Collective leader: "We were able to buy this property with the support of the Bolivarian government":
"In March, one of the leaders of a youth collective in Caracas explained the importance of the space to the community, noting:
"We are a group of young revolutionaries especially focused on cultural activities, artistic, historic, musical activities.
We have a range of projects. One is a series of training courses for young people who look to set up productive social economical projects. We work on many social economical projects on a micro level in the community. We have a small shop where people can sell products they make in their homes. We have a coffee shop where we generate the finances to keep the building maintained.
This is just one of a number of similar projects across the country that began with the revolution.
This space provides very important support for a number of different collectives and grassroots organizations in the community especially focused on youth groups and projects. This is also a space a number of grassroots organizations in the community use to meet to organize activities, so the CLAP organization, the communal council, the pensioners organization, and a number of other ones.
We were able to buy this property with the support of the Bolivarian government. In Venezuela, there are many people leaving, migrating, abandoning their properties. People who think this is a 'dictatorship', who don't like the revolution.
Our first project here was to set up a coffee shop and start selling food to the community. But we've since developed and now have a youth cinema for the community, yoga, and other cultural projects. We have a small productive garden where we produce some of the agricultural products that we sell in the coffee shop.
Despite the electrical sabotage we have suffered in the last few days, people have started organizing in their communities. This cultural centre has been used as a logistical centre and posit for drinking water being distributed to the community.
Since the arrival of Hugo Chavez, popular organization has been very important. There's been strong support by the Venezuelan youth for these projects.
The economic blockade against the country has led us to acquire a higher level of consciousness about the need to produce in urban spaces certain agricultural products. This is an example that despite all of the difficulties in the country, it is possible to set up successful projects like this, and there are a number of young people in Venezuela who want to remain here and work towards the advancing of the country.
The sanctions have really affected us, especially in the food sector. This is a project that works in the productive growing of crops and selling of food. Finding the materials we need for this is harder every day, in part due to the hyper inflation which is partly due to the sanctions.
As a woman, the sanctions and blockade have a great impact myself and other women. It's very difficult or expensive to find products we don't produce in Venezuela: contraceptives, sanitary pads, diapers, baby formula...and this has had a great impact on the daily life of women here, more so than other sectors of society.