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GenDerations worked with parents and students at Waldorf Colegio Inlakesh, Santa Fe, CDMX and gave a presentation at the TEDxHumboldtMexicoCity Event of Collegio Humboldt German School and Eton School in Mexico City.

GenDerations Mexico

Stefan’s Presentation at Eton School, Santa Fe, Mexico City


There are many youth empowerment programs but very

few combine a powerful weekend experience called

“Rites-of-Passage” with an on-going, sustainable, community-focused group mentoring approach sourced

by a school-based recruiting and training program.

GirlsToWomen/BoysToMen Mexico

When a civilization lacks rites of passage, its soul is sick. The evidence for this sickness is threefold: first, there are no elders; second, the young are violent; third, the adults are bewildered.

-Malidoma Somé


GirlsToWomen/BoysToMen in Mexico legally “flies under the flag” of GenDerations Mentoring, a global youth mentoring organization founded by social entrepreneur Stefan Hermann, who has over 2 decades of experience in successfully launching such communities, two TED talks in his name and who served in 2017 as the first executive director of GTW/BTM of San Francisco/Alameda County


The program encompasses numerous elements like a school-based peer mentoring approach, open enrollment Rites-of-Passage with a group mentoring follow-up as well as parent mentoring, all scientifically evaluated in countries like Switzerland, the USA and India.

GenD_mexico pic 1.jpeg

The program encompasses numerous elements like a school-based peer mentoring approach, open enrollment Rites-of-Passage with a group mentoring follow-up as well as parent mentoring, all scientifically evaluated in countries like Switzerland, the USA and India.


Colegio El Roble, the American School and Eton School in Mexico City as well as smaller schools in Malinalco have expressed interest for a school-based peer and adult mentoring program. Older students are trained as peer mentors to attend group mentoring sessions with younger students - “truth telling circles” (TTCs). Parents and volunteers are trained as adult mentors under the facilitation of certified local trainers. Parents have access to parent mentoring sessions. Younger students eventually become peer mentors themselves.


Once the older students appear to be mature enough they are offered the Rites-of-Passage Adventure experience, often referred to as an “Initiation into Adulthood”; a practice following a 4 phase format and found in practically all indigenous cultures for girls and boys, who are “coming of age”. This is a formal acknowledgement of their transition from childhood into adulthood.


Before anything, it is essential that a community of adults be established into which the young people can be integrated (“initiated”). Offering mother/father workshops and adult mentor trainings is therefore the first step. Subsequently, ROPAs (always gender-specific) may be scheduled. Let’s start with the end in mind:


AFTER a ROPA the initiated youth gather every week or at least every other week with their adult mentors (mostly staff of the ROPA) in mentoring circles with a typical duration of 3 hours. There are rituals, group discussions, games, small breakout group mentorings and possibly a shared meal, all with the intention of offering the youngsters as well as the adults “a safe space” in which to share and connect with meaningful topics of their daily life. The goal is to address the specific challenges teenagers face in typical, “modern-day Mexico. The commitment of the adults is for 1 year of group mentoring; possibly longer. The ratio of teens to adults shall be about 3-1 and the total group size shall not exceed 20 persons. Youth who attended a ROPA are referred to as “Journeywomen/men” or in short, J-Women and J-Men … they are no longer girls/boys, nor are they women/men. Simply put: they are on their journey! J-Group meetings are locally held, possibly at a school or a community center, with a travel distance not to exceed 20 minutes for group members. After one year of mentoring the teens may stay in the group, form a new group, or at some point in their development be formally “blessed” to leave the group by conducting a (mini) “vision quest”. GTW/BTM in Mexico could start in 2 areas involving adults who have expressed interest and have already had some experience in related programs like GenDerations and ShadowToGold. These areas have currently been designated as Mexico City and Malinalco. The program will then expand from these cities to all geographic areas and socio-economic levels in Mexico. Under the supervision and leadership of Stefan Hermann, experienced trainers from India, Europe, South Africa and the USA will provide the training and guidance necessary to build a sustainable structure for all the programs.


The Rites-of-Passage experience is condensed into a residential weekend format to be conducted in a remote area, close to nature and in a secured environment like a campsite. The weekend staff arrive late afternoon on Thursday for “container-building” exercises. Teenagers arrive on site late afternoon/dusk on Friday. There are typically about 20 teens who are welcomed by about 20 adults. The weekend ends late afternoon on Sunday. The activities of a ROPA are highly transformative for both teens and adults, climaxing in a formal initiation ceremony where the youth are officially blessed into the community of adults. The protocol book of the ROPA contains in excess of 40 pages of practical and proven processes for initiation. These practices are not foreign to Mexico, as per the heritage of the Mayan, Aztec or Toltec cultures.


In preparation for the ROPA adults gather about 2-4 weeks prior to the date for a 2-day “All Hands” event, where they are introduced to the key processes of the ROPA. Individual roles are established and rehearsed for each staff. During this time, logistical issues like transportation, accommodation, food and material needs will be sorted out.


Mentor trainings (these could be co-ed) are to be conducted to establish a baseline of mentoring skills and approaches to working in circle together. Once a critical mass of adults has been reached, the work in schools and the All Hands and ROPA weekends can be scheduled with an awareness of the sustainability of the follow-up J-Groups and “truth telling circles” in schools.


Various levels of certification trainings will be made available in order to establish competent and safe stewardship of the GTW/BTM communities in Mexico and to ensure their healthy growth.


Students all over the world have reported that parents are among the top 3 obstacles for not reaching their fullest potential. There are many well-meaning parents who experience struggle and frustration with regard to their inability to influence their child. GenDerations offers parent mentoring in support of these parents who don’t know where to turn with these challenges. Mentoring sessions are offered at 45-60 minutes for around MX$2000 and are conducted by certified coaches.

“ I am Martha Carpio, a humanistic Frommian psychotherapist with 30 years of continuous practice from Mexico City. My work has been enriched by my training in zen buddhism, family constelations, bioenergetics, shamanism and direct experience with master plants. I met Stefan Hermann two years ago. Two items stand out for me in his work: first how much care and commitment is dedicated to the safety and security of the participants and second, how deep the participants can work as a result of  Stefan’s skill, sensibility and experience."

— Martha Carpio, Frommian Psychotherapist

"My name is Pilar Cordero from México City.

I am a junguian and body psycotherapist practitioner since 20 years.

I work on myths and archetypes

and I am a writer.

I have been attending workshops with Stefan

since the very beginning two years ago. Stefan makes sure every individual feels safe along the work, first he strengthens confidence, set the rules and practice with us. He is loving but firm in character, gives no concessions, and is truly committed to perform his job.”

— Pilar Cordero, Psycotherapist, Writer


Scientific Evaluation of GenDerations Mentoring in India

The study of GenDerations Mentoring was performed in June/July 2018 by Dr. Sadhana Natu, Assistant Professor and Head of the Psychology Department and her team at Modern College, Pune University. She has said, “GenDerations’ work is praise-worthy, relevant and the need of the hour. The education system is in dire need for a well thought out and impact making program for ‘emotional management of school going adolescents’. GenDerations delivers! The program is innovative, inclusive and democratic. It has far-reaching impact on the participants, gives them a safe harbor in the school environs and invaluable life skills with long-lasting effects. Clearly all the stakeholders (students, teachers, parents, school administration and counsellors) benefit from the experiential learning provided by GenDerations. GenDerations definitely needs to expand to more schools, more kinds of schools, more students, all kinds of students and bring a wholesome mix of adult mentors under its umbrella.”

University of San Diego Case Study of BoysToMen Highlights

The case study findings indicated that program participants were able to improve academic performance, behavior, and relationships with adults. Based upon these findings and factors, we highly recommend investing in the further development, research and evaluation of the BTM organization. Study Results


◦ 96% of students said BTM has helped them care about peoples’ feelings.

◦ 78% of students said that BTM has helped them go to school more often.

◦ 90% of students said BTM helped them to do better in school.

◦ 95% of students said BTM makes them feel better about themselves

◦ 91% of students said BTM has positively changed how they view the future


◦ 100% of parents strongly agree BTM is a good thing for their son.

◦ 91% of parents agree their son is happier since participation in BTM.

◦ 90% of parents agree their son seems more mature since BTM.

◦ 81% of parents agree their son cares more for others since BTM.

◦ 90% of parents agree their son’s self-esteem improved since BTM.

Adult Mentor Training, 2017, México City
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