On 22, 23 and 24 November, the #encuentroRIPESSLAC22 “La #EconomíaSolidaria y el #BuenVivir” will be held in Quito, Ecuador, the centre of the world.

This event, organised with a lot of love and effort by RIPESS LAC colleagues, will provide spaces to recognise each other. We will be able to debate, exchange, enjoy, share and plan future strategies in a joint and collaborative way that will promote, promote and cross borders and practices. We want to create a real MEETING SPACE where there is room for reflection, where people who practice #SocialSolidaritySocialEconomy from the grassroots can come together. We want the dialogue to be egalitarian, to be distributed, for everyone to have their say, and for a real collaborative climate to be created. We want to have a friendly meeting, paying special attention to care. The topics to be discussed are listed below.

One of the thematic axes that will be discussed is “The experiences of the Social Economy, solidarity and popular economies as spaces for work and Social Protection”. The SSE creates Decent Work that respects people’s Human Rights. It is also a collective way of Mutual Support whereby many communities gain rights and wellbeing through self-organisation and empathy and care. To enrich us about it, there will be people sharing their successful experiences, where we can exchange ways to practice these bastions of SSE and Good Living.

Another theme of the meeting will be “The capacity of self-management and agroecology in the struggle for food sovereignty”. The fundamental right of peoples to define and control their food and food production systems at local and national levels, in an equitable, sovereign and environmentally friendly way is of vital importance on the continent. We want to share practices and struggles to support each other in these common goals while respecting the traditions of our ancestors.

We will cook together food from our land, applying the reflections and ways of living that we collectively want to carry with us across the continent.

Territorial markets, short circuits of production and exchange, and Responsible consumption are themes that can be related or can also be called responsible consumption, fair trade, local consumption… In the end, it is SSE and can be practised in many ways: we want to collectivise these ways and learn from each other’s ways, as well as learn more about the different territories.

The defence of territories, struggles and community movements for the management of common goods and the defence of nature will be another essential theme at the meeting, just as it is at the base of the SSE. In our routines during the meeting we will also incorporate this recognition of indigenous peoples by having entrances and greetings that respect these protocols. The concept of Good Living comes directly from the teachings of indigenous peoples and this is reflected in different dimensions both in our practices and in our way of relating to the planet and to other people.

Finally, we will have a working axis that will focus on the diversity of exchange experiences and the institutions created for solidarity finance and community currencies.

We are excited about what is to come. We have mobilized many people representing all the SSE organizations participating in RIPESS LAC. Together, we will work with joy, understanding and reflection, looking for an echo in the shared space during these days in which the gender perspective will be a cross-cutting theme in all the thematic axes. Ripess LAC attaches great importance to women’s rights and we see the SSE as a feminist economy. We will also discuss the role of women in these practices and exemplify resistance, roles and group decision-making during the meeting, involving men in all of this.