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Mexico: entrepreneurship, a lever for development in a deprived neighborhood of Ixtapaluca

The community of Hornos de Santa Barbara in the city of Ixtapaluca, Mexico, is known historically for its brick manufacturing activities, from which it takes its name: “Hornos”, which means oven.

For generations, the families of this poor neighborhood have specialized in the production and sale of these bricks, creating a veritable inter-generational tradition and ensuring regular income for the community’s residents. But with the city’s increasing urbanization and the shortage of raw materials, this activity has little by little died out causing an increase in insecurity and significant instability in the quarter (drugs, thefts, school dropouts, etc.).





Techo, an NGO present in 21 Latin American countries, has been working together with this community for several years to improve the living conditions of its marginalized and severely disadvantaged members. Solidarity Accor and the AccorHotels teams in Mexico have been supporting the association since 2008 for the deployment of various development programs and in particular the implementation of a training course in silk-screen printing* in Ixtapaluca.

Under the supervision of Techo 15, community members were able to take a training course in entrepreneurship and silk-screen printing techniques every Saturday afternoon over 3 months. The training was given and certified by CECATI (training centers for industrial techniques). The long-term goal is to create a silk-screen printing workshop within the community, thus ensuring economic stability for the families. The first products made, principally tee-shirts, were put on sale during a local event. A very encouraging success!

The goal of the beneficiaries is therefore to set up a workshop in the heart of their neighborhood. Business plan, suppliers, assembling the teams, marketing, etc. A whole range of issues to deal with for these budding entrepreneurs, who are just a few steps away from the concrete realization of a project that would re-inject dynamism into the entire community! Watch this space...


*The silk-screen printing technique uses stencils placed between the ink and the support.