CEAL program Segovia – San Martín y Mudrián
San Martin y Mudrián is a small village in the Spanish region of Segovia, its population during winter is about 280 people. As other rural areas they have based their economy in agriculture and farming, and have a rich tradition managing natural resources in sustainable ways, houses originally used to be made out of adobe, clay and hay. Despite the small population and the lack of socio-cultural and socio-economic opportunities, more acute in a context of global crisis, San Martín and Mudrián, and other villages from the shire “tierra de pinares”, has an important number of young people who are wanting to build their future in their own village supported by the community, although many find it hard and are forced to leave to neighbor cities. Proving this intention is the reality of “La Adobera” a cultural association founded two years ago by 10 community members that has started the rehabilitation of the old town hall space (a one room building) to create an open space for new ideas that emerge from and for the community.
The invitation to join the CEAL process was the perfect fit for a community organization that was wanting to boost social cohesion, culture, and local economy in a sustainable way. The process started with an intense community mobilization process during two weekends with an Oasis Game, the social initiatives that emerged; an abandoned building was transformed into a community center, with meeting and working space, with collective art, concerts area, chill out area for community meals and a program of cultural activities.
They managed to rehabilitate a natural spot so it could be used by the community, creating a sand path, tables and benches, all these dreams were realized by the community articulating local resources and talents. These initiatives were follow up with the Challenge face with online support and workshops, even new ideas were developed. The project culminated with the showcasing of these projects at the ‘Foro Chico’, a gathering of social innovation in rural areas that took place in the village and was its 4th edition and took place 3 months later. Besides the concrete results the program helped to strengthen the local association, to increase social participation in the village, to propel new social projects in the area, and an empowering learning experience for all the participants.
Community partner – Local neighbor’s association: “La Adobera de San Martín”. It was founded in 2014 with the purpose to fill in with life an abandoned building in the village, turning it in a community space. Open to develop activities that will support community building, and bring positive impact in economy, education, culture, environment and community. Fostering entrepreneurship in the region.
Educactional partner – The National Distance Education University (UNED) has as its mission the public service of higher education through the modality of distance education. With more than 205,000 students, UNED has the largest student population in Spain and is one of the largest universities in Europe. The Spanish educational partner of CEAL Network is UNESCO Chair of Environmental Education and Sustainable Development, which is part of UNED. Is an academic space of research, training, information and cooperation. This chair is framed in the UNITWIN program – UNESCO Chairs within UNESCO organization. At UNED it is located within the broad framework of activities developed by the International Relationships Vice-rectorate.
PHASE 1: Preparation phase and dissemination. Building partnership, designing program and inviting participants and other stakeholders to support the project.
PHASE 2: Oasis game
PHASE 3: Challenge phase: Online process.
a. Ideas generation Workshop
b. Deepening ideas with design thinking workshop
c. Prototyping and lean canvas workshop
d. Project Showcase at 4th edition of “Foro Chico”
PHASE 5: Integration Phase: evaluation and reflection of the most significant change in me, my project and the community
Participants – 19 students 8 local youth with the community.
-Participatory rehabilitation of the cultural center “Adobera space” fixing and painting walls and floor, creating a collective artwork wall, bringing furniture to create a working space, a concert space, and a meeting area.
-Participatory rehabilitation of a natural spot: with the construction of a wooden bridge, a circular sand path around the lagoon, a wooden tepee, wooden tables with benches, and plantation of flowers and trees.
-Socio-Cultural and Socio-economic activities programmed to be developed in the space, such as village culture storytelling increasing dialogue between elders and kids, a market.
-Projects: prototyping the open of a rural community library project, developing activities, workshops and gatherings, fostering mutual learning and connection space. Prototyping an ecological vegetable canned food enterprise. A guide of collective care and use of the natural spot rehabilitated.
Learning – “The community always encourages us to look for the opportunities, manage the chaos, take risk… and to have fun together”