On February 2023, I had the pleasure of visiting Buinho makerspace in Messejana, a rural village in Alentejo Portugal as part of the Staff Exchange program from the
Europen Creative Hubs Network. During my visit, I had the opportunity to learn more about their different programs and initiatives, which are all focused on empowering the
local community through technology. In this report, I will provide details of my visit, including the objectives set-out at the beginning, the activities during the exchange
period, the challenges faced by the makerspace, the facilities and equipment, and the accomplishments achieved.
As part of the exchange program, I was hosted by Carlo, who is a member of Buinho. This is an organization that focuses on promoting creativity and technology in the local
community. They have over 20 schools educational programmes and have been working for 7 years. The hub operates four different makerspaces in the small village of
Messejana in South Portugal.
The objectives set-out at the beginning of the exchange program were to learn about makerspaces and fablabs, as well as to understand how to create impact in rural areas.
We also wanted to learn about the different initiatives that Buinho makerspace has implemented to empower the local community.
During the exchange program, we participated in a variety of activities. We had talks and workshops on how to create makerspaces and fablabs, as well as discussions on the impact that these spaces can have on rural areas. We also had the opportunity to visit different makerspaces in the area, including Buinho makerspace. We learned about
the different programs and initiatives that they have implemented, including their Repair Cafe and art residency program.
Buinho makerspace has an impressive set of facilities. They have over 30 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, and more. They also have a woodworking area, a
metalworking area, and a textiles area. The makerspace is dedicated to teaching kids and adults about technology and creativity, and it’s clear that they have everything that
they need to learn about different forms of creativity and technology.
During my visit, I had the pleasure of viewing one of the exhibitions at Buinho makerspace’s art international residency program. The artists had created beautiful
pieces that reflected the local culture and history. The residency program is an incredible opportunity for artists to learn and grow, while also sharing their work with the
local community. Buinho makerspace runs a Repair Cafe every month, where they host more than 4 volunteers to repair things. The cafe provides a space for the local community to come together and fix broken items. This initiative not only reduces waste but also promotes a culture of repair and reuse.
One of the challenges faced by Buinho makerspace is the location. The area is a mining area, and many people are reluctant to join new initiatives. Additionally, the makerspace
is in a rural area, which can make it difficult to attract visitors. However, Buinho makerspace is working hard to overcome these challenges and involve the local community in their initiatives. They organize monthly workshops in the village for kids and their families.
Buinho makerspace is committed to community empowerment. They’re not just teaching kids about technology and creativity, they’re also involving the local community in their initiatives. By doing so, they’re helping to build a stronger and more self-sufficient community.
The exchange program was a huge success, and we were inspired by the work that Buinho makerspace is doing. We learned about the importance of community empowerment and the role that makerspaces and fablabs can play in achieving this goal. We were impressed by the impact that Buinho makerspace has had on the local community, and we were inspired to open our own makerspace in our home community.
Overall, my visit to Buinho makerspace was an enriching experience. The makerspace is a great example of how technology and creativity can be used to empower rural
communities. The various programs and initiatives that they have implemented, such as the Repair Cafe and the art residency program, are making a positive impact on the
local community. Buinho makerspace’s commitment to community empowerment is commendable, and their efforts are helping to build a stronger and more self-sufficient
community. I left Buinho makerspace feeling inspired and motivated to replicate their work in our home community.