fundación Casa de la Juventud Mashi Pierre Saraguro

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Ecuador is home to an extremely rich diversity of landscape and culture. Saraguro, a little mountain village situated to the south of Cuenca, is a good example of this. The area is populated largely by indigenous people who live alongside the Métis community.

It is here that Pierre Hameau, a representative of a Spanish NGO, came to work for three years. His goal was to set up an agricultural cooperative project with several members of the indigenous community of Saraguro.

Unfortunately, Pierre passed away in 2011 following a bus accident. After his death, Pierre’s family and friends decided to continue his work by founding a youth centre in Saraguro. And so, la Casa de Juventud Mashi Pierre was born.

The association, created has a dual purpose:

Firstly, the need to develop relationships between Saraguro’s two communities; the Métis and the indigenous populations. Among the youths, the Métis and indigenous kids and adolescents rarely spend time together, instead forming distinct, homogenous groups. The Casa de Juventud Mashi Pierre was created with the aim of providing an apolitical place, without any ties to either community, in order to bring the two populations together through communal activities.

Further to this aim, Pierre’s family and the members of the project also wanted to work to overcome three major problems experienced by youths in Saraguro: alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, and urban migration. Indeed, by proposing to occupy these youths’ free time with activities that are not only fun, but also cultural and educational, the association hopes to be able to make an impact on the major causes of these problems.

Activities carried out

=> Educational support

=> French courses

=> English courses in indigenous schools

=> Manual workshops (Drawing , Graffiti , cooking, etc. )

=> Film screenings

=> Library

=> IT courses 

=> Cultural projects (gastronomic festivals, sensibilisation about local culture, etc.)

=> Social Projects (sensitisation to various social problems such as alcoholism, violence, early pregnancy, etc.; school of young trainers, etc. )