Alternative Coín: Coiniños / Time Bank

Two new initiatives were launched recently in Coín, both with a distinctly different flavour, but both adding to Coín’s alternative credentials. This issue we talk to the social services councillor about the town’s official ‘Time Bank’ scheme, helping people exchange work, and to the Coiniños on the opening of their permanent centre  launched in spectacular style with a series of concerts and activities during the May feria.

The ‘Time Bank’ was started by the council in May this year as an attempt to recapture the barter systems that were common in Spanish towns in olden times. Francisca Luna Berlanga, the councillor responsible for running the Time Bank explained that they became interested in the scheme about four years ago, but found it hard to get much information. “There was very little happening then, but now there are more towns running Time Banks and we had a great deal of help from a village in Murcia that now has some years of experience,” Francisca explained. The idea is quite simple, and not dissimilar to the RAM already launched as a separate initiative by the ‘Coín in Transition’ group. People register for the scheme, at the Social Services building where there is a permanent office, and write what they can offer and would like to receive. There is a list of contacts detailing all the services on offer and members get a book of vouchers which they can then trade. “Every service is traded in units of hours,” Francisca continued. “All hours are equal, whether it is a lawyer, cleaner or teacher, and members simply tally up there total each month at the office.” To avoid people exploiting the system there is a cap on the limit of positive or negative trades and ideally people should be trading equally between each other. “We have everything in place to run the scheme,” concluded Francisca. “Now we are going out to the associations, pensioner’s groups, sport and religious groups to get them signed up and trading services.”

The Coiniños, another social initiative that has been running in Coín over the past five years, have finally got their own premises near the centre of town and launched it in fine style during the May feria – concerts by Chispa favourites Kumbala and Uka’s Moon had the place rocking through the night and established the venue as the place to be during the weekend. The Coiniños will be keeping the stage in place for future concerts, theatre, circus and other performances as well as developing the rest of the space for workshops and courses. In May they start the fourth year of the successful ‘Sintonizate’ series of courses for young people looking for alternatives – environmental workshops, theatre and massage courses are available under this scheme while other workshops being planned include percussion, circus, dance, karate for kids and much more. An exhibition space in the venue currently has a photographic display of the Coiniños journey so far, and they are planning to install a computer room and library, making the venue a meeting place for many of the other collectives in Coín.

INFO: / / 672 233 441

Banco del tiempo 952 455 908 /

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