Isla Maciel

Isla Maciel offers opportunities for young people

The story of Buenos Aires from the perspective of locals

About Isla Maciel

Isla Maciel
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Isla Maciel is a Buenos Aires neighborhood right next to popular La Boca. It has suffered from a bad reputation, linked to crime, and its community has faced discrimination because of this. The idea of a community museum was meant to usher in a “new era” for the people of Isla Maciel. They wanted to change the direction of their neighborhood and give young people more opportunities for education and means of earning a living. Tourism is one way they have found to make social change. Along with visiting the museum, travelers can tour the traditional houses, learn about the popular history of football in Argentina, and enjoy a lunch of traditional empanadas. Souvenirs are made by those in the neighborhood, and tours of the graffiti and murals are given by young people. They can hear the story of Buenos Aires directly from the people who live there.

Interesting facts about Isla Maciel

Tobias is a young boy who lives in Isla Maciel. His story is like that of so many young people, not only in Argentina, but all over Latin America. He lives in an area which others stigmatize as a dangerous place. The question is: What do they expect from a young man like him?

Tobias has a clear answer, even at his young age. He sees himself as a changemaker in his community. It might sound overly simple or idealistic, but the reality is different. For a young man like Tobias, with scarce resources and a lot working against him, it is a big challenge. But when you talk to Tobias, you soon understand that these problems are nothing when it comes to having his firm commitment to contributing to his community.

An association in Isla Maciel was set up by neighbors in this part of Buenos Aires to see what they could do collectively. Its aim was to rethink the environment and sift through proposals that would allow the community to develop both personally and professionally. It focused on the school and how young people could especially benefit and become involved with collective projects. The end result was a social incubator where people could generate ideas and become local leaders.

Tobias is one of these young leaders. He credits this project with changing his life. His involvement has forced him to mature and be challenged. Tobias works at thinking of ways to improve the living conditions of those around him and create opportunities for young people like himself to get involved. Unfortunately, he has seen classmates fall prey to a life of crime or drug addiction, but he puts hope in the possibility that they will find value in the cultural, artistic, and tourism opportunities the project is creating.

The Isla Maciel Community Museum is the axis point of the actions Tobias and those working with him are taking. With the help of foundations like VSocial, they are able to invest in and improve their community, as well as bring tourists in and generate income that allows them to continue to grow. Tobias may be young, but he is one of the leaders of this project. He is a great example of how grassroots movements lead to positive changes that respect the interests of communities and allow them to flourish.

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Isla Maciel
Isla Maciel
Isla Maciel

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Sustainability in Isla Maciel

Since 2018, VSocial has been offering financial, administrative and technical support to the initiative in Isla Maciel, in conjunction with Planeterra. We have donated thousands of euros and offered a dozen training workshops, along with contributing to tangible goals such as installing a kitchen and upgrading equipment.

Features of Isla Maciel

Developing youth training
Directly impacted families
Indirectly impacted families
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Food & Drinks in Isla Maciel

The project has impacted 35 families, as well as awakened a social movement in the community that encourages new proposals and collaboration. It has especially been influential on young people, who interact with tourists and come up with new ideas for cultural and social initiatives.

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