Fellow Since 2002
Caravana Arcoiris por la Paz
This profile was prepared when Alberto Ruz was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Alberto has developed a response to the depletion of economic and environmental resources–a response that focuses on sustainability planning. He organizes a caravan of buses that travel from town to town, working with community members to design highly creative, holistic strategies for conflict resolution, recycling, and cultural and ecological preservation. Emphasis is placed on understanding diversity, optimizing resources, and implementing strategies that promote sustainable development. The caravan's crew comprises seasoned leaders and a group of young volunteers who are eager to learn about and advance eco-friendly practices. Prior to and upon arriving in a community, Alberto's team works in close coordination with local governments, schools, churches, and other groups to design trainings and activities. In all, the caravan spends up to six months evaluating and responding to local needs while helping townspeople establish more permanent systems to address their problems. Alberto also helps community organizations tap global networks for ongoing exchanges about educational and environmental topics. His work is widely recognized across Latin America and is becoming known internationally.