Fundacion Santa Maria la Real

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Fundacion Santa Maria la Real

Spain
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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An architect by training, Jose Maria "Peridis" Perez Gonzalez uses cultural heritage to drive local development, boost employment, and bring marginalized youth more fully into society.

About Project

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With his training as an architect, Peridis is using cultural heritage as a basis to create new jobs and institutions that offer unemployed youth an opportunity to learn a trade and make a living, while boosting local development. The development Peridis promotes is based on local needs and ties together community histories and locales in the process. Through Trade School Workshops, which he founded to teach trade skills to unemployed young people, Peridis enables them to find jobs restoring historical sites. Today, Trade School Workshops are funded by government unemployment subsidies and have graduated a half million people, helping almost 80 percent of graduates find jobs. Young people are embracing new roles as citizens and contributing to their communities. Peridis also provides them with the opportunity to create heritage-based businesses, such as turning old homes into hotels, to boost local economies. This is a dramatic transformation for a generation of youth accustomed to living on government unemployment wages. More broadly, Peridis believes having pride in one's culture and region can trigger the imagination and jumpstart the energy of disengaged youth around the world. For this reason, Peridis's model is as relevant in Spain as it is in Latin America or Africa. He has replicated Trade School Workshops in Latin American and Africa, expanding skills training to include trades such as environmental regeneration. In those countries Peridis is also exploring the possibility of creating professions in urban rehabilitation.