♣ Alternative Barter Systems

"♣": Estrategias específicas empleadas por los estudios de caso para incrementar su nivel de auto-sustentabilidad.Pueden estar en inglés o español. Por favor usa el traductor del menú lateral 

"♣": Specific strategies used by the case studies to increase their degree of self-sustainability.They might be in English or in Spanish. Please use the side menu translator
  • On the other hand, in order to extend the scope of its project to promote education for sustainability, the promoters of the initiative took advantage of its 10 hectares of land to build cabins with capacity for approximately 40 people. These allow them to receive not only tourists and students, but also volunteers. The latter, in exchange for lodging, food, training, and first-hand experience in techniques and models for sustainable agricultural development, not only offer their support for the maintenance of the farm -cleaning of roads, working in the garden, recovering of the forest , constructing cabins, taking care of the animals, improving the means of dissemination of the project and social networks, etc. Some also help by giving courses both to local communities (free of charge) – as mentioned before – and to other visitors to the farm. Currently the courses include the teaching of Spanish for foreigners, techniques of sustainable agriculture, yoga, medicinal plants, dance, etc. The volunteer program is still working on finding mechanisms to attract the Costa Rican population from other cities, who are also unfamiliar with the concept of ecological farms and for whom it is difficult to pay for their living expenses without receiving a wage as the farm requires them. Currently most visitors are from the United States, Canada and Europe.

 

  •   [This/the initiative] has about 3 years of experience and currently has around 200 members, half of whom are residents of Espinal, Veracruz in Mexico (birthplace of the project), and the other from different parts of the region – even other states of the country.

 

  • Espinal is a rural area in eastern Mexico, affected by poverty and its cyclical causes and consequences, meaning: the dependence resulting from the lack of means of production (people work on lands that are not theirs or sell foreign products to survive); the violence permeating the State in the context of the country’s war on drugs; and social divisiveness based on class, ethnicity, etc. All this, despite the intervention in the area of various poverty reduction government programs has been extensive.In order to improve the quality of life of the local population, in 2010 teachers from the Intercultural University of Veracruz created an alternative market project – popularly known as “The[This/the initiative] Project” – as a tool to boost the local economy, promote the circulation of goods (which had no buyers due to the absence of conventional money in the place), and thus better address the prevailing economic crisis..The Tumin is a voucher that is complementary to the peso, the Mexican currency. It seeks to support the family income serving as a means of facilitating the development of an alternative exchange dynamic: the barter (which actually used to be the traditional exchange system in the region). It is inspired, as well, by thousands of the so-called “alternative currencies” that have existed in the world for several decades – all with the aim of reducing external dependence and strengthening local autonomies. But particularly, the design of the[This/the initiative] Project was widely supported and inspired by the[This/the initiative] , which has been in operation from Mexico City since 1996 promoting alternative barter markets (of products and services) all over the country.Vouchers are used to exchange goods with value equal to (but not worth) 1 Mexican Peso ($ 0.08 USD approx.), backed up by the goods and services offered by its partners, which are listed in a directory so that its members can compromise to support each other. A coordinating team, which is rotatory (ensuring the equitable representation of and responsibilisation of all of the members) monitors and evaluates the project. It is made up of Commissions (education, communication, etc.) that are in charge of organizing various issues related to the project, ensuring its integrative character.In an interview with the creator of [This/the initiative], X, he stressed the importance of such projects to solve the problems caused by the lack of conventional money.The current economic model does not offer a solution to the problems of poverty, but reproduces them. We must create an option that represents an alternative to the current economy, which creates immense external dependence. Start creating it from the children, through an education that questions what is produced locally and what is missing, considering that the local production, however, is never enough. We need a trans-generational approach to transcend the economic dependence that creates scarcity, poverty. To exit the well we must stop digging.The prototype alternative market model promoted by[This/the initiative] and that inspired the[This/the initiative] Project, comprises, according to Luis Lopezllera’s “Money is not enough, what to do?” Manual (2008), the integration of an alternative economic system that includes at least the following:1. The granting of memberships for partners.

    2. The signing of a letter of commitment agreed on the rules of the exchange.

    3. The creation of a user directory based on the planning of a consumer basket (that defines what kind of partners are needed, including foreign partners, if the locals cannot fulfil the need).

    4. The training in person and/or through a brief Operation Manual.

    5. The provision of the barter/exchange vouchers to the partners.

    6. The creation of a regular newsletter that accompanies and strengthens the project.

    7. The creation and distribution of educational and publicizing materials.

    8. The establishment of a promotional team (volunteers).

    9. The organization of regular meetings for the project’s development.

    10. The organization of decisional deliberative assemblies of associated partners (decentralization).

    11. The establishment of cellular stores for the public (that link together, give certainty, and facilitate the buying of products for those who cannot attend the market’s meetings because of logistical problems).

    12. The organization of local fairs, private or public, gatherings, visits, courses, and workshops (introductory lectures and retreats).

    13. The organization of regional or national meetings (with similar networks).

    14. The use of advanced communication and dissemination means.

    15. The procurement of infrastructure and support resources (property for the shop and office, meeting room, exhibition room, furniture, telephone, computer, projector, transportation, support fund, etc.).

    Based on this structure, the[This/the initiative] Project’s model was organized as follows:

    1. A General Assembly takes place every two months among the partners. Attendance is not mandatory and the participation of representatives of the partners is accepted in cases where they cannot attend. At the end of these assemblies, demonstrative barter markets are mounted for people to learn to use the Tumin. Partners can prepare their participation in the Assembly through subgroup meetings as required. The Assembly, which has (as one of its objectives) the constant evaluation of the project, is made up of Commissions that are in charge of organizing various issues related to the[This/the initiative] Project. Thus, there are Commissions on Education (to teach children new economic values such as solidarity), Communication (broadcasting the project), Distribution (which dispenses the Tumin), etc.

    Respondents said that, at the moment, not all of the Commissions were working properly and participation was being low. However, proposals would be raised regarding this problem in the next Assembly.

    2. To attract members to the[This/the initiative] Project, the abovementioned coordination identifies people from the community who could enrich the diversity of products and services offered in the association’s directory (x), and presents them with a document on regulations (x), which explains:

    a. That the[This/the initiative] Project seeks to promote an alternative market to the capitalist. One where mutual aid, solidarity, cooperation, community, and autonomy prevail.

    b. That the [This/the initiative] Project is a sealed and numbered voucher used to exchange goods with value equal to (but not worth) 1 Mexican Peso ($ 0.08 USD approx.), backed up by the goods and services offered by its partners.

    c. That the headquarters of the organization is in the Tumin’s House, a shop within the same town that also redistributes products from the partners accepting payments up to 100% in Tumin, ensuring the partners that there is always a place to spend their vouchers. A place that enhances their interaction and promotes their products (partners have to contribute with 5% of their profit to the Tumin’s House to cover administrative costs).

    d. That there is a magazine (called “Kgnosi” and coordinated by the Human Rights Network), which allows the exchange of information and promotion related to the[This/the initiative] Project’s Market. The journal’s contents are varied but cases of self-managed social organizations and reports on participants in the Project prevail. The back always includes a classified section to promote the businesses of the partners.

    e. That the deal proposed for this purpose is to offer them 500 free initial Tumins to encourage people to start using the voucher, in exchange for a their commitment to:

    -Register as Tumin partners offering either a product or a service to the barter community.

    -Help other partners (giving them preference in consumption and offering better prices to them than to the general public).

    -Stay informed about the the[This/the initiative] Project’s organization.

    -Support the Tumin’s House (buying, attending, etc.).

    -Receive at least 10% of the payment for their products/services in Tumin ensuring that other partners do the same and the Tumin circulates.

    Note: Irene Castellanos, current Treasurer of the project, said that one of the challenges they face is that many people become associates only because of the attractiveness of receiving 500 free Tumins but once they spend them they don’t get involved in its market anymore. Because of that, Tumin’s promoters have created a new dynamic in which participants are first delivered 50 Tumins only, to begin exchange activities using the voucher. If this works and they manage to spend 50 Tumins and receive from another partner (or anyone for that matter) another 50 Tumins in exchange for their products or services, the promoters give them another 500 Tumins and a poster, canvas, or credentials showing their businesses’ participation in the Tumin’s market. Informal interviews with some partners suggested that there are people who apparently increase the price of products in order to comply with their compromise of receiving 10% in Tumin and others instead of using it, keeping it, or accumulating it.

    3. The above mentioned directory lists all the goods and services whose purchase accepts payment with Tumin (food, carpentry, tourism, education services, etc.). These businesses are also promoted through the magazine mentioned in subsection “d” of the previous point. The diversity of the partners is a crucial factor, because it allows a balance between the needs and the supply (says the current coordinator of the[This/the initiative] Project).

    4. The coordinating team (the coordinator and the promoters), that is elected and governed by the General Assembly, is in charge of printing the vouchers – with their own resources – and managing their distribution. It needs to ensure a balance in its production, that is, not have too many Tumins circulating because there is insufficient production of goods – but not too little either because merchandise can get stuck. Both X and X argue that to produce Tumins is cheaper than to produce Mexican Pesos, that they are of a recyclable material, and that they sustain themselves because they don’t depend on values imposed from outside. Project promoters do not charge for their services, and neither do they include them in the trading scheme, but themselves participate as partners with the sale of any other items.

    5. The community contributes with volunteer work (e.g. the promoters), the payment and collection of Tumins, with facilities for holding the assemblies, with a space for Tumin’s House, with 5% of the value of the partners’ products sold at the Tumin’s House to cover administrative costs, with their participation in assemblies and other meetings, and with the payment of the shop’s (the Tumin’s house’s) staff (which is currently made by a group of teachers).

    Some of the challenges facing the project because of its relative novelty:

    a. Distrust and little solidarity among the participant population.

    The confidence of the people is relevant to the extent that it is what gives value to the vouchers. The lack of it can cause the failure of the project.

    b. Fear of people to participate.

    In 2011, the Bank of Mexico sued the[This/the initiative] Project’s creators who allege they were blamed for challenging the State’s monopoly on emission of currencies in the country (x). Litigation proceedings have made minimal progress due to lack of legal grounding. Nonetheless, the involvement of the Bank was enough to dissuade the Intercultural University of Veracruz from supporting its Tumin-associated professors. However, the news spread rapidly because of which there was an increase in interest of foreign people and institutions. This diffusion outside is today intentionally fostered by the partners because it serves as a protection against possible threats from abroad for the development of this project. However, some local people are still afraid of the consequences their participation might carry.

    c. Lack of social participation (in the organization and use of Tumin).

    Reason for this lack of participants’ ownership of the project is the existing social divisiveness but also (in the words of X, Co- founder of the[This/the initiative] Project), the dependence created by the “welfarism” of various government programs operating in the region, and the mistrust created in people by the corruption that permeates them. However, it was also recognized that people could be unclear on how to participate, because of which, in a meeting witnessed during the field study, it was decided to elaborate a list of their concrete needs (financial or organizational) to show people means for supporting the project.

    d. Lack of support, which causes the project to be designed, in the words of X, “as it can” be done (i.e. simple to use/understand), and not “how it should” be done. That is, it develops as the budget allows it without any risk, so that people have certainty.

     

    • Insights into and Recommendations (R10) for the schools program’s Self-sustainability

    Regarding the Alternative Economy Scheme:

    X, creator of[This/the initiative] , shared a key reflection for the schools program:

    On what are the Night Schools’ children going to live when they grow up? What is the economy in which these children are being educated about? Where does this education lead them?….We must create an option that represents an alternative to the current economy, which creates immense external dependence. Start creating it from the children, through an education that questions what is produced locally and what is missing, considering that the local production, however, is never enough. We need a trans-generational approach to transcend the economic dependence that creates scarcity, poverty. To exit the well we must stop digging….The Children’s Parliament is itself a model for the exchange of ideas. This could be the basis for the exchange of other valuables (knowledge, things… it would be necessary to define what, from a participatory assessment of what is in the region in terms of credits of trust, alienation. Namely: to go from parliamentarianism to economy with something that replaces money – or complements it – being careful not to replicate the criticized existing schemes).

    An alternative economic model could complement the[This/the initiative] ‘s initiatives to curb migration and promote autonomy, depending less on foreign aid. Also, it could reinforce the[This/the initiative] ‘s beneficiaries’ organization and participation schemes, including the Night Schools, supporting, for example, the barter of teaching and learning materials, and complementing, perhaps, teachers’ salaries with partial payments in kind or similar measures.

    One of the problems facing the initiatives of the[This/the initiative] is the classism derived from the Hindu caste system. While in its practices the[This/the initiative] promotes overcoming these boundaries between groups, an alternative market project could provide new reasons for people to transcend these discriminatory barriers and find themselves as partners of a joint project. That happened in Espinal, where some partners have stated that these projects have infringed social barriers by different people sitting in one same place who are not used to sharing, because they are now part of the same organization.

    With a well-planned strategy, the introduction of a barter/exchange system with a tool similar to that used in the[This/the initiative] Project could encourage the circulation and benefits obtained from the products currently manufactured by the[This/the initiative] (in general: solar lanterns, sanitary napkins, etc., or by the schools program in particular: the wooden toys produced by the program’s children, etc.).

    The creators of the[This/the initiative] Project have observed that, without knowing why, most of its participants are women. This could be considered in the event that the[This/the initiative] would like to incorporate a similar system, either through its women’s association, or the Night Schools, in which mainly women are involved too.

    An alternative market system like the Tumin relies primarily on a capital which[This/the initiative] already possesses to a great extent, as perceived in the interviews with its beneficiaries: trust. The extensive experience and impact that the[This/the initiative] has had with the participants of its initiatives has created in them a high level of confidence in the Organization and their ownership of the projects, both of which are central elements (as became evident in our visit to Espinal and from our talk with the creator of[This/the initiative] ’s initiatives) for the success of a project that encourages the creation of unconventional economic means such as the barters.

    R10: The[This/the initiative] Project’s model is not intended to be scalable, but the local autonomous economy model that promotes solidarity and local production is. Retrieving experience from the[This/the initiative] Project and[This/the initiative] ’s initiatives (or from any other of the many thousands of alternative currencies – economies – that today are being multiplied in the world) can become a tool to reinforce the self-sustainability in the implementation, and therefore the scope, of the programs undertaken by the[This/the initiative] , by attacking the roots of dependency with a systemic, integral perspective (like the one proposed by[This/the initiative] Foundation).

     

    • [This/the initiative] could detect exchangeable value goods (products or services, existing or potential, between members of the[This/the initiative] or its beneficiaries) with which an exchange network can be created to complement, rather than replace, the use of the already scarce rupees circulating in the region, strengthening the social organization and all issues arising from a new economy based on trust and less dependent on the outside.

     

    • Articulates different initiatives (e.g. people from the craft program receive tourists from the eco-tourism program and incentivize the territorial management organization; the renewable energy program provides energy to the Telecenters; the education program supports health prevention participative activities and environmental endeavours, etc.)

     

    • [This/the initiative] has established an Area of Institutional Integration that is responsible for linking the organization’s diverse programs and determining institutional articulations and policies (so that they can share their human, infrastructural, financial, and other resources)…

     

    • El[Esta/la iniciativa] es un espacio virtual y real donde se hacen intercambios de servicios por servicios utilizando el tiempo como moneda social.

    El[Esta/la iniciativa] fue creado en 2011 como medida para ayudar a recuperar el tejido social de la región, tan lastimado por la inseguridad, promoviendo la confianza y la creación de redes de amistad y cooperación. El proyecto además busca atender los problemas causados por la falta de dinero convencional, proponiendo una moneda de intercambio alternativa (el tiempo) que evita a la comunidad participante la necesidad de gastar el poco dinero con el que cuenta, en tanto sea capaz de identificar y atender las necesidades de sus miembros mediante el intercambio de servicios valorados en horas tiempo. La dinámica consiste en que todos los participantes toman el rol de inversores de tiempo que registran aquellos servicios que pueden ofrecer (oferta) y aquellos que les gustaría poder recibir (demanda) y les intercambian según necesidad, registrando el número de  horas empleadas en cada transacción en su cuenta del banco del tiempo — de manera que el crédito adquirido por la oferta de servicios pueda ser utilizado para atender futuras necesidades. Estos servicios pueden ir desde la impartición de clases; el cuidado de espacios, plantas o animales; la solución de problemas técnicos; la cocina; el transporte a algún destino, etc. Lo importante, es que las ofertas que registren los inversores respondan a necesidades reales de su comunidad, de manera que la economía alternativa que están formando sea responsiva e integral. Para ello el rol del  coordinador (conocido como agente de tiempo) como observador de la complementariedad oferta-demanda es crucial. También lo es el que éste organice frecuentes encuentros entre los miembros para que éstos puedan conocerse, visualizar colaboraciones potenciales, y empezar a generar confianza entre sí. Estos eventos también sirven para sensibilizarles sobre la importancia del proyecto y las necesidades para su desarrollo.

    Si bien otrora el intercambio de servicios se efectuaba con la mediación del agente de tiempo (al que se le enviaban correos solicitando  su ayuda para formalizar acuerdos), hoy en día el proceso se lleva a cabo directamente en  una página de internet con diseño especial para bancos de tiempo, en la que aparece la lista de los servicios tanto ofrecidos como solicitados, y a través de la cual los inversores hacen sus transacciones y administran sus cuentas de tiempo.

    Como uno de los retos que enfrentan este tipo de iniciativas es que dependen de la tan socavada confianza entre la gente, los agentes de tiempo formulan un reglamento que platican a detalle con los nuevos miembros en el momento de su incorporación, en el que les piden, por ejemplo, informen  a sus clientes si alguna vez no podrán cumplir con el trabajo que acordaron, para evitar falle la red completa. Además, la página del banco del tiempo no sólo ayuda a registrar los movimientos de forma transparente (generando confianza). También cuenta con un sistema de calificaciones para los usuarios (comentarios, estrellas) que permiten identificar los nodos (miembros) de la red que pudiesen estar causando problemas.

     

    • complementariedad oferta-demanda es crucial.

     

    • Un banco de tiempo, que es una versión de lo que se conoce como monedas alternativas, las cuales han sido utilizadas por distintas comunidades u organizaciones como estrategias para regenerar o mejorar las relaciones entre sus miembros; facilitar su intercambio de bienes y servicios y sus dinámicas de cooperación en general; compensar su falta de acceso a dinero convencional; reducir su dependencia a recursos externos; y/o apoyar mecanismos de auto-organización alternativos. El principio básico de los bancos de tiempo, según uno de sus promotores, podría resumirse en que: “Al unirse a un banco de tiempo, las personas están de acuerdo en participar en un sistema que implica ganar y gastar créditos de tiempo. Cuando pasan una hora en una actividad que ayuda a los demás, ellos reciben un crédito de tiempo. Cuando necesitan ayuda de otros, pueden utilizar los créditos de tiempo que han acumulado”(x). Hoy, los bancos de tiempo operan en alrededor de 50 países y su modelo ha sido adaptado para proyectos de salud pública,  de intercambio de conocimientos especializados, de cohesión comunitaria e intercultural, de permacultura, de economía local, de apoyo a grupos vulnerables (como desempleados, jubilados y jóvenes reclusos), e incluso de cooperación entre empresas u otras organizaciones para el aprovechamiento de recursos escasos o sub-utilizados (x). El objetivo común es el uso de la moneda-tiempo como instrumento para motivar y potenciar las relaciones de intercambio entre los miembros de una comunidad u organización, y con ello fortalecer la capacidad de esta última para satisfacer de forma más efectiva sus propias necesidades. Por ello su circulación suele ser administrada por un broker o coordinador de red. Éste documenta, analiza y promueve los intercambios a partir de las ofertas y demandas señaladas por los miembros participantes (generalmente a través de un sitio web).  Como se trata de cubrir necesidades reales, la relación entre oferta y demanda es cuidadosamente vigilada tanto en el primer registro de los participantes, como a lo largo del proceso de conformación de la red de cooperación…

     

    • A dicho éxito del proyecto ha ayudado la práctica de re-invertir todas las ganancias. También le ha servido el hecho de que sus promotores aceptan y fomentan, además del pago con dinero convencional, la práctica del trueque con los clientes (a quienes prefieren llamar visitantes). A la fecha este sistema les ha permitido intercambiar noches de hospedaje por publicidad, paneles solares, botellas de alcohol, e incluso trabajo – todo ello tras discutir la conveniencia para ambas partes de forma directa. Esta última modalidad de intercambio, el trabajo, es la única que no ha funcionado bien, pues al parecer ha habido mucho abuso por parte de los visitantes (que no trabajan lo prometido o se quedan más de lo acordado, por ejemplo). El trueque permite además que el[Esta/la iniciativa] pueda cumplir mejor con su misión de apoyar los proyectos personales de los visitantes, que son de distinta índole (retirados, mochileros, tesistas).

     

    • Trueques:

    Publicidad en una revista (anuncio) por noches de hospedaje.

    paneles solares

    varias botellas de alcohol

    trabajo por hospedaje (como tesistas o gente con proyectos o así) -que llaman voluntarios (ej. Les enseña a administrar lugar a cambio de que lo cuiden un fin de semana y ella se vaya de vacaciones).

     

    • Para facilitar la venta de los árboles fomentan dos tipos de colaboración que aseguran la integridad del proyecto y con ella su mayor proyección y atractivo sin la necesidad de invertir recursos extra:

    Colaboración estrecha y de mutuo beneficio con otras Sociedades Anónimas (S.A.):

    -Una ofrece paseos de integración, retiros y pláticas a la medida para empresas (Coca Cola, El Metro, Coppel, etc), lo que le sirve a [Esta/la iniciativa] para hacerse de recursos extra y publicidad.

    -Otra, Hacienda X (desde 1999), ofrece alojamiento (hotel y campamentos); visitas culturales al Museo de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz y al Museo de los Volcanes, al laberinto inglés, al parque de los venados, las águilas y las serpientes acariciables; instalaciones de deportes extremos como la tirolesa. Todos estos servicios y más están disponibles gratuitamente a los clientes de [Esta/la iniciativa]. Además, la Hacienda le envía sus clientes a éste último en visitas diarias a cambio de lo cual éste les regala pequeños árboles, les ofrece pláticas sobre manejo sustentable de los bosques y paseos por el vivero y el bosque.

    -Otra más organiza visitas escolares que son reconocidas por la Secretaría de Educación Pública, pues están diseñadas de manera tal que sirvan para reforzar la enseñanza de materias del plan de estudios como ciencias, educación ambiental (manejo de basura, aprovechamiento del agua de lluvia, etc), civismo, etc. Estas visitas (van como 20 escuelas al día) tienen un costo de$140 pesos por alumno y representan un ingreso extra para [Esta/la iniciativa], quien a cambio obsequia cupones de descuento en árboles de navidad para cada alumno, un árbol pequeño del vivero y un certificado de participación. Aunque esta colaboración le es redituable a [Esta/la iniciativa] en términos financieros y de publicidad, un reto que tiene que vencer para asegurar un mayor impacto de su objetivo de sensibilización ambiental es la significativa apatía que parece caracterizar a buena parte de los alumnos y maestros que les visitan (una tercera parte según nuestra fuente).

    Colaboraciones de mutuo beneficio con la población local:

    -[Esta/la iniciativa] provee las instalaciones para un Bazar Navideño que da oportunidad a comerciantes durante la temporada alta de vender sus productos — a quienes selecciona en función de garantizar la diversidad en la oferta de productos y con ello, el mayor atractivo del bazar. Aunque la renta que [Esta/la iniciativa] recibe de éstos sólo le alcanza para mantener el lugar y no le representa ninguna ganancia monetaria, le sirve para hacer su lugar de venta de árboles más atractivo a gente que viene de otras partes del país.

    -Lo mismo sucede con el Mercado de comida navideño, en cuyo casi ni siquiera se le cobra renta a los vendedores, pues la mayoría son locales.

    -[Esta/la iniciativa] da permiso a pepenadores locales de recoger y aprovechar la basura, lo que le ayuda a su vez a mantener sus instalaciones limpias.

    -También da permiso a los pastores locales de traer sus borregos a pastar, lo que a [Esta/la iniciativa] le sirve para que éstos corten el pasto y le abonen.

     

    • Economía solidaria propósito explícito (a diferencia del trueque por ejemplo) es Cambiar relaciones de poder

    •Status quo vs Economía Solidaria

     

    • Actualmente, los proyectos que se adoptan en [Esta/la iniciativa] son elegidos por los dueños. Tienen pensado, a futuro, formar un comité de las cabezas de proyecto para considerar sus opiniones. Se eligen proyectos (a) que construyan “bienestar integral en armonía con el medio ambiente, arte y cultura y tecnología”, (b) que sean complementarios y se refuercen entre sí, y (c) que sean autosustentables en términos financieros. Los dueños consideran que la competencia es sana y no prometen exclusividad a ningún proyecto (visión que contrasta con la de modelos, como los de las economías alternativas, que argumentan que la diversidad y complementariedad, más que la competencia, son fuentes de sustentabilidad.) Los proyectos tienen un tiempo de gracia para establecerse y luego tienen que comenzar a dar resultados o renegociar los términos.

    En segundo lugar, se ofrece a los clientes una diversidad de actividades de forma que se aumenten los rendimientos de su visita: además de hacer algún deporte, pueden tomar un taller de apicultura, visitar el mariposario, comer en el restaurante y llevar a su perro a entrenar

     

    • While the study centered on the[This/the initiative] Project and the[This/the initiative] was explored only to complement its information, both initiatives’ central objective is reducing their communities’ dependency on the peso-based national economy, which is not guaranteeing that resources flow into their localities, pushing their inhabitants to migrate or live in poverty. By capitalizing on and promoting social trust and solidarity, the final aim of their project is to enhance social cohesion as the basis for improving the lives of the communities, which made these two cases of great help for exploring the significance and means for self-sufficiency.

     

    • ENTRE PROYECTOS DE PROYECTO:

    Experiencia con Huerto X: que no querían abejas, ni gimnasio, ni formato de colaboración que les proponían, ni querían compartir su conocimiento con huerto-competencia de al lado

    Caso temazcal-abejas. Temazcal quiere miel pero abejas no quieren temazcal, porqué se los venderían más barato (constraint): NOTA: Propusimos moneda alternativa resuelve esto

    La falta de garantes de exclusividad, de capacidad de incidencia en la toma de decisiones relativas al modelo y a su operación y de compatibilidad de visiones han sido ya causantes del abandono de uno de los proyectos socios. Condiciones que pudiesen representar un reto para la efectiva colaboración con futuros proyectos.

     

    • El lugar se ubica en una región rural con más de 50% de la población en condición de pobreza y más del 15% en la de extrema pobreza según cifras del 201⁠0. Aunque el objetivo de El[Esta/la iniciativa] no es transformar las condiciones socioeconómicas de este lugar, sus creadores están conscientes de que es importante evitar acaparar las oportunidades económicas de la zona. Por ello, y quizá también porque al negocio le resulta más redituable, no les ha interesado ser completamente auto-sustentables en alimentos, los cuales compran en buena parte de sus vecinos. En este mismo sentido se han hecho intentos por establecer colaboraciones con los habitantes de la localidad para beneficio mutuo, ofreciéndoles acceso a su clientela a para vender sus productos o servicios (paseos a caballo, donas, etc), lo cual a ellos conviene también por ser un atractivo para los visitantes. Estas colaboraciones al parecer no han prosperado. Además de aparentes barreras socio-culturales y de género (la dueña del[Esta/la iniciativa] es una mujer y esta es una región conservadora), no se sabe bien qué ha impedido el interés de la comunidad para colaborar con este proyecto.  Incluso en alguna ocasión una pobladora local se negó a recibirles un grupo de gallinas que le ofrecieron a condición de que después le vendieran a El[Esta/la iniciativa] sus productos.

     

    • However, increasing people’s participation is difficult especially in contexts where communities are habituated to be passive beneficiaries of public programs and incentives, and/or where their people are divided by socio-economical or, for example, racial barriers.

     

    • To stimulate it, both the [This/the initiative] Project and the[This/the initiative] Network are promoting the use of alternative currencies that aim at reducing their communities’ dependency on the peso-based national economy, which is not guaranteeing that resources flow into their localities, pushing their inhabitants to migrate or live in poverty. Currencies that are expected to boost the local economy, promoting the circulation of goods and services which either stopped being produced as a (most probably unintended) consequence of external subsidies, or had no buyers due to the absence of conventional money in the place. Ultimately, the intention of these alternative market systems is to create incentives and means for solidarity and participation among people in order to solve their communities’ problems: defining and addressing what they are lacking and what their members can provide for resolving them. Moreover, they have noted that these non-monetary inputs, which value is backed up by the same goods and services offered by the participant partners, constitute a significant proportion of the resources needed for the implementation of other development programs with the communities.

     

    • Fostering the initiatives’ beneficiaries production of local goods and services through entrepreneurial or cooperative schemes which surpluses can be reinvested in their own communities (and that might be supported with local barter systems)

     

    • Creating local alternative currencies that complement the mainstream ones and make them more dispensable (time banks, digital or paper currencies, etc.)

     

    • Establishing or improving local barter systems that promote local producers addressing local needs and are facilitated by alternative currencies which value is only recognized locally, and thus give reasons for people to cooperate, despite their differences

     

    • some of the recommended strategies contained in the Strategic Plan for [This/the initiative]’s sustainability and scalability are:
      • The formation of a network of multipliers.
      • The expansion of communication tools.
      • The inter-institutional exchange of methodological processes of expansion.
      • The transfer, dissemination, and replication of environmental technologies.
      • The cooperation with the public and private sector.
      • The methodological reorientation to ensure a greater interaction with public policies and both public and private institutions, identifying common demands and possible cooperation initiatives, using information technologies for gaining scale.

 

  • [This/the initiative] is an alternative market created so that elderly farmers from the Sanggang and Baoshi villages of Hebei Province (China) can earn extra income through the direct sale of the remaining products of their subsistence economies to consumers in the city of Beijing. Eggs, chickens, fruits, etc., products that do not require any type of special production and that generally do not have buyers within their communities because they are similar to those generated by the neighbours.