Our community development program strives to connect creativity to culture. We bring local communities and visitors together to tell important stories and make an impactful change through art, food, sport and craft.
Implemented in conjunction with existing community initiatives and groups, Casa Congo provides the business support, materials and training for creative community projects to flourish. Our main goal is to promote conservation in a way that is engaging, fun and with meaningful sustainable outcomes.
We support the local woman's collective Las Tejedoras, or “The Weavers” who create beautiful bags, hats, wallets and other products from plastic bags discarded on the streets and beaches of Astillero. Their slogan is “One Bag Less, One Turtle More”
With the help of our the strategic and investment partner Rockflower, we helped Las Tejedoras to successfully open their second business, a smoothie bar, in December 2017. Thanks to Rockflower Foundation, we are currently facilitating a venue expansion of the smoothie bar to almost three times the current space meaning the Tejedoras will be ready for the tourism influx into El Astillero in coming years. With their two businesses, the Tejedoras are able to provide for their families and show the future generations of El Astillero that the women of the community are motivated, powerful, and viable businesswomen.
We have provided the seed funding for two local women, Dina and Alicia to open a local bakery. With the profits from the bakery, they have been able to provide for their basic needs, such as school supplies, running water at home, and enough money to buy gas cylinders that allow them to cook without using firewood as fuel. We are planning to expand their service into coffee and cakes using the kitchen of Casa Congo in order to begin to provide services to tourists.
We hold public art workshops and activities for locals and visitors to express themselves creatively. With international visiting artists and local community, we have created collaborative murals on the local school, local shop and a local restaurant. These murals each have a message of conservation to share.
We support local sports teams with uniforms and fundraising and yoga classes are currently run for community members upon request.