Fundacion Proacceso ECO A.C.

The Fundacion Proacceso is a nonprofit that uses the educational benefits of technology to catalyze the social and economic development of marginalized communities in Mexico. It envisions a world where everyone is digitally included and empowered by access to education.
Jun 16, 2016

Keeping youth away from crime in Mexico

Hello world!

It's been 7 years since Fundación Proacceso opened the first RIA center. In municipalities with the highest percentages of crime and violence in Mexico, a RIA center stands out as a confortable, beautiful place in which the whole community can access technology, internet, courses and cultural activities. Is a place to meet up with peers, to learn and overcome your own fears. Through computers connected to the Internet, housewives, construction workers, mechanics, students and street vendors can access videos, images and words from all over the world. This information can help us grow as professionals, but also can open our minds to so many different realities and possibilities. That's when the magic happens.

We were a young team then, we are still a young team today... but we have learned so much. Even if most of the teachers and staff are youth, the centers naturally attracted children, adults and even older adults. We thought, maybe it was because the feel and look of the place, the content of the courses… maybe youth are already digital citizens, and already know (or think they know) how to make the best use of the internet.

That’s why, around 3 years ago –when I first arrived to the organization, with the crime and violence in Mexico rising very obviously in both the streets and the statistics… we started to think very seriously about youth. Some serious work had to be done: from creating new content and visual design, to changing the way we approached communities. Hopefully the Trust for the Americas, Microsoft, GlobalGiving, Nokia, Adobe and other organizations were there to help us. We started offering courses to attract youth by learning how to design and edit videos, to code and create webpages.

We launched special projects and centers like POETA to offer opportunities to youth to be entrepreneurs, get employment or study. We created the MakersLab so youth can not only use technology but create technology with the tools like 3D printers and laser cutter. Also, we are now working on a digital community where youth can contact mentors in their area of interest; also on a follow up model so we know if we are actually helping youth to accomplish their dreams. And guess what? We are!!! Thanks to YOU we’re inspiring young people not only to analyze their context and their own life situation, but to know what they want, to work for it and to give something back to others.

We know it’s in Spanish, but we want to share with you the video of the testimony of Dulce: https://vimeo.com/168968597 She’s the daughter of the lady who cleans the Digital Library of Alcoman. She has learned English and computing in the Library and now is studying to be a programmer.  Dulce explains how she has seen her friends get lost in gangs, drugs, or thinking they have no option but moving to the city as construction workers… She even helped one of them to get over a drug addiction by inviting him to the Digital Library. She loves being there so much, she became and volunteer and now inspires and helps others to use the computer…  We are so proud and thankful to have her as part of the Proacceso’s family.

Links:

Jun 7, 2016

David: making a difference through technology

David is a talented young man that studied mechatronics in a public school. He's very interested in experimenting with new materials and develop new projects. Besides studying his career, he started learning in the internet how to create objects. He realized that most of the things that he needed to study or create new projects were not available at his school, and he couldn't afford buying them outside. 

Looking for an option he found the MakersLab in Nezahualcóyotl municipality. Now, he's able to create his own projects and also help other kids and youth to learn about the new programs and tools available. He is now aware of how lucky he is for having a career, and also very happy that his knowledge is very useful to others. He believes firmly in the Makers movement that encourages everyone to share the know-how of creation with technology.

https://vimeo.com/151183252 

Links:

Mar 8, 2016

Placing the first stone for mexican Makers

Remodeling planes
Remodeling planes

Project Aims:

The launch of a dedicated Makers Lab at one of Proacceso’s Digital Learning Centers, located in a highly marginalized and densely populated municipality in the State of Mexico. The new space designed to introduce users to the hands-on use of mechanical, electrical, and digital technologies, will offer a variety of workshops in creative tools, electronics, 3D Design and Fabrication using 3D Printers as well as access to computers and internet.                                

  • Defining project scope
  • Designing of the learning model and physical environment
  • Content design and materials
  • Purchase of equipment
  • Installation and operation of the RIA MakersLab facilities
  • Mentor recruitment
  • Marketing

Project Need:

  • Remodeling space
  • Learning model design
  • Determine equipment needed for the model implementation
  • Architectural implementation
  • Opening space
  • Define brand identity

Project progress:

This is the Maker Lab’s first report. It’s been an exciting first stage. We’ve worked so hard and we are sure this space is going to be a great opportunity for young people in Nezahualcóyotl municipality to experiment the possibilities of technology and their creative skills. We want to share with you what has been happening:

  1. Ludens, an architectural firm, made the architectural proposal for adapting the physical space. Based on this proposal, we had a provider selection process in which they invited different providers in order to select the most suitable. They formally began to work on June 1st, 2015.
  2. We also worked in a few logo’s proposals for the creation of the project’s bran identity, as you can see in the next images.
  3. Local (Mexican) suppliers were spotted to acquire the CNC machines (CNC router and 3D printer), considering them to be preferable because of security issues, warranties, technical support and shipping charges.
  4.  We made a research and started contacting potential sponsors, partners, so we could buy equipment with discounts for educational NGOs.
  5.  The Fundación Proacceso is already stablishing contact with different brands. A 10% discount with Adafruit was agreed.
  6. Marketing for the opening event is being elaborated. Nokia, Global Giving UK, PM Steele and other sponsors received acknowledgment.
  7. The revision of the Civil Protection program related with the physical space will be done on October-November; on the same date which the renovation of the RIA (Learning and Innovation Network) center’s civil protection plans will be executed.
  8. Schedule activities and courses have been programmed.
  9. The furniture donation from PM Steele was confirmed.
  10. As part of the effort to have volunteers involved in the Project, Yesenia who is part of the Enseña Por Mexico’s Program helped us contacting important youth organizations and art collectives from the region to let them know we’re starting activities Tuesday 14th, july, 2015.

Obstacles and challenges encountered:

Currently in Mexico there are few providers of digital manufacturing tools like 3D printers, laser cutting and CNC. Finding affordable costs providers in our budget and available in Mexico City was a big challenge.

Suppliers validated by The Foundation Proacceso was found outside Mexico City in the cities of Monterrey and Guadalajara.

The delivery and installation of such machines was difficult. Mainly by laser cutting machine, from Monterrey. This 500 kg machine had to be raised 1st floor to the MakersLab space.

How are we planning to address these going forward?

The staff in charge of MakersLab will be trained for the operation and maintenance of this specialized machinery, because the companies is far to the center.

Manuals for maintenance, safe use and operation of these tools will be developed.

What have been our key achievements for the project due to the funding received?

The MakersLab is a unique of its kind because it mixes a variety of hand tools, electrical tools, rapid prototyping in electronic and digital fabrication tools.

The design of this space, the development of their educational and operational model were the keys to this period.

We hirethe full-time educator, thanks to this the space will be ready for opening and starts operation in July.

The Makers Lab is a great opportunity for Youth in Nezahualcóyotl, one the most populated municipalities in Mexico, with high rates of violence and poverty in the country.

What are our plans for the project over the next 3 months?

Start activities in the space.
Designing of educational offer intermediate courses.
Educator and staff training in the operation of tools, and educational operation.
Connect the space with the community of local and global makers.

The chosen place
The chosen place
Work in progress
Work in progress
work in progress 2
work in progress 2
Brand proposals
Brand proposals
The chosen brand, but no the last one
The chosen brand, but no the last one
Laser cutter instalation
Laser cutter instalation
Almost ready!
Almost ready!
3D printer arrival
3D printer arrival
CNC milling machine arrival
CNC milling machine arrival
Laser cutter tests
Laser cutter tests
3D printer working
3D printer working
 

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