Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture
Beneficiary organization: Colectivo Barrio
Contribution number: FA-1302376
Amount: $ 35.000,00
Project’s name: Community Urban Garden and Environmental Classroom of Barrio Arriba
The Barrio Arriba is a working-class neighborhood almost as old as the city of Leon since it was around the 3 colonies of which is comprised where the city started. The neighborhood was founded with the installation of the first leather tanneries where shoes and clothes were made. This required workers of the region, which is why this neighborhood is so important in the history of the city.
Due to various factors the production techniques of these businesses did not develop which led to the closure by order of the authorities, due to the fact that they spilled chemical waste directly into the city’s sewage causing a great deal of contamination. This caused, among other things, early withdrawal and unemployment, a lack of alternative jobs, contamination, loss of green areas and a permanently impoverished population.
Colectivo Barrio organized with the fundamental purpose of raising awareness among residents and other neighborhoods through environmentally and culturally friendly practices. Trying to prove that it is possible to live in a different way in an urban and centric space. They have focused on the two main vulnerable groups of their environment: children and the elderly.
In this project supported by FASOL, they built a community garden from which they host workshops, they give seedlings, exchange seeds and harvest vegetables for their neighbors.
About 70 families contribute to the community garden on a continuous basis. These same families have started their own family gardens because all the houses in the neighborhood have a backyard.
The neighbors have thrown themselves into the projects and have begun to rebuild relationships from their reunion in this communal space.
This project has triggered environmental awareness in those who have participated in the project. These same participants have disseminated among other neighbors the activities carried out by the Collective, which has increased the participation of the community.
By recovering a lost space and giving it a community use for socially desirable activities, they are helping visitors develop an identity link that allows for the reconstruction of the social fabric and puts them in a better position to demand their rights.
Thanks to this project, Colectivo Barrio bonded with local organizations such as “Aquí Somos Aquí Hacemos”, “Fundación Animare”, “Mitote Popular”, “Acción Colectiva Sociombiental”, “The Farmer’s Market in the City” and approximately 12 primary schools and 5 secondary schools.
With this contribution, they began a process of acknowledgement among the residents of Barrio Arriba who, in general, had lost contact with each other for quite some time. This reunion has allowed the residents to discuss local problems that they themselves propose and try to solve in the different collective spaces that have been articulated in that space (from volunteer days to workshops).
“The gardens are only the first steps of a plan designed by a team of social entrepreneurs in which several activists participate. Entrance is free and open. “If people work the land with their neighbors, it is likely that the community will be strengthened. There are many older adults in the neighborhood. The idea is that they can come and get together in an outdoor space, help in the gardens or sit and talk under a tree. It will be a place where neighbors can meet, learn and enjoy together”.