10 December / 2004 One of five honorees in Latin America
Tegucigalpa declared ‘Ciudad con Corazon’
The cities of Natal, Brazil; Bogotá, Colombia; Esmeraldas, Ecuador; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Tegucigalpa, Honduras are the winners of this year’s “Ciudades con Corazon” (Cities with Heart) Award, granted each year in honor of International Volunteer Day.
The 5 cities selected for the 2004 award did a remarkably good job of encouraging their citizens to participate in volunteer programs for urban development. The programs were designed to meet the objectives of the “Development for the Millennium” program, an initiative of the U.N. Volunteer Program in cooperation with U.N.-Habitat, the Interamerican Development Bank’s Interamerican Initiative for Social Capital, Ethics and Development.
The awards will serve as a reference point to recognize excellence in promoting volunteer work for urban development at the community level. This year’s winners were chosen based on a variety of criteria such as level of social commitment, the importance of the activities undertaken, sustainability and total contribution to the Development of the Millennium.
Richard Huber, coordinator of the “Solidarity Cities” Project, says the award was launched as a pilot program in 2002 as part of his project. It is based on the idea that community participation is crucial to development and a key step toward consolidating civil and government participation, both locally and nationally.
“The Solidarity Cities project shows that volunteers are the key to community participation and are an excellent tool to fight the problems faced in many cities today,” says Huber. “The award recognizes the effort these cities have made to promote volunteer work for local development and encourage other cities to recognize the rich resource that volunteerism is.”
Tegucigalpa was chosen as an award winner for its “Art for Everyone” program, in which 56 artists, both local and foreign, shared their time and talent by creating murals and sculptures in public spaces throughout the city. The artists spent 15 days on the streets of Tegucigalpa in July, creating their works and sharing their ideas with children and the general public. During the two-week program more than 500 volunteers worked together to create 45 works of art. The project was sponsored by a number of private companies, as well as the First Lady of the Republic, and several U.N. agencies. The works of art strewn throughout the city make Tegucigalpa more attractive and promote greater civic pride and awareness among its residents.