Mesa Comunitaria: Community Micro-granting Initiative

Mesa Comunitaria (Community Table) is The Solidarity Project’s new micro-granting project modeled after the Detroit Soup model of participatory development.

Micro-grants are small cash awards given to individuals and/or groups to support short-term community projects. Mesa Comunitaria brings community leaders together to pitch their innovative ideas for social change over a community meal. After the meal, attendees vote on the ideas that they believe will best support the community and winners’ projects are funded.

Thanks to your support of our Global Giving Challenge, TSP has funded eight projects across three regions in the Department of Francisco Morazan, Honduras.

Mesa Comunitaria 1: Nuevo San Diego Community

On May 6th, The Solidarity Project launched the first Mesa Comuntaria Event in the community of Nuevo San Diego (Comedor community) in Talanga, Honduras!

The Solidarity Project was impressed with the creativity, ingenuity, and commitment that the Nuevo San Diego community showed as they came together to work for the two-month planning process of the Mesa Comunitaria event.  Our history of successful collaboration with this community continued as event leaders planned, organized, and hosted this day of community engagement that involved music, food, games and boasted an attendance of 75 NSD community members! Micro-grants were awarded to two of four community projects:

1.  Repairs to the NSD Kindergarten to improve the learning environment for 35 children who attend the school. The project was designed, presented, and led by Norma Caceres.

2.  Construction of wooden benches and tables to furnish the newly built NSD Community Center. The project was designed, presented, and led by Dania Mejia.

Mesa Comunitaria 2 & 3: Quebrada Grande Community

In August and again in December, The Solidarity Project hosted our second and third Mesa Comunitaria events of the year in partnership with the Quebrada Grande Community. Over 100 community members enjoyed a day of traditional Honduran music and dance performances from the local school children, a hearty lunch prepared by committee members, and of course, voting!

At each event, four community leaders presented their ideas and two winners were selected through the voting process. The winning projects and community leaders are:

    1. Installation of a drainage system on the main road to improve health and sanitation in Quebrada Grande, presented by Community Leader, Oscar García.
    1. Improvements to the infrastructure of the school to make the experience for both teachers and students more comfortable, presented by Community Leader, Javier Arteaga.
    1. Construction of a water drainage system, presented by Community Leader, Humberto Maradiaga
  1. Improvements to the community athletic field giving all a safe place to come together and play, presented by Community Leader, Arledis Rodriguez:

This event would not have been possible without the amazing work of the Quebrada Grande Mesa Comunitaria Event Committee. This group of emerging community leaders worked diligently during the two-month planning process of the event and formed a strong, creative and responsible team that launched an exciting community event.

Mesa Comunitaria 4: Majada Verde Community

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Our final Mesa Comunitaria for 2018 was held in the rural village of Majada Verde near the town of Talanga, Honduras.  The Majada Verde community faces many challenges including profound poverty, isolation, and food insecurity. Of the three projects presented, the community choose to fund:

  1. Repairs to the community’s well and protection of the community watershed, presented by Community Leader, Eduin Figueroa
  2. Project to install electricity in the community center, presented by Community Leader, Candido Padilla – this was especially relevant as the event was held in the afternoon with just a few flashlights as their light source.

Thank you so much for your support of these important community projects.  We are excited to see what 2019 brings for these communities!