On Friday 27 May we celebrated in the Ferroviaria Alta neighbourhood of Quito the transformation of a community space, the backyard of the Women’s Centre, into the first community garden in the south of the city as a result of a co-creation action.
In co-creation, the community assumes an essential role, being responsible for the process of identification, design, implementation and evaluation of the different actions, and fosters the independence and organisational capacity of low-income communities. This action contributes to establishing precedents that will help future leaders and communities to improve their health through community participation.
This urban garden in Ferroviaria Alta arose after the results of the population survey carried out in the south of Quito during the first phase of the CEAD project, which revealed worrying data on aspects such as diet and physical activity, which are closely related to overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes. As a result of this research, it was decided to develop a co-creation experience in these neighbourhoods.
During the month of May, project researchers worked with different community leaders in the neighbourhood with a specific objective: to create an action on physical activity and healthy diet in which the residents of Ferroviaria Alta would actively participate.
Community priorities were jointly identified through focus groups and training workshops for the leaders so that they would be able to lead co-creation actions. Finally, co-creation workshops were held in which the community decided to create a community garden that would serve to train the community to improve their knowledge of a healthy diet and, at the same time, would be an action that required some physical activity.
We had the participation of the Plurinational and Intercultural Conference on Food Sovereignty (COPISA), which advised and trained the community in the creation of urban gardens and in the management of seeds and plantations. In addition, researchers from the CEAD project, both from the Miguel Hernández University (Spain) and the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, actively participated in the transformation of this space, as well as the student of the Master of Cooperation UMH, Sergio Morales, who led the training workshops for community leaders.