Intermestic Initiatives - Revitalizing Urban Rivers of the Americas: 2009-2011;

As a corollary to a very successful environmental project at the Community Development Strategies program at WCVI that is based in the Los Angeles River revitalization movement during 2009 through 2011 IMI provided technical assistance to government and civic leaders engaged in rescuing and revitalizing their urban rivers in

  • Rio Lempa -the major river of El Salvador;
  • Rio Almendares in Havana;
  • Rio Magdalena -the last living river in Mexico City; and
  • Laguna Tiscapa in Managua;

IMI staff and selected Latino leaders visited twice El Salvador in 2009 in cooperation with Karina Copen of OXFAM; Mexico City several times during 2009-11 in cooperation with the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (Humberto Parra) and the office of the Mayor; Havana twice during 2009-11 in cooperation with the National University; Managua in 2009 in cooperation with the office of the Mayor (Niquirana Ferretti) and the Law Offices of Luis Mendez. IMI also hosted a delegation from the Office of the Mayor of Mexico during 2009 to learn about the LA River Revitalization movement.

In addition to sharing the LA River experience with our counterparts IMI learned much about the Urban River movements in Latin America. Most notably IMI visited:

  • the headwaters of the Rio Magdalena, a new water treatment plant, and an under construction linear park;
  • the restored "Havana Forrest" along the Rio Almendares;
  • a cooperative of farmers working to both sow land along the Rio Lempa and develop strategies to mitigate seasonal floods; and
  • the in process "decontamination" of the Laguna Tiscapa using microbial treatments;

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