As the economies of Latin American countries continue to industrialize, the population of the major cities continues to swell as rural inhabitants are lured to urban centers in search of better paying jobs and a better quality of life. The unfortunate realties for most of these city dwellers are shanty towns and desperate conditions. Most cities lack the infrastructure and services to support the flood of rural immigrants and swelling peripheral populations.
In response to this phenomenon, governments, international corporations, developers and non-profit organizations have begun to find creative ways to bring services and infrastructure to more people living in these conditions. New communities are being built and low interest loans offered to families who otherwise would only afford the shelter they could piece together from scraps. However, most of these communities provide little or nothing for community services and social infrastructure.
Community Resource International (CRI) was formed by a group of real estate developers in response to this challenge. While developing new housing projects in Mexico, they recognized a missing link in delivering a high quality product to their customers that would maintain its value over the years. They observed many new housing projects turning their streets over to crime within a few years and most Homeowners Associations being disbanded.
As a result, they founded CRI to strengthen the social fabric of new communities, fostering the sense of a small town within the larger community. CRI will also support ongoing efforts in existing communities, building capacity to accomplish change within their communities.
CRI is primarily a support and training organization that will assist in the development of local associations which are run by local residents. CRI will also act as a link to resources and technical assistance to other organizations who can help the local partners to accomplish their goals, whether they are safer streets, better management of the HOA, or running a community center or daycare.