Initiative: Demobilizing street gangs through entrepreneurship
Business: Los Cuatro Tulipanes is a fleet of luxury vacation rentals in the historic district of Casco Viejo, Panama
Description: Esperanza Social Venture Club’s goal is to make our community safer and more resilient by demobilizing street gangs and integrating their members into formal society and their territories into the broader community. Our goals are founded heavily in hard results and permanence (that the impact on the community will last). Without either of these two elements, our efforts are not scalable.
Esperanza’s full-time team of social technicians takes a “holistic” approach, meaning that we are as interested in the root cause of becoming a gang member (social disorganization on the streets where they live) as we are in the symptoms that manifest themselves as gang mobilization and anti-social behavior.
What this holistic approach means in practice is that Esperanza addresses the problem on the same three levels that the problem exists: individual, group and community. Esperanza focuses a lot on geography, attempting to systematically stabilize one former gang territory at a time. Once one area is stabilized, it becomes what we call a “Zona de Paz” or “Zone of Peace.” We then move on to the next area, with the goal of merging them all together until the community is whole again.