This summer, Libraries Without Borders has partnered with local nonprofits & community organizations in Puerto Rico to launch a pop-up library & makerspace. For the initial phase of this pilot, we will provide a series of workshops running from July to August. These will include workshops on social enterprise & FEMA claims, arts & culture enrichment opportunities, & STEM & blockchain technology courses.
Loiza suffered extensive damage after Hurricane Maria. Despite its proximity to the San Juan airport, Loiza was cut off from aid for days, making it "an island within island." To make matters worse, water careened from the mountains & surged from the ocean, converging in a historic flood that decimated many of Loiza's most vulnerable districts, communities where violence is so rampant that children are afraid to play in the neighborhood & virtually all residents live in extreme poverty.
The Ideas Box will provide Loiza's residents with arts & culture, social enterprise, economic development & long-term capacity building activities. It will serve as a community hub where people can learn how to properly file &/or appeal FEMA claims; start their own business; leverage the transformative potential of blockchain, & re-imagine their futures through the power of information.
The Ideas Box will provide residents in Loiza with workshops that foster long-term capacity-building & sustainable economic growth. All activities will be skills-based & rooted in local culture, with an eye toward encouraging creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, resilience & economic independence. It is phase 1 of a larger initiative aimed at transforming the 260 public schools that closed after Hurricane Maria into informal learning centers & makerspaces owned & operated by the community.