Complementary currencies for sustainable local economies in Central America

International Conference on Community and Complementary Currencies 2011: “Thirty years of community and complementary currencies – what next?”,February 16 – February 17, 2011, Lyon, France

Erick Brenes M., February 2011

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Summary :

For more than a decade the Social Trade Organization in Central America (STRO-CA) has been researching, implementing and supervising complementary projects in the region and elsewhere in Latin America. The projects objective is to create stable, diversified and resilient local economies in the towns where projects are in research, execution and/or supervision. STRO-CA has received methodological support from organizations like New Economics Foundation and Transition Towns movement. These methods are constantly improved by theoretical and “in-field” feed-back. STRO-CA approach consists of local applications and combinations of the three methods which are Complementary Currency methods, Appropriate Technologies and Apreciando lo Nuestro. A major feature in every project is the transversal use of the complementary currency to re-design local social, economical and environmental relations.

Projects are always design in a participatory way with stakeholders; designs as well as indicators of progress are measure based on the Sustainable Local Economy Framework developed by STRO-CA taking into consideration local social-environmental and economic specificities. The paper will describe an LBC in Suchitoto El Salvador and a CBC in Coopevictoria in Costa Rica in order to draw the necessary conclusions.

Since each project is design and analyze in a participatory way, each project has its own specificities and particularities based on the social, economic and environmental relations and needs in place and should be measure accordingly.

Unfortunately, must donors and funders and some stakeholders are used to measure success based mainly on economic indicators giving little importance to social and environmental relations and limiting greatly the impacts.

Sources :

Site web du Colloque international sur les monnaies sociales et complémentaires : CC-CONF 2011, février 16, 2011 – février 17, 2011.Organisé par les laboratoires LEFI et Triangle, Université de Lyon:

« Trente années de monnaies sociales et complémentaires – et après ? »