Oswaldo Granda Páez
Fellow Since 2000
This profile was prepared when Oswaldo Granda Páez was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
Oswaldo is transforming unused urban land into productive gardens developed and managed by local citizens. He applies rural development techniques like farming, agro-forestry, and reliance on local resources to reduce the extreme poverty of migrants from the countryside. He draws the private, public, and social sectors into a powerful triangle, addressing such fundamental concerns as nutrition, unemployment, and underemployment, detachment from rural roots, depression, and the loss of community, while lessening environmental contamination in urban Ecuador. Oswaldo also cleans up and uses existing public parks that have degenerated into trash dumps for residents to grow food and decorative trees native to Ecuador, beautifying and improving public spaces and enhancing the outlook and quality of life of the community participants.