Setting the Stage
Introduce the film by telling students that they will be watching a film about a 70-year-old former nun who has transformed gang youth in Ecuador. There are many contributing reasons why youth join gangs. They include the need for physical protection, a way to develop identity and a sense of belonging, and high racial or ethnic tensions. Gangs can also reflect the struggling communities of which they are part. In 2011, the National Youth Gang Survey estimated there were 29,900 gangs and 782,500 gang members throughout 3,300 jurisdictions with gang problems in the United States. Ask students what they know about gangs. Why do gangs exist? Why do they think a young person might join a gang?