I had the opportunity to talk to Julio Poblete, who was the leader of a sexual education program in Peru, called Expoerotica.
The program is supported by a Peruvian Christian organization called AGEUP (affiliated to U.S. based fellowship Intervarsity) and by some Christian churches in Peru. Expoerotica main objective is to inform, sensibilize and create dialogue spaces about sexual health, AIDS and HPV and other STDs, primarily to young people.
The program pillars are the importance of marriage (and why is important to postpone sex until this stage of life), fidelity and that everyone has a new chance to start again(some attendants stated that they lived an irresponsible sex life because they felt filthy).
Julio stated, "The mission is to sensibilize young people in terms of sexual education. We exposed the importance of marriage and fidelity. Some people were not interested or were discouraged to keep participating in the program because our relationship with faith and church, but at least they got to know the implications of premarital sex, and got aware about STDs, pregnancy and sexual health in general"
"In Perú, sex is a Taboo topic, most schools don't teach sexual education in a comprehensive way. The counterpart, NGOs, teach it but some of them try to introduce LGBT topics, which are rejected by most part of the population, rejecting the whole programs as a result", Julio stated.
Julio states that they found an interesting and innovative way to talk about sex that lies in the midst of the major positions regarding sexual education. "Even in churches sex is a Tabu topic, and it shouldn't since sex is a part of human life. We tried to teach it in a heartful way, considering Christian principles as core values".
The program based its contact with young population in ludic activities that started deeper conversations. These activities were conducted within fairs conducted at least 10 times a year. The fairs were comprised by booths that were set in high foot traffic areas such as parks, near schools, main streets, etc. The activities got incredible great attention due to the catchy names and their appealing. Some of these activities were: Sexpress, Sexsense, Sexy massage, Cybersex, 3D Sex, Sexcheckyourself, Sexperts, Sexwait, Sexperience, Sexual Healing, and Sexadvice.
Some booths at an Expoerotica fair
Julio stated that there were so many great experiences and many great results, with many people learning about sexual education, many compromising to life a responsible sexual life and many compromising to postpone their sexual life until marriage. Due to the success of the program, the fairs were established more times per year, and they were invited to participate in schools and resorts.
"A young couple come to one fair at night. They were just passing by the street and the saw the booths and the games. They were just checking and when they get closer to Sexadvice booth they asked some questions. That started a conversation. They were not married, she was pregnant and they have decided to abort the following day (a clandestine abortion, since it is illegal to abort in Peru). After some explanation about the implications of that, they cried and they both decided to have the baby. It was astonishing"