PlANCHALOMA HAS A CHILDREN CARE CENTER
A strong belief on children’s integral development, especially in rural areas, motivates Nahuel to invest in projects that generates real transformations at local community level.
Such is the case of the construction, carried out in 2016, of the Children Care Center «Vicente León», located in the Province of Cotopaxi, Parish of Toacaso and Community of Planchaloma.
Nahuel’s intervention succeeded in consolidating the commitment of the leaders and members of the community, who guaranteed an efficient community contribution throughout the construction process.
The members of the community have received strategic training on «learning by doing», lectured by the architect Oswaldo Enríquez, project’s designer and builder. Its conception is framed in Community Development and in an attainable utopia of social acupuncture, by which small changes could bring great transformations.
We are convinced that the lasting of this Care Center is warranted by the indefinite assignment of the land, as well as the construction, that will be for a permanent and exclusive usage by children of the community and others arriving from surrounding areas.
The community authorities along with all members of the community subscribed a public deed, which was afterwards legalized and registered in the local government dependencies.
In these peasant communities, indigenous women are responsible for managing health, food, family education, care and development of children. They are burdened with responsibilities, as they also help men in the field, cultivate and raise small animals to meet the nutritional needs of the family. All this leads to an unconscious mistreatment of their children who are carried behind their backs the whole day and suffering the consequences of the Andean climate. In fact, the community of Planchaloma is located at 3,000 m altitude in the Ecuadorian sierra.
With its particular design, the planned building offers a very pleasant, sheltered and safe space, which prevents children from being exposed to the inclement weather of the moor. The used system of bioclimatic architecture and alternative technologies avoids the diseases that permanently affect children’s health, reducing at the meantime their physical, intellectual and emotional development.
Although the community participates with unskilled labor to the construction of the care center, its work plays a leading role in this project. Throughout the construction process, the community work was permanent according to a structured calendar. In stages that demanded a greater community participation there were implemented the «mingas», a practice of ancient cultures in Ecuador.
The community active participation is not only the fulfillment of a counterpart, it is the developed consciousness, the need and concern of the indigenous people, what has led them to the notion of belonging and ownership … «this project belongs to the community and it is mine because I belong to the community»
Is from projects of this kind that Nahuel gains the necessary experience to develop new infrastructure in remote areas of Ecuador, with the awareness that the joint effort with the local community will continue helping their children, grandchildren and future generations.
This community based project is socially designed as an example of urban, communitarian and local development of Ecuadorian towns.