What Is Servant Leadership?

“Leadership” and “service” are words I hear all around me. I am constantly reading and discovering more qualities and concepts, both simple and complex, that give meaning to these two words that are so important in a community or country.

I enjoy learning more about these words, but I get even more excited seeing how each day youth and kids in Copán Ruinas are growing and developing their leadership through UPH’s programs. A highlight for me is seeing how a leader like Doris, who last year was insecure in her role in camp, now has a higher level of leadership as teacher of two classes in camp; and observing the ways she is being creative in using different techniques to help the little kids learn the letters of the alphabet. It is inspiring to see how she takes on leadership in the different responsibilities that are assigned to her.

It is also very gratifying to see Diana and Heidy, who last year were Leaders-in-Training (volunteers), and are now assistants in a class and are fulfilling their role with excellence and a lot of energy.

Another example is the group of young people who make up the team of Leaders-in-Training, who get nervous even just directing a welcome for the kids at the start of camp, but who do so well and with as much energy as possible.

A few days ago we had the opportunity to put together our “board of directors,” made up of camp kids, and assign them the challenge of directing camp. When we were training them in how to do it, they kept saying, “We’ll do it like…” and they mentioned the names of the Youth Leaders. When I saw this, I reflected on how UPH is a chain of little and big people being inspired in servant leadership–that is, the leadership of Jesus.

A very clear concept that I want to share about the words “servant leadership” is: Leadership is serving others with unconditional love; we ought to practice it daily so that we can inspire those around us to stand up as leaders and servants of their communities.


Claudia Esquivel - Camp Ágape Director