Thanks also to her work, a program grows day by day around the San Luis Obispo Church, in the town with 15,000 people. The program supports the most vulnerable families so they can start their own businesses from the few resources available. «Some make handicrafts from recycled materials, others repair and resell household appliances, and still others make natural juices. Ten percent of what they earn is donated to the parish, which uses it to fund a shelter for the elderly and disabled. » A shining example of a circular economy, which survived the recent decline of tourism caused by the pandemic and the devastating impact of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration that is still in effect. The collaboration with The Economy of Francesco, which began in 2019, was crucial.
«Four Cubans were selected, including myself. I participated in the ‘village’ on ‘finance and humanity’ coordinating the group of the “economic consequences from the perspective of the outcasts.” I learned and continue to learn a lot. Especially about the collaborative force among the “little people”. This allows overcoming one of the main obstacles for the Cuban economy, namely, the difficulty of finding raw materials. » The dollars for imports are getting scarce and the reduced domestic production cannot make up for it. «However, when the ‘cuentapropistas’ (micro-entrepreneurs) share their needs, meeting this challenge becomes much easier. » For Victoria, these are not empty words. The lawyer from Santiago has seen it happen countless times in El Caney. «I give you a very small example. There are few tools for working with cloth or metal. But if the families will swap them, it will benefit everyone in the end. » So contrary to certain ultra-liberal leitmotifs, collaboration is more effective than competition. A good wish for the El Caney Experimental Hub is that these best practices will ‘contaminate’ other families in the area and more and more aspiring micro-entrepreneurs will join the project.