Where do we come from?
RICO was born in July 2018 out of a series of workshops with activists in Berlin on nonviolent communication, conflict resolution and appreciative inquiry. In the following months and with the arrival of new participants, living in Germany, RICO is constituted as a collective for the support of initiatives of different communities in the Latin American continent. Since December 2019 we are a non-profit organization with legal status in Berlin, Germany.
Since its inception, RICO has supported several initiatives in the community of La Sierra, Cesar Department, Colombia. In La Sierra we have carried out activities in peace education, human rights, self-management and community-based renewable energy, in addition to the Cultural and Sports Festival, which concluded its second edition in January 2020. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, RICO has supported five communities in the development of productive projects, addressing emergent needs and priorities: Icononzo (Tolima), Monguí (Boyacá), La Sierra (Cesar), Manantialito & Provincial (La Guajira).
Guatemala & Venezuela
In Guatemala, we started 2020 with a series of visits to the community of Barra El Jiote (Jutiapa) with a view to starting a permaculture school and a project in solar energy from self-management. Today, we are aiding in the recollection of funds for several campaigns for humanitarian support, in two communities in the country. In March 2020, we accompanied the Observatorio de Ecología Política in a two-week visit to several cooperatives and communities in Barinas, Barqusimeto and Caracas (Venezuela) with the aim of giving introductory workshops on community-based solar energy and self-management.
Germany & France
In addition, we have developed various initiatives and events in Germany and France – we have sought to problematize themes such as energy transition, the Western development model, gender equality and even social and political activism through a decolonial lens. Likewise, many of our initiatives in Latin America have been nourished by creative and financial support from our solidarity networks in several European countries. Concretely, we have participated with activist collectives such as Fridays For Future, Ende Gelände – Berlin Brandenburg, ABC Tageshaus Hüll, Black Earth, Decolonize!, the Coal Action Network, Diskussionen für ein Neues Hispanoamerika, and Corporación Lomas, as well as academic institutions, such as the Technical University of Berlin.