Liter of Light Mexico was created as part of a global open initiative Liter of Light how that was originally founded in the Philippines. The objective of Liter of Light is to empower communities to improve their quality of life by applying a simple and ecologic technology, allowing that many families with low-income have access to sustainable and solar lighting.
The lack of electric light at home or in the street, have many repercussions not only for health and physical risks, it also affects social dynamics and individual development. A house without light is not a proper space for studying, working at home and suitable for a proper hygiene. A street without light is a dangerous zone for everyone, but especially for the most vulnerable social groups like girls, children, women, disabled and elder people; who have to decide between risking themsleves and passing everyday through these places or limit their activities, which will eventually be an obstacle on their development.
The project of Liter of Light arrived to Mexico in 2013 sponsored by Fundación Qohelet. However, the story started a few years before when Tere González, Founder of Liter of Light Mexico, implemented the program for the first time in 2011 - 2012 in the gypsy settlements of “Cañada Real”, in the outskirts of Madrid in Spain. The pilot project was a success and possible thanks to the collaboration of Liter of Light Switzerland, the Gypsy Secretariat, Architects without Borders and other actors. Afterwards, Tere continued with the Swiss team to collaborate on the incubation of this project in India, in the cities of Mumbai and Hyderabad; coordinating efforts and sharing experiences with schools, universities, private sector, and civil society organizations.
In Mexico, Liter of Light made his first brigade in the city of Chihuahua in raramuri indigenous settlements. After the launch and thanks to the direction of Benjamín Córdova, Founder of Fundación Qohélet, the organization established partnership with different stakeholders. Pepsico was the main one from the private sector. With their support, it has been possible to expand the project to other states such as Mexico City, State of Mexico, and Quintana Roo. Hidalgo, Oaxaca, and Chiapas are coming soon.
“I think there is not a more enriching experience than the one of growing personally and professionally along with your venture. I started at 16 with my first social entrepreneurship experiment and being part of a diverse, passionate, and tireless team was the best tool for our projects to evolve. There are many stages and many challenges to face; it is an endurance race in which the only option is to nurture yourself as you keep moving forward. Learning to celebrate failure as a learning achievement is fundamental. The path that I have walked with Liter of Light represents for me a constant opportunity to be reinvented side by side with others. Each and all of us, who are involved, need to be in constant motion, observing, listening, and creating." Commented Tere González, Founder of Liter of Light Mexico.
The alliance between Liter of Light Mexico and Fundación Qohelet has been a key synergy to work towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the local level. This is the way we contribute to the global progress. Qohelet does an important work in the area of violence, addiction, and crime prevention. This partnership was established in order to promote long-term development, generate social welfare, as well as to enhance the skills and talents in underprivileged communities. The aim is to discover with them the possibility to find alternatives for a better life quality at every level, getting away from addictions, violence and risk behaviors.
As a result of this partnership, the joint model has been of interest for other countries in the region like Honduras, where the project has already launched in alliance with Pepsico. Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador are next.
Tere González shared her perspective on how Liter of Light responds to the global challenges: “I personally think that Liter of Light represents a success case and a testimony to the world, showing that we can tackle inequalities and reverse the impact of climate change in our communities. This is a complex challenge but a shared one, which requires all hands on deck with an attitude of service coming from all sectors. If businesses, government, NGOs, or the civil society are missing, the support ecosystem is incomplete, and the engine for positive change stops”.