Yes! Magazine: Friends Transform Vacant Building Into Popular Community Center

“It’s a cool Sunday afternoon in Ecatepec, Mexico, and a crowd is forming along the sidewalk. A slow drumbeat rises above the sound of honking taxis and chatter as four dancers step out and begin moving to the rhythm of an African beat.

Up and down nearby streets, small businesses selling everything from stationery to carnitas, or pork tacos, are interspersed with shuttered storefronts and abandoned businesses. At night, store owners pull down heavy metal curtains to keep out intruders.

The dancers are part of a free fair at El BANCO—or “The Bank” in Spanish—a unique and vibrant community hub sprouting up amid suburban blight. In this sprawling municipality northeast of Mexico City, neighborhood friends are turning abandoned commercial space—long forgotten by businesses and politicians—into a gathering spot for families and young people.”

The full article is on Yes! Magazine online today.





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