Aug 7, 2020

Making Strides in Complex Times

Carolina's community leaders in ToolKit Workshop
Carolina's community leaders in ToolKit Workshop

Dear GlobalGiving community, 

Since you last heard from us, when the island was on a widespread shutdown due to COVID-19 and our collaborative activities were mostly halted (except for those bits we were accomplishing virtually,) we have been able to restart our work with the required safety precautions. Keeping our mission to support just recovery processes on the forefront and maintaining open lines of communication with community partners, supporters and among our base team has been the key to harness the motivation that allows us to continue pushing forward despite the uncertainties and complexities the world continues to face. 

Over the last three summer months we have made strides in the collaborative development of our Open-Source ToolKit, production of our Documentary, as well as nearing the completion of the Imaginación Post-María social impact projects with community partners:

  • The black and woman led community-based organization of San Antón and Saint Just in Carolina has restarted construction of the community center, La Conde, and are looking forward to inaugurating the first spaces for community recreation and development in the coming months.
  • The Mariana and Jagueyes communities of Humacao have completed all three water stations and have started the final stages of a community well, all which will contribute to the communities’ resilience ahead of the ongoing (and future) hurricane season.
  • The Los Guaretos and Vuelta del Dos communities in Comerío, are in the process of adjusting initial designs to complete the enhancements of public spaces that can bring together and empower community members.

To kick-start the development of our Open-Source ToolKit, we have recently designed and facilitated Imaginary Workshops with the three communities collaborating on Imaginación Post-María. These workshops served as the initial space for community leaders to partake in envisioning the Open-Source ToolKit. During the workshops, the community leaders also shared their timelines as collaborators of Imaginación Post-María and highlighted the resources and activities that have been instrumental in their ongoing just recovery process. With these narratives at hand, our base team and in-house graphic designer are working tirelessly to transform these into a comprehensive tool, which will exist in physical and digital forms, with the hopes of stimulating just recovery across other communities of Puerto Rico and beyond. We are excited to continue sharing new developments on this front as our work unfolds! 

We believe in the power of storytelling for the just transformation of societies and trust that stories not only connect us, but also stimulate dialogue that opens us up to new possibilities. Focused on this conviction, over the last months, our AudioVisual base team has been working on the second of (the expected) three phases of production and post-production for our Documentary. The Documentary aims to deepen and reveal the intimate aspects, challenges, and inspirations of community work within the social and economic disparities of Puerto Rico, by acting as a window to the realities of three community leaders that have driven the collaboration with Imaginación Post-María. We believe this translation from methodologies to concrete actions and inspiring stories is one of the keys to amplify the impact of our work and encourage others to start imagining how they envision their just communities. 

For La Maraña and Imaginación Post-María, the year 2020 has been one of transformation through defining and developing strategies that we hope will expand our reach beyond the current community partners. We are looking forward to the work ahead of us and are confident that our Open-Source ToolKit and Documentary will shape a new future for our work towards the just recovery of Puerto Rico. 

With so much care,

La Maraña's Team

website | instagram | facebook

Comerio's community leaders at ToolKit Workshop
Comerio's community leaders at ToolKit Workshop

Links:

Apr 10, 2020

Adjusting to a New (Temporary) Normal

Solar street light installation in Comerio
Solar street light installation in Comerio

Dear GlobalGiving community, 

We are once again faced by challenges that lead us into reflection and drive us to come together to learn more about ourselves, our communities and our society at large. After having faced the 2017 hurricanes, ousting the governor in the summer of 2019, enduring through a series of earthquakes at the beginning of this year, and now doing our best to stay safe through a pandemic, we continue to uncover the deep-rooted interdisciplinary vulnerabilities we face as a society. Accepting this bleak reality, socially distanced from our co-workers and partners, we must continue to build our motivation to serve the communities of Puerto Rico, who are worthy of springing back through a just recovery process.

Our team at La Maraña has been focusing efforts, while adjusting work patterns to the new remote normal, on identifying how to work through existing project timelines so that our Imaginación Post-María objectives are reached once we are able to resume normal activities. In the meantime, our base team has also been focusing energies on compiling the knowledge we have gathered from working with our amazing partner communities, which will feed into the ongoing development of our Open-Source ToolKit and Documentary.

Since our last report, we were able to start working with local community leaders to define and develop their emergency management plans, as well as continue with those tasks that don’t require face-to-face activities, such as developing communication strategies, fine-tuning our strategies to finalize the social impact projects and catching up with reporting.

Our partnerships with the communities and community leaders is the key to the success of the Imaginacion Post-María implementation, therefore we continue coordinating with them so that activities that can be accomplished remotely are given priority, while the final construction phases of the social impact projects have halted in the abandoned school in Carolina, as well as the solar lighting project in Comerío and the water station project in Humacao. That said, we are excited to start defining how La Maraña’s engagement with the community will transition once we can reopen construction projects!

We are staying motivated during this time by thinking about La Maraña’s future and the transition we hope to carry-out while the social impact projects come to fruition and our Open-Source deliverables take the lead in our work. 

Stay safe and stay at home! 

With so much care,

La Maraña's Team

website | instagram | facebook

Feb 11, 2020

Imaginacion Post-Maria: Moving Forward

Humacao: Searching for Water Springs
Humacao: Searching for Water Springs

Dear GlobalGiving community,

It is with great enthusiasm that we share with you some of the strides made with La Maraña's community participatory recovery model, Imaginación Post-María. As mentioned in our GlobalGiving project, these funds are being channeled directly to bringing the Imaginación Post-María model to life in three communities across Puerto Rico. In this quarter, we have successfully transitioned to the implementation of each community's commonly elected social impact project, which has been made possible through the offering of a 50-75k grant in each community and active participatory construction processes.

Here is a quick highlight to what has been achieved in each community in this past quarter: 

La Vuelta del Dos, Los Guaretos and Los Padillas, Comerío

  • Having been left in the dark for over 9 months after the passing of hurricanes Irma and María, the youth-led leadership of La Vuelta del Dos, Los Guaretos and Los Padillas has focused their recovery efforts on the creation, advocacy and execution of a solar energy social impact project for their community. With the the first allotment of La Maraña's 50k grant in hand, the community has already installed over a dozen solar posts that illuminate public and pedestrian spaces in their community. This month, we hope to offer the second allotment of the 50k grant, which will launch the construction phases of a diversity of solar energy equipment (including a microgrid!) to further illuminate the community and the exciting construction of public infrastructure (domino tables, benches, railings, etc.) to accompany these newly lit areas.

San Antón and Saint Just, Carolina

  • As part of community organizing and planning efforts, the black and women-led San Antón and Saint Just community in Carolina has taken on the exciting task of transforming their abandoned school into a community hub that offers alternative schooling, small-business development and sustainable agriculture. In this quarter, we successfully handed the first allotment of La Maraña's 50-75k grant in order to officially catapult the social impact project they elected: the creation of a public space and fruit forest in the green areas that surround the abandoned school, coupled by avante-garde artistic programming and a culinary space. These funds have propelled the beginning construction stages of preparing and cleaning the soil for the future construction of the public space and fruit forest!

Mariana and Jagüeyes, Humacao

  • Due to the dire need to find local-based solutions to disaster recovery, the Mariana and Jagüeyes community in Humacao is mapping, designing and executing a Community-Driven Emergency Plan based on their most abundant resource: natural water springs. Together with La Maraña’s team, the community has designed a network of water hubs and wells that stretch across the lush mountains of their community. With the first allotment of the 50k grant already offered, two of the three community water stations have been built and the terrain has been prepared for an additional community water well. In this upcoming month, the final allotment of the grant will be offered to ensure full project completion. 

Bringing all of these designs to life has been a brave journey, where collective imagination has emerged to demonstrate that communities have the innate power to dream and materialize their ideas for change. We are only in the beginning stages of construction in all three communities, so stay tuned to see full project completion in the upcoming months!

Finally, in addition to these great strides in Imaginación Post-María’s original three community allies, this year we are excited to announce the integration of a fourth community in La Maraña's work: Malecón de Naguabo. Collaborating with the community fishermen cooperative, we will be working hand-in-hand with this coastal community in order to create a Community-Driven Master Plan that will help decipher new alternatives to strengthen their local fishing cooperative model and further spur community engagement.

It is such an honor to continue receiving your support and have you accompany us on this just recovery journey.

With so much care,
La Maraña's Team
Humacao: Water Station
Humacao: Water Station
Comerio: Community Lighting Workshop
Comerio: Community Lighting Workshop
Comerio: Community Light Post
Comerio: Community Light Post
Carolina: Public Space and Fruit Forest Design
Carolina: Public Space and Fruit Forest Design
Carolina: School Brigade
Carolina: School Brigade
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.