09 Jun La Nuestra Casa, Tulcán (ECU)
La Nuestra Casa is an art centre in Ecuadorian border town Tulcán. The centre hosts regular events, and is home to a cafeteria, various small-scale local businesses, ranging from a marketing agency to a law firm. It was founded by Cristian.
As Tulcán is a border town, it suffers from regular smuggling of illegal goods and gasoline, to and from neighbouring Colombia. The idea of La Nuestra Casa was to stimulate the local economy of Tulcán in a positive way.
In order to be successful, La Nuestra Casa was set up as a cooperative (“minga“). The businesses in the centre do not pay rent for their office space. Instead, all the businesses exchange their services for free, creating a web of interdependence, that functions without one single contract between the businesses.
Every week, La Nuestra Casa publishes its own newspaper: El Carchense. By means of this newspaper, the centre spreads the word about local news, and about the events in the centre. Also it gives room to political debate. This newspaper is being sold in every kiosk in Tulcán.
The set up of La Nuestra Casa is unique in Ecuador. That’s why it has featured on national television. Also it will feature in a video to promote the northern Carchi province.