and you end up telling him the whole story.