Democracy & civic participation in Argentina

Oct 15, 2014

Fail harder

In our last report we've told you about "El Desafio Festival", a 3-day event that we were planning to do late September and that was going to inspire eveyone with talks, debates and discussions about social issues and how to resolve them. However we had to postpone the festival for March/April 2015, due to some sponsors and supporters that couldn't participate as they said this time. We would love to do it last month, but sometimes things don't go exactly as you expected. In the positive side, we will have more time to make the event even greater than before!

Meanwhile, we are building 10 new mini libraries to be installed in the city, making a total of 14 overall! Thanks to our agreenment with Banco Macro, the new 'minis' will be completely funded by them and installed together with our volunteers and the bank's employees. So far 54000 people have been in contact with minilibraries and they are attracting more and more attention from the public, including the press that keeps on talking about it. Even chinese TV was interested in our work and broadcasted a small documentary about us (you can watch it here

Thanks to your support we can keep on generating in argentinean society a more commited attitude towards social problems, which is key to resolver the problems in the long term. This year only more than 350 people joined our volunteers database, which shows a growing commited mindset in society.

Thanks a lot for your support and please stay tuned for more updates soon.

Jul 17, 2014

El Desafio Festival!

Inspiring is key to our work. Talking of social change might sound abstract to many people, or empty of content. Specially for argentinean people that are frustrated for years now waiting for the situation to change. So when we talk about change, the most common response is full of skepticism. This force us to be innovative, creative and very concrete in our actions. Words are 'blown by the wind' argentineans say, so we have to act. And we have lot of ideas.

After putting in place 3 mini libraries earlier this year the impact has been huge. Not only they are still standing in perfect conditions, but most important is that people are actively participating in the maintenance, donating books, taking pictures and asking details to replicate the experience in other districts. We've also seen a lot of media attention thanks to this and an increase of people interested in volunteering and getting involved.

A new initiative we are working on is "El Desafio Festival" will be a 3 days event in where we'll invite people, companies, press, students, hipsters, thinkers, dreamers, sporters, students, leaders and everyone to debate about the creation of a happy city. The space will be open daily and our participants, staff and volunteers will be connecting with guests to tell our story and our actions to make a better place for everyone. Conferences, talks, debates, DJ sessions, art & urban workshops will be in the daily agenda, together with a pop-up restaurant catered by participants of our cooking program. We expect to reach 3000 people during the festival. 

So thanks to you, since your support is why we can keep on doing the great work we are doing. 

All the best!

Apr 21, 2014

Challenges to come

After successfully installation of new minilibraries we are moving forward to our next project which will put in the public agenda some subjects that Argentina is dealing with -not in a very smart way-, like criminality, drug dealers, quaility of public education and youth development. The idea is to make people think about these issues and show what approaches the country and society has been taking about them. We are developing a software and small documentaries for each issue of one and a half minute that will be showned in social media and also with our own tablets walking in the streets and asking people to participate. After the documentary, people will have to take a stand on the issue.

It has been intense this year and thanks to our 50 permanents volunteers we are reaching and inspiring more people to step in and share our dream of a better reality.

Thanks for your support we can keep on innovating and moving forward!

Jan 27, 2014

2014, time to raise the game

Mini librarie 1
Mini librarie 1

Dear all,

when results exceed your expectations, you ask yourself how you are gonna beat what you just did achieve. You face a new challenge, that will require a lot of enthusiasm and innovation. Time to raise the game and go fot it.

Last year we did everything we've planned. The mini libraries movilized hundreds of people donating more than 1000 books. People loved the idea of sharing something so beautiful and fun as promoting books and culture for free. Even that is too fast to measure the impact in the city, we are gathering information and analyzing data on on-going basis. Coming March we are installing 3 more mini libraries in new parts of the city.

Meanwhile, we did our yearly with the theme of 'Enfrentando Mitos' (Facing myths). The concept was to tackle some cultural myths inlaid in argentinean society that blocks them to visualize and move towards social change. "Things are never gonna change", "It has always been like this", "This is going to take decades to change" and "Nobody is doing anything about it" were some of the myths that we tackle and showed studied cases from around the world to show people that changes are possible if they work for them. 360 people participated in the event that was possible to the work of 50 volunteers and participants from our community programs. It was inspiring, touching and incredible contagious to connect to all the people that day and have a clear idea on what we need to do to resolve the issues we have as a country for years (poverty, the main one).

So this year we are full of new ideas. We are gonna implement a mobile experience using a special make up software to recreate the myths we tackle in our event. So people will access trough our volunteers to short videos showing an specific myth and then they will have to answer which position they stand for. We will use tablets for this and the idea is to make people think.

Also we will organize public debates with leaders and citizens and we will keep on inspiring people to be more commited and responsibile to the country's life.

Time to raise the game. We are ready for it, and thanks to your support we will be able to keep on making Argentina a better place everyday.

All the best, 

Mario Raimondi

Mini librarie 2
Mini librarie 2
Facing myths 1
Facing myths 1
Facing myths 2
Facing myths 2
More than 360 people in our event
More than 360 people in our event
Volunteers team
Volunteers team


Nov 4, 2013

3rd quarter report 2013

We've been focusing in bring to life the mini public libraries in this period. We have done with 20 volunteers the little houses that will allocate the books and paint them in funny colours. The idea of the public mini libraries is to debate about how citizens take care of public things and what they do with them. The program has bring awareness to this thanks to the media attention it got.

The coming months we will be working for 2014 plans, good news is that the US embassy in Argentina provided us a grant to help us. Thanks to their support we are able to get 3 tablets for a 'mobile civic station' (a cool lab of social issues where people can share ideas and views on public problems) and also the making of short documenaries that will be broadcast locally.

Thanks to your support we can keep on moving with this innovative project.

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El Desafio Foundation

Papendrecht, Zuid Holland, Netherlands

Project Leader

Mario Raimondi

Rosario, Santa Fe Argentina

Where is this project located?

Map of Democracy & civic participation in Argentina