1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Tumin, Pesos, or Wealth? Limits and Possibilities of a Local Alternative to Scarcity of Money and Abundance of Richness (Draft)



In face of unused productive capacities and unmet demand in a context of poverty among its inhabitants, Tumin, a local complementary currency, emerged in the community of Espinal, Veracruz in 2010. IT appeared not only as an instrument to facilitate the exchange and increase the purchasing power of the population, but also as a social and political bet to empower the community and redefine the values that determine the relationships amongst inhabitants. Over two years have passed, and, although Tumin seems to be ineffective in having an economic impact in the community, its potential as an instrument to empower the community, strengthen relationships, and promote cooperation and mutual help among the inhabitants has manifested. This experience shows that although the effectiveness of this instrument for solving the economic problem of Espinal is limited, its potential as a powerful tool for searching for alternative systems goes beyond its direct social benefit.

This paper was presented at the special session on Alternative Finance and Complementary Currencies, organized by the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) at the UNRISD Conference on Potential and Limits of Social and Solidarity Economy.