Community based initiatives

Málstofustjóri: Jessica Aquino
A Conceptual Model of Community-Based Initiatives and Rural Development: Two Case Studies of Engagement and Empowerment in Iceland and Guatemala

Resident participation is often seen as a factor for strengthening a sense of community, or a meaningfully belonging to a larger network of relationships. The process of community-based in­itia­tives involves developing community empowerment and en­gage­ment. The goal of this paper is to build a conceptual model of the process of community-based initiatives and how they both engage and empower rural communities in sustainable community development. The study explores two cases, REKO-Norðurland in Iceland, which aim is to connect small food producers and consumers and Hug it forward in Guatemala, which aim is to build bottle schools and enhance community environmental awareness. Through case study analysis, and qualitative interviews, content analysis of webpages and other social media, photos, and documents, we will begin to unfold the process of community-based initiatives in these two coun­tries and describe how organizations have used community engagement and empowerment as a strategy for sustainable development. Although in its early phase, the research data gives indications on how, through the process of community-based initiatives, organizations can have a significant impact on quality of life (QOL) by creating a space for individuals to become more actively engaged in their community through social interaction, which then leads to building community capacity, which then leads to sustainable development.

Laufey Haraldsdóttir and Jessica Faustini Aquino

Neolocalism, Revitalization, and Rural Tourism Development in Húnaþing vestra

Small rural communities in Iceland have seen a fast-changing eco­nomy and have had to come up with different ways to be­come resilient to these changes. This chapter takes an ethno­graphic approach to the study of neolocalism to describe how the community of Húnaþing vestra saw the potential to nurture a sense of place using their natural and cultural assets to en­hance the local economy and community livelihoods. Two case studies are used spanning over 20 years (2000-2019) based on an accumulation of first-hand experiences and research be­tween the authors who live in Húnaþing vestra. The cases are the Grettir the Strong Project (GSP), and the Icelandic Seal Center (ISC). These cases describe how community initiative projects have played an active role in fostering the local identity and distinctiveness of a community, and its use as a strategy for crafting authentic tourism experiences. Although no longer a functioning project, the GSP, has had a significant impact on the local identity of Iceland’s Northwest region, while the ISC con­tinues to work with sustainable and responsible tourism develop­ment at the grassroots level. Both the GSP and ISC were developed as a means for economic development by focusing on local knowledge, cultural heritage and traditions, and comm­unity assets. There is a need to investigate neolocalism in rural tourism development, as it may give insights on how a comm­unity may feel empowered by telling their story of their conn­ections to their place and how it may influence revitalization efforts and community resiliency.

Jessica Faustini Aquino and Gudrun M. H. Kloes

Höfundar erinda
Lektor / Assistant Professor
Lektor / Assistant Professor
Annað / Other
Upplýsingar
Thjodarspegill_stubbur
Finndu málstofu