Economic Democracy in Action
By Eugenio Mendoza
Our Master Unit Project, Ananda Yara, in Venezuela is developing a rich and happy experience for our family, embedded in the community and its environment. An alternative economy and its Neohumanist cultural approach has become our daily routine, never boring, full of challenges, and overall and most important: full of bliss.
Despite all of the global economic crisis and the way it has manifested in Venezuela, we have relied on a very universal and powerful philosophy. Its guidelines have been the tool we need to overcome many of the contemporary obstacles regarding an irrational use of resources. It is very difficult to make much sense of how prices change so much and goods disappear overnight. We have developed a barter economy with local producers, adding value to their raw materials and creating more steady consumption patterns.
We make yogurt, cheese, different kinds of flour, dry and frozen fruits, bath soaps, and anything else our nearby neighbors need, with hardly any money involved. We like to evaluate how much of what is on our table is produced by ourselves, with help from our community and how much is bought from the store. We are also learning new skills oriented toward achieving sustainability for our social unit and for our community. We never stop learning.
We have found a very important connection with the ancestral way our peoples have established their cultural and economic social unit, “el conuco”. El conuco has been a way to pursue spiritual development while furthering liberty and resistance to colonization and exploitation by the dominating culture. Our project is indeed a place to resist the dominating culture of exploitation and its anti-values.
As the school year starts we continue with our homemade water filters in all of the 31 schools in the county. We also share so many of our activities together with them (green gardening, yoga, nutrition). Ahead in the agenda there are new activities with farmers, families and cultural groups, too. We always try to help each other make each experience one that will make Neohumanist awareness happen.