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Towards a continental solidarity economy

Project in development

18 November 2008

We are witnessing an unprecedented boom in economic solidarity in the Americas. After Brazil’s Workers’ Party came to power in 2003, they inaugurated a national secretariat for economic solidarity while various social movements established the Brazilian forum for economic solidarity.

Argentina, for it’s part, added to the trend when the Kirchner government created the nation-wide Mano a la Obra program in response to their devastating economic crisis of 2001. This program finances the development of labour cooperatives in many economic sectors. In Bolivia, the government of Evo Morales is putting in place many associations to help benefit small agricultural producers.

First conceived as a temporary measure to escape the economic crisis, the social economy has quietly transformed into a dynamic and sustainable economic sector that has been supported more and more by governments across the continent.

It is in this context that Alternatives and its partners from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Bolivia aim to develop a network that will permit the establishment of economic solidarity as the voice of sustainable development in the region. The specific objectives of the project include facilitating the transfer of knowledge and economic solidarity practices between the countries of the Southern Cone, and to harness their expertise toward the creation of a continental economic solidarity movement.