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[Learning Journey] Action Dialogue Edition

November 17, 2022 @ 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM


Asociación de Comunidades Unidas Tomando Acción Solidaria

You are invited to a Learning Journey… #PhilanthropyMonth

Filantropía Puerto Rico gives you this community immersion experience to learn about and connect with emerging solutions that promote equity and social justice. Come learn about real response for resiliency and share with leaders who work for the well-being of their communities.


As we did in March and June, this trip is a learning opportunity to integrate system thinking* into our philanthropic work.

We chose to visit communities who have organized to help themselves through mutual aid.  The Asociación de Comunidades Unidas Tomando Acción Solidaria (ACUTAS) currently supports several programs for four low-income and migrant communities in Barrio Ingenio, Toa Baja.  They have survived two flooding events this year alone!

As with the Mutual Aid Centers previously visited, community projects like ACUTAS provide us a particular perspective on real community based solutions born out of the institutional system failure to support historically marginalized people.

  1. We will start with a quick visit to all four communities, so we can see firsthand the work and organizing they have achieved.
  2. We will do work “brigadas” to help on two programs:
    1. Mochila Alegre is a weekly initiative for children without food access during the weekends when their school lunches are not available. We will be preparing 20 bags for parents or tutors to pick up in the afternoon.
    2. Banco de Alimentos is a monthly food distribution program. We will be packing and stacking food supplies for distribution to the four communities.
  3. We will be sharing our own stories with community leaders and program participants during lunch prepared at the community kitchen.
PREPARATION for the trip:

*We will follow the MIT’s Presencing Institute model, based on Otto Scharmer’s Theory U, which integrates systems theory, neuroscience, and social transformation practices.

1. Read this article about ACUTAS programs (in Spanish)

Inauguran Centro de Acopio en el Barrio Ingenio en Toa Baja

And about the floods this year:

Drenched by Hurricane Fiona, Puerto Ricans Band Together

2. Take 10 minutes to answer these questions in writing before the visit:

• What do I want to explore during the visit? Make a list of questions.

• What assumptions do I bring with me? What do I expect to find there?

• What significant experience in my life is similar to what I hope to see and experience there?

During the visit:

Reach out with curiosity, compassion, and courage to make your experience genuine. Trust your intuition and ask authentic questions that arise from the conversations. Keep your attention on what most attracts you from the experience.

Before leaving, we will have a quick debrief with the Philanthropy group to share a reflection on the experience.


In 2017 we suffered the onslaught of two hurricanes in Puerto Rico. At that moment, the situation revealed the reality of many communities marginalized by an economic and political system that could not serve them after the climate disaster.
Some of these communities took action to survive the long months of recovery that followed the atmospheric event. Many site specific projects emerge as a response to the lack of an institutional support that never arrived.
From a systemic perspective, it is in these marginalized spaces where the seeds of future solutions are born from the real and current needs of those who “fall through the cracks of the system”. We are interested in visiting these spaces of action and self-governance to explore and discover these solutions.

The [Learning Journeys] will take us to some of these community spaces that are still serving their communities in 2022. Using a systems theory methodology, we will learn about solutions to these needs that could very well influence future grant programming for our foundations.

All the expenses for these journeys are being covered by a Philanthropy Forum mini-grant awarded to Filantropía Puerto Rico this year. In addition, we will leave the communities an extra small monetary donation that they do not expect for all their work hosting our visit.

As part of our members experience program, we created this space to spark purposeful conversations where we can learn, collaborate, and strengthen relationships to amplify the impact of the philanthropic sector. In this way we fulfill the mission of Philanthropy to promote equity and social justice.



November 17, 2022
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM


Filantropía PR

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