Barrio Mio: Urban Upgrading in Guatemala
Barrio Mio, which means “my neighborhood” in Spanish, is a partnership between PCI and USAID/OFDA meant to transform high-risk informal urban areas into safer, healthier, more resilient neighborhoods.
The Barrio Mio program evolved from PCI’s Neighborhood Approach and connects a broad range of stakeholders to improve urban programming. People from vulnerable communities—women, men, children, youth, the elderly, and persons with disabilities—banks, municipalities, ministries, the private sector, universities, and local organizations work together to identify urban risks and develop collaborative strategies to increase resilience and respond to crises.
Barrio Mio, which started in the municipality of Mixco, now operates in seven municipalities with the support of over 40 partners. The Ministry of Communications, Infrastructure and Housing in Guatemala recently signed an agreement to use PCI’s Neighborhood Approach as a basis for urban disaster response and as a national strategy for upgrading high-risk informal settlements throughout Guatemala. Additionally, the Government of Guatemala, through the National Institute for Municipal Development, has agreed to finance cities across the country to work with PCI and use Neighborhood Approach strategies for urban upgrading.
PCI currently partners with over 50 institutions on its urban programs, including private companies, government ministries, municipalities, municipal associations, local and international organizations, and universities. Some of PCI’s primary partners include USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, the National Government of Guatemala and seven municipal governments in Guatemala, private partners Cementos Progreso and Construred hardware stores, MiCoope urban cooperative, and the Universidad Galileo, Universidad San Carlos, State University and Universidad Rafael Landivar.