Ecuador: #LoxaEsMas, Ideas that Generate Change

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#LoxaEsMas (“Loja is more”) is an initiative that intends to create new ways to report problems in Loja, Ecuador, by using technology as the main tool. This initiative also strives to find practical solutions to improve the city.

Loja [en] is located in the east of the Loja province [en], in the south of Ecuador. It is the capital of the Loja province and canton [en]. With nearly 200,000 inhabitants, the city has a rich tradition in arts, therefore, it is also known as “the Cultural and Musical capital of Ecuador”.

#LoxaEsMas was created because of the people’s resentment at the incapability of the authorities to carry out changes in Loja. Moreover, it is an equal organization in which there is no hierarchy. Thereby, all the people willing to participate in this initiative can do it.

In his personal blog, Carlos Correa, who initiated this idea, asserts:

Ya venía sintiendo dolor por ver a la ciudad retroceder en muchos aspectos. A inicios de este año escribí un post “Piensa Loxa, piensa!” que tuvo un eco moderado en la web, quizá era necesario juntar las chispas aisladas hasta formar una fogata, entonces fue cuando vi en las Redes Sociales una herramienta para ello, para darle un uso más coherente y adecuado al Facebook o a Twitter que simplemente subir las fotos del gatito o de las cervezas de la noche anterior.

It hurt me when I saw the city was giving steps back in many areas. At the beginning of this year, I wrote a post: Piensa, Loxa, piensa! (Think, Loxa, Think). It had a modest response from readers. Maybe it was necessary to bring all the pieces  together to make a great puzzle. In that moment, I realized that social networks are a powerful weapon to attain this, to use Facebook and Twitter properly, something different than just uploading kitty pictures or the beers we drank last night.

With the slogan “Hacking Democracy”, this public-minded group intends to promote citizen participation  with practical alternatives. It wants to reinforce the democracy concept not only with elections that hold every four years, but also with an active and willing participation.

Years ago, it was very difficult to put an idea into practice, gathering people, or advertising. However, nowadays, thanks to Internet, everything is possible in a faster and economic way.

The group aims to promote a different practical activity every month, thereby, it will not only be in Social Networks or Internet, but it will be also acknowledged by people who do not use those technologies.

“Twit Callejero”

The first LoxaEsMas initiative is “Twit Callejero” (Street Tweet), “How do you picture Loxa in 140 characters?” This idea intends to spread citizen voices by using their tweets with their proposals to improve Loja.

There will be a voting process in the LoxaEsMas webpage  which will include all the tweet comments. Twitter users can choose the best five tweets by voting for them with the “Like” button. At the end of the vote, on June 29, the most voted tweets will be printed and posted around the city. Moreover, it is being scheduling a meeting with the Loja mayor, Jorge Bailon, in order to show all participant tweets.

These are some of the tweets that have participated until now:

Pablo Andrés Duque (@pabloaduquec) addresses Loja inhabitants:

Pierde el miedo de exigir a tus representantes [alcalde, concejales] que hagan lo que deben hacer: TRABAJAR. #LoxaEsMás

Don’t be afraid of demanding on your authorities (mayor, town councilor) to do what they have to do: WORK. #LoxaEsMás

Cesar Jaramillo (@cesarvolter) writes:

#LoxaEsMás cuando veo la mirada de mis hijos y quiero a travez [sic] del tiempo ver en sus ojos una ciudad digna y sobre todo Feliz

#LoxaEsMás  When I see my children’s eyes I want to see through them a decent and, most of all, happy city.

Gianella Carrion (@GianeCarrionS) recognizes Loja's virtues and calls people’s attention on this topic

#LoxaEsMás ciudad cultural, riqueza de nuestro Ecuador, es hora de ponernos la camiseta y luchar por nuestra querida Loja.

#LoxaEsMás  cultural city, a treasure of our Ecuador. It is time to put our team shirt and fight for our dear Loja.

For more information about this initiative and tweets like these, you can see the Twit Callejero website. You can also follow them on Twitter (@loxaesmas) .


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