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The idea is to create a system that follows a cycle trying to waste the fewer amounts of resources with the most possible efficiency. For that reason the proposal is the creation of an innovating social cultural center within the rural communities in Caldas, Colombia.

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Creation of the Key Activities within the Community

Key Needs

Food, Education, Entertaining, Housing

Bearing in mind the Bank of Barter system as an inspiration, there will be different focal subjects in the project.


With the creation ofa garden within the community,and the use of different foods produced, we seek potentiate the quality offood for people.Likewise, we seek to create a soup kitchen for children to receive balanced diet without neglecting their traditional food because the idea is not to change the menu into something unknown, but to give the correct amounts of each food creating in that way dishes that are normally eaten in the region.

Colombia has a wide variety of foods which should be utilized and recognized by its citizens. For example, we have the Arepa (recommended by some nutritionists as a better food than the bread) Aguadepanela, coffee, bananas, potatoes, cocoa, among others. With this plan what we want is that the community does as much as possible including the collection of food, the preservation and even the cooking process.

In this project education will play an important role for the community. Education will consist not only in teaching ina school or a college, andin subjects such asmath, scienceand Spanish, but also in creatinga comprehensive education.How could it be possible?Through the exchange of knowledge withinthe members of the community.

In the community, there are many skillful people that can create high quality products, the idea is that all of themteach the others how to do it and in that waytheir knowledge can be spreadThis will become a reciprocal process in which everyone will learn and teach different important matters for the community.When theses kills are learned by a certain number of people, they will be ready to create a micro-enterprise through a micro-credit given by the governor or the Chamber of Commerce in Caldas.

When it comes to talk about education of children, we need to recognize that motivation plays an important role.

Children feel more motivated when they are helped by their peers, which is the reason why, we consider the creation of a newspaper library to reinforce peer support. In that way, children will help other children receiving as payment the interchange of knowledge and the service of the soup kitchen. In addition to that, the creation of banks of common elements will foster the action of sharing as a way to reduce costs.

It is also important the creation of a special plan in which all the specific steps for the introduction of new health projects that involve the whole community; especially young children and mothers who are pregnant, are stated.The plan should focus on an emotional and interactive prevention system, which leads us to the creation of easy and understandable formats to be implemented.


When it comes to housing it is important to say that given thehigh rates ofpoverty in Colombia, we look for items that do not generate an expensive cost. For that reason our proposal is related tothe reuse of bottles and trash generatedby the community to create ecological bricks that have already worked in other communities.

With the creation ofa specific group in the community willing to learn about building with bottles, we propose classes taught by volunteers who are knowledgeable about the subjectand want to donate that to the community.

On the other hand, apart from building houses, there are other elements that could be built suchas parks for the problem ofentertainment. In addition to that, we could use typical elements of the place as guadua or other materials. Also, we can create a special garden whose production would be used only for sale or exchange to other communities.
With the use of recycled materials, wehelp to reduce the human impact on nature,and wastes on the population.

This system should have a place for the collection and the storage of bottles. It should also have a place to wash the material in order to remove organic waste, room where the group can crush the material,and a storage room to keep the bottles.


One of the most important factors in improving the quality of life is the level of fun that a society promotes. In many cases this aspect is left aside for other issues that are considered priorities. But why should we not involve this kind of activities in daily life as a means of entertainment and improvement of life quality? In many companies,the welfare of the people is complemented with those activities, so we can infer thatit ishelpful. The creation of spaces for children to play, or meeting rooms for adults will provide a harmonious environment that aims to decrease rates of violence and abuse, and likewise will give a warmer place with a high level of recognition in the community.

Why this is a Social Business?
It is considered social Business because according to the Grameen Creative Lab, it seeks to address specific needs of a community. It also tries to maximize the resources that it has, which is represented in the human resources of the community like farmers and specially in children to whom this system centers its attention.

Finally, it is important to recognize the gastronomic resources that Colombia has as a country rich in diversity of foods (fruits, legumes, vegetables, etc.) and the Educational resources that can be carried on with the help of government of Caldas and the communities that are willing to continue with the system.

Who would be allies?

-The government of Caldas
-The Grameen Creative Lab
-the Mayor and the influential people within the community

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Loving the acknowledgement of local tastes here, Leidy. Much easier to build upon these than introduce whole new centerpiece foods as you suggest.