Solidaristic principles prove great in theory, but how do they hold up in practice? Specifically, in communities facing historical divestment and disenfranchisement, can mutualism and cooperativism serve as building blocks for crafting more equitable, sustainable economies and societies?

A growing number of Latin American communities are proving (through the innovative application of solidarity principles) that it’s possible to reimagine our relationship to resources, capital, and collective well-being, all while creating sustainable, people-centered systems along the way.

  • Haiti’s cooperative cocoa industry  Haiti has a long history of economic and political instability due to centuries of imperialistic exploitation. In recent history, Feccano, a federation of cocoa cooperatives based in northern Haiti, became a beacon of hope for local farmers, who have established an active network of exchanges that prioritize ecological sustainability and farmer profits.  To date, the group has grown to include over 4,000 farmers, becoming the first Haitian enterprise and farmers’ co-op to export fermented cacao.
  • Puerto Ricans push for sustainable energy democracy  Following the devastation caused by Hurricanes Maria and Fiona, the vulnerabilities of Puerto Rico’s failing energy infrastructure came center stage. Years of divestment and mismanagement of the island’s privatized energy provider, LUMA Energy, left many under-protected in the event of a disaster.In the aftermath, collective civilian responses to restore power ignited a movement that heralds community-based energy resilience, with many groups like Casa Pueblo and ACESA, championing solar as an alternative to fossil-fueled electricity.

Read the full article about Latin American solidarity by Zanetta Jones at Sharable.