Yesterday, Saturday, September 9, 2023, residents of the Mirador 2 human settlement in Pamplona Alta (San Juan de Miraflores) inaugurated the Miraparque Principal project, a public space that they have been collectively building for several months. This park is a key space for the community where a new approach has been introduced that includes early childhood and care as two main focuses.
The needs of the common bowl, the district council, the neighborhood, the boys and girls were collected, and their daily dynamics in the park such as celebrations, meetings, workshops, neighborhood meetings, etc. were determined. Hence, the aim now is to provide a better, safer, accessible and healthy urban environment by integrating safe crossing, entertainment kiosks, play areas, safe place, among other infrastructures.
On Friday, we received a video – taken by a neighbor – in which several people (and dogs!) were seen dancing in the street. Even though it was night, the lighting created an atmosphere of celebration and excitement, as children were having fun, people were laughing while a neighbor took advantage of the moment to sell some delicious produce. Music, laughter and conversation filled the space. The goal of this process was thus achieved: it was not just about striving for physical transformation, but, above all, about achieving social transformation. One that took the renovated space and strengthened community ties to fruition.
This collaborative effort of active citizens has been made possible especially thanks to the members of the Yo Me Quedo en Casa Joint Bowl, led by its President Roxana Gomez and the Neighborhood Council of the El Mirador 2 Human Settlement, headed by Mr. Juan Carlos Anco and of course thanks to the energy and time of the people of the area. This project is one of the outcomes of the Early Childhood Urban Citizen course, developed by Ocupa Tu Calle on the NODAL platform and in strategic alliance with the Bernard van Leer Foundation, Urban 95 and the FEMSA Foundation. Similar efforts have been implemented in the cities of Cali, Monterrey and Santiago de Chile.
The video affected us who were far away, just as the opening affected those who participated. It confirms that together we can bring joy to the streets of our neighborhoods. Let it be an example of what can be achieved with collective intelligence, solidarity, resilience and a community eager for transformation.