Empty building ready to be refurbished

Emilio Helguera, Rubén Hernández, Lilia – La Fábrica, a space for creativity and recreation

La Fábrica is located in an impoverished neighborhood in Lagos de Moreno, where there are little opportunities for young people to escape drug and alcohol consumption. We propose to establish a recreational and creative space, La Fábrica, by refurbishing the current facilities that have been abandoned for the last 10 years. The actions that we are pursuing started with the installation of drip irrigation systems in two plots that are now producing crops throughout the year that we distribute for free among the neighbors. Our next step is to adequate enclosed spaces that will be used to teach workshops to help train the younger population in crafts that they may use to improve their financial situation and to keep them away from drug trafficking. A small restaurant showcasing our produce and local fare will be operated by the neighbors. In this stage we are particularly interested in involving women. We will teach them and ourselves how to make solar stoves to be used at home and the restaurant. The spaces will be energized by solar panels and the goal is to promote social development at the local level.

Our objective is to create a community center to boost the local economy through activities pertaining to environmental protection, sustainable agriculture, science, technology and the arts. The center is located in an economically depressed neighborhood colloquially known as “The Terror” due to drugs consumption and robbery. We will offer training on sustainable agricultural projects to contribute to the community’s subsistence with local produce while imparting technical knowledge that the neighbors can use to become economically productive.

My partners Emilio Helguera, Rubén Hernández, Lilia García Azpeitia and I are fully committed to this project. This effort has taught all of us that it is possible to improve our environment by volunteering time, knowledge and physical work. A new appreciation for a clean livable space has developed in the last few months.

In order to prove to the community that our goal was to become part of them, we needed to find an activity that we could share through volunteering time and that would benefit all of us. The most tangible project was to install a drip irrigation system such that we could make use of our property in a productive way. We needed to install an immersion pump in an existing non-operating well. The water from the well is now pumped up to a water reservoir from which, through gravity we irrigate our plots. It has been an enormous success and we have been able to work the land through rotating crops for most of the year.

The funds will be used to refurbish the current facilities where a restaurant and a multifunctional space will be used to instruct workshops, as well as a small gallery offering concerts, theater, art and science exhibits and movie projections. Specifically, we will use the money to buy and install solar panels to power this space. Any remaining funds will be used to lay a new polished-cement flooring, walls, windows and the kitchen facilities. The space will include a rain water collection system to be used primarily for the restroom facilities and if possible to water a new herb garden that we plan to grow next to the kitchen.

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