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Barrios que Cuidan
Independencia - Lima, Peru
image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Location:
Independencia - Lima, Peru
Category:
meeting place
Phase:
construction preparation
Updated:
30 December 2022
The aim is to recognize and strengthen the work of women in popular barrios by evolving the model of the Common Pot into a Productive Kitchen, where they, in addition to caring for the food of their neighbors, can learn and practice trades and thus continue to break the established gender roles, ensure the sustainability of this care space and become active leaders in the improvement of their communities.
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Introduction
Since the 1940s, the 'popular city' of Lima has been built progressively and in a self-managed manner. Here, historically, women have made important contributions to ‘barrio’ care through grassroots organizations, but their roles have been made invisible.

Recently, the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted problems that were already present: substandard housing, lack of public space and care services. In addition, the health and economic crisis triggered a food crisis. This is where the importance of the ‘Popular Kitchens’ and the ‘Common Pots’ became visible, the latter resurfacing in this context of emergency with hardly any resources. Both organizations of mutual support, affection and shelter, are led by women who, on a voluntary basis, prepare and serve food at low cost, ensuring food security for families. Despite their relevance, few efforts have been made to provide significant and comprehensive support to these organizations.

The project ‘Barrios que Cuidan’ was born at the end of 2020, identifying and promoting a barrio care network where the role of women is made visible, valued and strengthened and allows the consolidation of their facilities and public spaces within an integral vision of the territory. It is proposed, as a pilot, to evolve the model of the ‘Common Pots’ to ‘Productive Kitchens’ where women, in addition to cooking, can learn and practice trades, in a space of cohesion and community decision making, becoming catalytic places for the barrio.
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Impact
Caring is an essential act for life, regardless of gender and age. 'Barrios que Cuidan' proposes a change of urban paradigm from the periphery of the city, which can be replicated in different areas whose realities are shared by thousands of families.

The proposal is a process: the ‘Common Pot’ is the emergency response that gives way to the collective over the individual, assuming food as a problem for everyone. The ‘Popular Kitchen’ is the response of recovery where the service is dignified within a collective equipment. The ‘Productive Kitchen’ is proposed as the response of transformation because here the role of women in barrio care is valued and promoted and tools are sought to achieve sustainability. 

This evolution of the model will generate that the space goes beyond food survival and mutual support and points towards the future, where women (migrants, low-income and low educational levels, single mothers, etc.) can also be trained and strengthen their capacities: following training cycles to improve their food service; psychological support to improve their self-esteem and leadership skills; trade courses that provide them with tools to enter the labor market. 

Three quantifiable lines are proposed for this care equipment: maintenance of the infrastructure, measurable with the generation of sufficient income to cover the required expenses; reinforcement of the organization, with an increase in the number of members and thus the number of daily rations; and emotional strengthening, with more women exercising leadership roles in the barrio.
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Core team

The ongoing process is supported by shared responsibilities where the different actors that make up the team, from their experiences and in a horizontal manner, have been proposing activities and strategic meetings to give continuity to the project and add new approaches and allies.  

The neighbors and leaders of the ‘Señor de los Milagros Barrio’ in Independencia, who are notoriously involved in the improvement of their neighborhood, together with the organized women of the ‘Common Pot’, have been providing the necessary spaces and attendance for the workshops and meetings organized. 

The Anticovid-19 Independencia Community Committee, made up of social leaders, assumes a bridging role between the barrio organizations and the Municipality, working on the promotion of integral health. 

The architects and sociologists of 'Espacio Común', an expert association in urban transformation and participatory processes in the popular city, joins in 2020 from the territorial approach to the work that the Committee had been doing in the ‘barrio’. 

In 2021, the link with Señor de los Milagros was made through a participatory process with the community that allowed to establish networks of trust and set common objectives. Thus, the transformation of the barrio's ‘Common Pot’ was considered a priority.

Since this year, the project has been part of the 'Valora Nuestro Barrio' initiative of the College of Architects of Peru, which seeks to link construction companies to social improvement projects in order to obtain the necessary materials and tools.

Community of Señor de los Milagros AntiCOVID-19 Committee Technical Team

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Image gallery
Señor de los Milagros is the barrio where the Barrios que Cuidan project is being developed. It is located on the slopes of the hills on the outskirts of Lima.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Original state of the infrastructure where the Common Pot of Señor de los Milagros began to operate at the beginning of the pandemic.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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The project was born at the end of 2020 when the technical team joined, from a territorial approach, the work being carried out by the Anticovid-19 Community Committee of Independencia

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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In the middle of 2021, a participatory process began with the Señor de los Milagros community, which was heavily involved in the improvement of their neighborhood, allowing them to establish networks of trust and set common objectives.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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The workshops with neighbors used methodologies that encourage imagination to think of a possible future of a barrio that is inclusive and for the whole community.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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As part of the process, game days were organized with children to playfully imagine possible transformations in the public space.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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After many workshops on diagnosis, vision and strategies, the transformation of the central park and the Communal Building where the Common Pot operates were considered. The latter as a priority project to intervene due to its relevance.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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The meetings in the public space were called by the community and were always attended by a large number of people.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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To see how the imagined ideas could be materialized, models are fundamental because they allow us to feel, even on a small scale, how the space is transformed.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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A public presentation event was held with the presence of the mayor of Independencia, councilors of the Municipality of Lima and NGO representatives, to show the project and continue the search for allies.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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As part of the process of seeking funding, various NGO representatives have been invited to meet the project and the women who are part of the Common Pot.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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This year, meetings are being arranged with different public and private institutions to continue with the visualization of the project and to track different means of financing for the implementation of the infrastructure.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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The Common Pot uses a small room that used to be an old medicine cabinet. Next to it, a space unused due to structural failures. The women have already been appropriating the space and making extensions to it.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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In the middle of this year, a socio-spatial investigation of the Common Pot began in order to continue to visualize the work of the women of the barrio.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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The knowledge acquired in the practice of cooking, as the most elementary of daily life, with its constancy, links and transmissions between generations that cross it, takes on a relevant role.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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In the Common Pot, the bonds between people who know each other in order to cooperate for the same purpose are strengthened, addressing conflicts and the tactics they use to manage them; the leadership roles that are being consolidated or the lessons lear

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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The Common Pot ends up being a place to be, given the difficulties of creating a space for them in their own precarious and overcrowded homes, they have created a "room of their own" outside the domestic space.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Encounters with other women who come to pick up lunches or sit down to eat are fleeting moments, where conversations and movements give meaning to these spaces and generate a sense of belonging.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Stories of women who carry out the Common Pot and the logics of the daily tasks they perform in these spaces of care.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Technical drawings
A historical review of the role of women in the construction of the popular city of Lima.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Proposed Care Network for the Señor de los Milagros barrio.

image: Espacio Común | © all rights reserved
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Pilot Project - Productive Kitchen

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Strategies for connection

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Target image of the completed building after completion of both construction stages.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Scale model

image: Espacio Común | © all rights reserved
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Current condition of the Common Pot.

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Stage 1 of the Comedor Productivo (expected to be built in 2023)

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Stage 2 of the Productive Kitchen (expected to be built in 2024)

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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First Floor - First Stage

image: Espacio Común | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Second Floor - First Stage

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Help bring our project to life!

There are no updates yet.

Help bring our project to life!
Where are we now
At the end of 2020, the project won the CAF Competition: COVID-19. New opportunities for sustainable cities. This allowed us to start working with the Señor de los Milagros barrio through workshops and public meetings where the problems and potentialities to be taken into account were recognized. 

Subsequently, the priority architectural project for the new Productive Kitchen was developed. Plans and a budget for the first stage, which consists of building the first level, have been drawn up. The project currently has the support of the community, which is committed to contribute with labor for the construction of the project, and of the technical team to continue with the accompaniment.
An indication of our team’s capacity:
40% funding already raised
80% expertise already found
10% materials / equipment already found
70% builders already found
Finance: € 24,000
Currently the space of the Common Pot is precarious and small, so the priority is to provide adequate infrastructure to dignify the work of women, strengthening their autonomy, resilience and empowerment, allowing them to begin to lead the public sphere of their communities.

The funding will be used for the First Stage to acquire materials that cannot be obtained through donations, hire specialized labor for specific tasks and cover the costs of management and supervision of the work with the goal of building, in this first stage, a well-ventilated and well-lit kitchen, a storage room, a multipurpose room for eating, workshops or community assemblies, and toilets.
  • Management and supervision
2,000
  • Building materials and tools
18,000
  • Specialized labor
4,000
Skills: PR & Marketing, Financial advice, Law & Politics
On a broader and long-term scale, the project seeks to influence public and private entities so that they can join the project and contribute to its sustainability over time and eventually replicate the experience of the Productive Kitchens in the barrios of Lima.

This requires professionals who can record and develop communication strategies for the work being done; seek, request and manage financial resources; train municipal officials in gender issues, care and the importance of generating partnerships with the community.
Stuff: Equipment & tools, Materials
The popular barrios of Lima have been self-built using conventional construction systems such as brick and concrete. Therefore, it was agreed with the community that the most practical solution was to use these same materials. 

The main structures will be made of reinforced concrete, covered with metal profiles and calamine, and enclosures of wood, cement and metal sheets. The construction will be carried out through community work and trade workshops for women. 

Although the purchase of materials is being considered, if they could be obtained through donations, more construction could be undertaken and the following stages of the project could be implemented.
Help bring our project to life!
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