Villas del Sol Community

Resilient Framework Plan: A Replicable Process

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This project is a partnership between Sol es Vida, the nonprofit cooperative organization of Villas del Sol community and many ResilientSEE-PR collaborators. The framework plan prioritizes infrastructure that is currently lacking in the community, including stormwater management, potable water, electric, sewage, and green-open space.

Villas del Sol is an immigrant community from the Dominican Republic, which originally settled on private land. They were asked to leave by the land owner with help from the Municipality. However, they were initially given no option as to where they could re-settle. Ultimately, the Municipality identified their current location and provided land rights in coordination with the Authority of Land. At the beginning, when they settled illegally, the community was exposed to use of excessive force by the local police. There is press documentation of these activities, including allegations of human rights violations and the subsequent intervention of international human rights NGOs.

The community became organized as a cooperative and a regulatory lot plan was developed as an initial framework to help the community resettle in an organized way. The previous Municipal administration promised infrastructure—but it was never implemented. Despite this lack of infrastructure, families have settled and are now extremely vulnerable to climatic events.

The outcome of this engagement is about positioning the community with due diligence analysis, a fully-vetted, contextually unique framework plan, and self-advocacy story to help them procure public or grant funding. This work impacts 170 community members, and 50 families currently living without basic infrastructure.