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

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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
Nov 13, 2019

THANK YOU, we finally inaugurated Iris Home!!

Iris Trinidad's Home Inauguration
Iris Trinidad's Home Inauguration

Dear all, 

Guess what!?!? Iris home was finally inaugurated on October 16th!!! On the day of the inauguration, we wrapped up final painting details and all shared a wonderful home-cooked meal (dominican mangú!) prepared by Iris herself. Since many of you were not able to make it to this joyous day, and yet were a pivotal part of making this dream a reality, we wanted to share with you this beautiful video that captures the collaborative essence of this house reconstruction

Thank you for being a part of this process (no matter how far or close you may be in the world!)

So grateful,

La Maraña's Team

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