our project

Exploring local knowledge

Archive for lessons learned

This project has meant to me…

By Adriana Sánchez*

What do we mean when talking about local knowledge? Why is it important? Why is it different from expert knowledge? Can we use ICTs to rescue, revalue and position the local knowledge? How a process like this can empower a community?

We had all this questions at the beginning and probably our answers are not complete or total. When we differentiate the local knowledge from others there is a politic view involved: is not only that people from the communities do not consider what they know to be important, is that researchers and academics tend to think they know all the important stuff and they are the ones how should teach people from communities on everything.

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Coordination with communities

We have had little luck finding an urban community with a desire to work on the project. After unsuccessful negotiations with Ciudadelas de Libertad we decided to look for another community to continue the work. However, we have seen that it is more difficult to find instances of local involvement in urban communities. In Tirrases we had to suspend the process due to the lack of interest of the people involved.

These two situations lead us to believe that the most difficult problem faced in urban areas is precisely the sense of “belonging”. Urban communities in Costa Rica are increasingly shaped by migrants from rural areas or passing students who reside in them during the week to attend classes. Moreover, with the recent spike in crime we are experiencing a very strong process of individuation, which locks people into their private property and hamper their relationships with neighbors and the collective bodies of their neighborhoods.

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