¡ÉCHALE! is a social housing producer promoting and establishing SDG Communities. It works by organizing collaboration between the three levels of government (city, state, and federal), organized civil society, academia, and people in the communities. Its aim is to develop adequate integral projects with a participatory design model (following local, rural or urban plans) based on the dwelling in order to launch a sustainable community development according to the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.
EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey
The SDG Communities were first launched in 2019. ¡ÉCHALE!, with the government, civil society, and other partners, is building adequate dwellings and infrastructure so communities all over Mexico can grow into sustainable auto sufficient neighborhoods.
¡ÉCHALE! recognizes that the control of the land, basic services, and a certain level of urbanization are needed in order to develop an inclusive sustainable society, therefore collaboration is needed. By the collaboration between government, ¡ÉCHALE! Financiera (co-financing), governmental subsidies, beneficiary contributions, and allied organizations a community’s way of living is transformed, accompanied by improved or innovative local infrastructure.
The government provides licenses or permits, basic services and urbanization, financing for the land’s improvement, an approach to the targeted community, and assistance with resource management. Allied organizations contribute with technology, impact measurement, and complimentary services. ¡ÉCHALE! as the driver of the project, administers cross-sectional alliances, credit management, and impact investment, as well as general resources. It also promotes the program, leads the construction and engineers the urban and dwelling participative design with the neighborhoods and other participants.
The combined work of all the partners involved benefits the community by promoting social cohesion, self-management, and resilience fostered by social workshops. It also offers family financial education and encourages savings. In parallel with this, there are direct environmental benefits from the construction method. First of all, the carbon footprint is reduced at least 30% because Ecoblock, the material used in the construction, is cold-pressed. Waste is also reduced because Ecoblock is made from recyclable materials and is recyclable itself. All of this is accompanied by a waste management program adapted to each community.
In June 2019, Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, came to Mexico. Ten organizations were invited to meet with him, to explain what they did and how they contributed to improving the conditions of those most in need. Before the end of the meeting, Yunus told them they could not leave the table without making a compromise. One of the organizations proposed creating a fund for promoting the SDG, ¡ÉCHALE! committed to developing a community that followed all 17 SDG goals. With all the organizations gathered in the room, more than half of the SDG could be achieved. They just needed coordination.
This is what inspired the SDG Communities project as told by ¡ÉCHALE!’s president and founder, Francesco Piazzesi.
The community is definitely starting to take shape. It is in the first stage of construction, executing, and seeking for alliances to make this a reality. The goal of this first community project is to obtain all the SDG points addressed from the beginning. The impact will be to have a truly sustainable community, with sustainable development, that can be replicated. It is expected that Nacajuca, Tabasco will be the first sustainable community and that this model can be adopted so that it can be replicated in any part of the world . Addressing the 17 SDG goals automatically we can talk about a community with sustainable development.
There is a goal, regardless of the social community, to turn into a social franchise the model of ¡ECHALE! and to take it to countries culturally similar to Mexico, such as Latin American countries, in this case, Colombia. It could also be used in countries as far away as African countries, where although the culture is different, the needs are very similar in terms of the housing deficit or lack of quality dwellings.
The benefit or the social impact of ¡ECHALE! will go directly to the beneficiaries, to the community in general. Although ¡ECHALE! is aiming to create a community, there is hope the impact will be greater and greater, spreading to the surrounding area. Obviously the company, by having a greater social impact, can replicate more and more. In the sum of allies, there is growth as a group of social companies that help the community and also strengthen ¡ECHALE! as a company and as an organization. Undoubtedly one of the challenges on the horizon is to take the project to other countries, hopefully after having the first case of success in Mexico.
The SDG Communities model will benefit, firstly, the communities themselves. By having adequate infrastructure the communities using this model would almost immediately improve their living standards by taking maximum advantage of the resources at their disposal and maximizing their efficiency. Their living standards would improve since not only their income would increase but also the way they invest it. They would be doing this in a sustainable and enduring way that would reflect on a continuing spillover effect on their communities. The environment would be automatically benefited too since this model is intrinsically related to its preservation, so the economical advancements of the neighborhoods are not linked to environmental degradation as specified in SDG 12.
Not only the SDG Communities which are worked on would be benefited since the Sustainable Development Goals are designed to have a general advancement effect. More specifically, if the SGD Community model continues to properly work, hoping that it would inspire neighborhoods all over Mexico and the world to join this model of human settlement development. It is the ultimate objective that this model is eventually seen as “regular” rather than an “alternative”.
Veronica Contreras, DIRECTOR
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Ciudad de Mexico, Ciudad de Mexico, MX
Business Website: Echale.mx
Year Founded: 1997
Number of Employees: 51 to 200
Social producer of housing and community infrastructure committed to building a better quality of life for families with families.Creates opportunities for vulnerable people through the construction of SDG Communities, which aim to achieve most of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.