The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Documenting Mexico’s Geography of Hope

26 November 2018

DPU's Étienne von Bertrab, alongside a number of DPU alumni, has founded 'Albora: Mexico’s Geography of Hope', a project that aims bring to visibility to transformative initiatives and efforts throughout the country

albora mexico

Mexico is undergoing one of its darkest periods in history. With close to a quarter of a million people killed over the last ten years and more disappeared persons than during periods of dictatorship across Latin America, not to mention persistent poverty, growing inequality and general mistrust in institutions due to corruption scandals and overall impunity, it can be difficult to imagine a way out of the crisis, let alone be hopeful about the future.

In this backdrop and with a mission to help cultivate hope, a group of people formed Albora: Mexico’s Geography of Hope. Founded and led by DPU’s Étienne von Bertrab, the core team includes several DPU alumni who offer valuable skills and expertise. Albora has developed a methodology that, together with the very people involved in the project, aims to restore trust within Mexican society. Albora’s task is to identify, study, document and bring visibility to transformative initiatives and efforts throughout the country, which have the highest potential to help build peace and guide Mexico to a more just and sustainable pathway.

Advisers from a range of disciplines (education, rural and urban development, migration, human rights, gender, conservation, and others to come) have started the task of identification of such efforts. Thanks to a recent call Albora has around 180 capable journalists, researchers, photographers and videographers who are willing to contribute by producing high quality research, reporting and communication products that give visibility to the featured initiatives and help to strengthen the communities, collectives and organisations behind them.

Albora decided to use crowdfunding for its first phase, which consists of producing 2 stories per month during 2019 as well as a book - an anthology of Albora’s stories, with unpublished material, insights and reflections from those involved. To learn more about Albora and to make a pledge, visit http://kck.st/2qFFOqZ.


Image: A view from the mountains of Pueblos Mancomunados, Oaxaca, featured in one of Albora’s first stories.