Blog / July 20, 2023
I'm Daniel León from GEOPathways Latin America, and I want to tell you a story that has meant a lot to my professional growth and that of my team. A story that started with a dream and ended with an award. Together with my colleagues from Manka Watikay (Ollas Vigilantes), Peter Esquen, Alison Bedoya, Claudia Portilla and Xavier Bustos, we participated in Mapatón Perú 2022, the most important geospatial innovation contest in Peru. Our goal was to create a project that uses spatial technologies and GIS tools to support the Ollas Comunes (Common Pots), a community initiative that feeds thousands of people in vulnerable situations.
Do you want to know what our experience was like participating in Mapatón Perú 2022?
Read on, because this is a story you can't miss – especially if you are participating in this year’s Mapatón. A story that will inspire you to use your talent and passion to make the world a better place.
Mapatón Perú 2022 and my participation
Our project is called "Manka Watikay (Ollas Vigilantes): Analysis of the Exposure of Common Cooking Pots in Metropolitan Lima to Different Types of Hazards". It consists of a web platform that analyzes the multi-hazard exposure that affect common pots, small institutions that provide access to food to vulnerable people and through this platform obtain relevant information to improve their management and operation. In addition, our project seeks to provide answers to these communities in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2, 11 and 13.
Thus, participating in the Mapatón Perú 2022 was an incredible experience. I learned a lot about spatial analysis, innovation and teamwork. I also faced many challenges and difficulties, but I overcame them with effort and the support of my team. Best of all, our project had a positive impact on the community and Peruvian society. Thanks to our work, we were able to get in touch with the leaders of the Ollas Comunes to educate them in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
Below, I share one of the questions that my colleague Alison took it upon herself to answer when we held our first meeting with the leaders of the Ollas Comunes:
What is the manka watikay project and why is it important for the fight against hunger and poverty in Peru?
"At Manka Watiqay (Ollas Vigilantes), we used spatial technologies and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) tools to map the risks to which common cooking pots are exposed in the city of Lima, where we were able to identify areas with high levels of risk and provide this information to the corresponding authorities so that they can take preventive and mitigation measures. Fulfilling the objective of facilitating access to information, promoting informed decision making and encouraging evidence-based action."
What did we achieve through this project?
"One of our most significant achievements has been to raise awareness and visibility of the risks to which the Ollas Comunes are exposed. We have managed to bring to light the reality of these communities, highlighting the importance of these local organizations in the fight against hunger and malnutrition in Peru. Although we are only a small team, we have shown that with the right tools and the necessary dedication, we can make a significant difference. And while we know that fighting climate change and reducing poverty are daunting challenges, we are determined to continue contributing through our efforts."
Finally, Mapaton Peru 2022 has been a contest where our greatest reward has been the exchange of knowledge with my colleagues, the great teamwork that emerged during the process, but best of all was to connect with the people of the common pots and to provide solutions from our experiences and knowledge.
Being official winners of the first place and obtaining the prizes encouraged us to continue with the development of the project in a second phase where we agreed to visit a small community to learn about the state of the infrastructure of the Ollas Comunes. Being winners enriched us with many values and knowledge, therefore, we invite you to dedicate your best effort and to develop a project that impacts society positively.
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