Juanes is a Grammy Award-winning musician from Colombia. His personal experience of violent conflict in his home country moved him to use music to send a positive message to young people. Through his songs, his international performances, and his work with his own foundation and other initiatives, he raises awareness of the power and importance of peacebuilding. (Video Transcript)
Learn More about Juanes
Juanes was born and grew up in Medellin, Colombia, a city with some of the richest and poorest populations in Colombia, and one of the most violent cities in the world. His hometown was wracked by drug violence on top of wars between guerrilla insurgents, government security forces, paramilitaries, and criminal gangs.
This culture of violence affected Juanes deeply. Having begun to develop a real love for music at an early age, he sought ways to express his feelings and his hopes through his songs, and to communicate about important issues to a broader audience.
Juanes started an organization called Fundaciόn Mi Sangre (My Blood Foundation) to draw attention to the problem of landmines in Colombia and in other places affected by conflict around the world. Through international performances, he raises awareness of the hidden threat posed by these weapons, and raises money for programs to support landmine survivors in Colombia.
Juanes also co-founded an effort called Paz Sin Fronteras (Peace without Borders) to unite people across borders and promote non-violent conflict resolution.
In 2008, tensions rose between Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela, following a raid by Colombian armed forces on a rebel camp inside the border of Ecuador. The governments of Venezuela and Ecuador questioned this incursion and diplomatic ties were cut for a time. A concert organized by Paz Sin Fronteras on the border between Venezuela and Colombia brought together many tens of thousands of people in a call for peaceful resolution of conflicts in the region.
Juanes has received multiple international awards for his humanitarian work.
- Use the "Building Peace through Music" Lesson Plan in your classroom.