Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico

by La Maraña
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Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
Creating a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico
La Conde filming for the Documentary
La Conde filming for the Documentary

Dear GlobalGiving community, 

Since we last shared our updates with you, our team and partners have been working full speed ahead leading to the closing of our community grants as well as advancing on the development of our ToolKit and Documentary. 

Our partner community-based organization in Carolina, Parceleras Afrocaribeñas por la Transformación Barrial Inc. (PATBA,) are nearing the completion of their community kitchen, which will also serve as a meeting area with access to Wi-Fi. Over the last years, after becoming an 501c3, PATBA has flourished into a well-positioned non profit organization serving its strong and clear mission. We are extremely grateful to have been part of this process and are excited to share that they will continue operating with  independently secured funds that will keep moving the La Conde project forward. For further news on their transformative anti-racist just recovery journey, follow them on social media as @lacondepr. 

Meanwhile, our community partners in the La Vuelta del Dos and Los Guaretos neighborhoods of Comerío were able to directly impact over 180 families in the community through solar lights that provide increased security and mobility. Our partners in Comerío report as one of the major hurdles the diversity of needs perceived by different community members. Even though it led to some disagreements it was ultimately important to understand how to respect all individuals’ spaces and recognize that timing is a key component when leading a community social impact project. 

On another note, our base team has also been moving forward with the development of our Toolkit. While we work to assemble tools and resources that we believe could be of benefit to communities interested in embarking on just recovery processes, we have also started gathering and generating visual aids. Over the coming months we hope to gather feedback from community partners and other potential users that can shed light on potential gaps and opportunities that can strengthen the end product. Our Audiovisual team also continues to work tirelessly to finalize the production of the Documentary and we couldn't be more eager to share more details of this progress very soon. 

While these Imaginación Post-María related efforts continue to edge forward, we have started to brainstorm on what La Maraña’s future holds. As part of a series of panels on Puerto Rico’s just recovery we launched March 2021 in partnership with Ayuda Legal, A Cielo Abierto, we have been interacting with community leaders and organizations to provide a space where journeys to just recovery and discussions on how to advance on this front are shared across regions. As a result of the learnings from Imaginación Post-María and A Cielo Abierto along with the launch of the ToolKit, we are looking forward to defining how La Maraña will continue furthering Puerto Rico’s just recovery process in the coming years. 

Thank you for standing by us as we continue inching towards sustainable urbanism across the archipelago of Puerto Rico. 

With so much care,

La Maraña's Team

A Cielo Abierto: Southeast Panel in Mariana
A Cielo Abierto: Southeast Panel in Mariana
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At the water well construction site in Humacao
At the water well construction site in Humacao

Dear GlobalGiving community, 

As we enter the final month of this unique and very much virtual 2020, we want to share some of our recent accomplishments and our promising reflections of what 2021 will bring.

We are so delighted to share that the community water well, part of the Imaginación Post-María social impact project, in the Mariana and Jagüeyes communities of Humacao has been completed! The communities finally have water security, after many years of battling for their access to it. Meanwhile, our partner community-based organization in Carolina, PATBA Inc., continues to grow as they strengthen their programming at the revitalized community space, La Conde. We invite you to directly follow their very encouraging just recovery process and learn more about how they’re bringing together and empowering their community through racial, ecological and social justice programing integration and the  transformation of public spaces at La Conde. As part of the efforts in Comerio, we have been able to codesign solar stations and a new public space near the station to harbor emergency power outlets and seating for the community.

As we phase out of what has been our focus since 2018, Imaginación Post-María, transitioning out of direct involvement in the communities’ social impact projects, we can only look forward to sharing La Maraña’s learnings and experiences. To accomplish this we are committed to launching our open-source ToolKit and a Documentary during early 2021. 

Over the last months we have been able to continue gathering, designing and refining the tools and resources we will share in our ToolKit. We will continue working, together with our partner communities, to ensure this ToolKit can serve just recovery processes within other communities, both in Puerto Rico as well as abroad. In the meantime we have also completed a third production phase for the Documentary, which captures the continuous and complex processes of how community leaders strive to empower and bring justice to their communities. Our AudioVisual team is excited to continue working to finalize this product we all are very much looking forward to! 

It has been a very challenging yet rewarding year, the lessons learned and the relationships built will allow us to enter 2021 with the hopes that we are steady on our road to the just recovery of our communities in Puerto Rico, as well the sustainable future that we’ve been imagining and working together for. 

We can never thank you enough for continuously believing in our work. Your contributions are what keep us and our organization looking forward to furthering just recovery processes and helping redefine urbanism as sustainable and inclusive. We wish you happy holidays and all the health and happiness in the new year to come! 

With so much care,

La Maraña's Team

The community water well in Humacao
The community water well in Humacao
Filming the Documentary in Comerio
Filming the Documentary in Comerio
Filming with Nitzayra in San Anton
Filming with Nitzayra in San Anton
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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

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

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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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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
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Organization Information

La Maraña

Location: San Juan - Puerto Rico
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Sofía Martínez
San Juan, Puerto Rico
$109,266 raised of $150,000 goal
 
37 donations
$40,734 to go
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