The Barrios de Paz – Peace Neighborhoods project is a community intervention initiative, which aims to transform a ‘culture of violence’ into a ‘culture of peace.’ Their methodology is based upon the power of art and local leadership, as they involve local artists in the process of bringing more creativity within the targeted neighborhoods. As a result, these neighborhoods will be filled with positive energy, eventually resulting in a more open mindset of the people living there. This initiative advocates for both SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).

Alongside those, the project also tackles the SDG’s 1 (No Poverty), 8 (Decent work & Education growth), and 17 Partnership for the goals.

Project Brief

The project mainly aims on youngsters in areas with high rates of violence and consists of the following phases:

  • Phase 1: the Socio-demographic diagnosis
  • Phase 2: the Creation of a community mural
  • Phase 3: 24 workshops on art, peace-building, and entrepreneurship
  • Phase 4: create 3 safe spaces within the neighborhood

During the duration of the project, the focus of MasterPeace Mexico is not solely on improving the living circumstances within the neighborhoods as well as on offering perspectives to the youngsters that live in these areas. They do this via phase 2 and 3, as they introduce the participants to their cultural network. This network opens doors to educational possibilities, entrepreneurial skills, and other tools that can inspire them to get involved in the cultural industry. Next to this, MasterPeace Mexico offers 3 ambitious youngsters the possibility to become a Project Assistant. It is key to promote self-esteem and creativity among the youngsters as that will inspire them to become a role model for peers as well.

Project Context

Currently, the project is being implemented in Colonia Atlampa, Mexico City, a highly violent neighborhood that is located next to a number of other high-crime neighborhoods. The most serious crimes are caused by youth gangs (aged 12 to 25), who are mostly involved in drug sales and robbery. Especially, the youngster who did not have the opportunity to get proper education are involved in such crimes.

Output

  • It is a one year project with 30 direct beneficiaries who are youngsters between the age of 16 and 29
  • There are 2,000 indirect beneficiaries (the community)
  • There has been one art enterprise launched

Impact

  • Training of youngsters with knowledge and skills to create an “Art enterprise”.
  • Creating opportunities for self-employment through the creation of new businesses.
  • Changing the violent culture into a more peaceful one through dialogue.
  • Contribute to security in the neighborhood.
  • Have a fixed cultural space in the neighborhood, directed by the young people themselves.