MIT D-Lab promotes rural community innovations in Guatemala with Soluciones Comunitarias

Using "Creative Capacity Building," MIT's D-Lab established in impoverished, rural areas in developing nations a method of empowering and supporting individuals in rural communities to invent low-cost technologies specifically geared to address the problems or needs of their locale. In 2009, the D-Lab paired with SolCom, a Guatemalan community organizing enterprise, and an international development fund to bring this model to the isolated, impoverished area of Nebaj, assisting locals in creating a Makerspace, or "integrated workshop, demonstration site, training center, and retail shop to complement the activities of microentrepreneurs." The collaboration has fostered an environment for sustainable, grass-roots change, in which the social and intellectual capital needed to create the needed innovations and inventions originate in the community itself.

Related Stories