MIT Public Service Center

Community development & participatory planning with low-income housing developments

Fundación Hogares


What is Fundación Hogares?

Fundación Hogares is a non-profit organization that works to support Mexican families through community work and participatory planning within low-income housing developments across the country. Our goal is to build communities that are responsible, committed, participatory, sustainable and self-sufficient.

We work with a community development methodology known as Programa de Desarrollo Social Hogares (PDSH®) to improve the quality of life of individuals and families through social development, active citizen participation and community empowerment. We work with on-the-ground community organizers, based in an on-site community center, over the course of 30 months to facilitate active participation, coordinate activities like neighbor working groups, and eventually work towards the self-sustainability of the community.

PDSH® takes place in five stages, beginning with the mapping of community assets, deficits and needs, all of which are identfiied and prioritized by the community itself. In the second phase, the community organizes itself into working groups according to the needs and problems previously identifed. In Phase Three, the working groups develop their own work plans with specific activities and deadlines, prioritizing urgent problems and defining the solutions themselves. In Phase Four, these work plans are implemented, monitored, evaluated and updated by the community members. The community is activated, empowered and directly involved in its own development. In the final phase, with the help of Fundación Hogares community organizers, the community creates a Neighborhood Association, which will remain in place long after Fundación exits the housing development. The neighbors now have the structure, the support, the commitment and the experience to carry out their own future community development projects.

We currently have active sites in the cities of Tijuana, Acapulco and Coatzacoalcos, and we will be expanding to up to seven more cities this year.

Proposed projects for student interns

Fundación Hogares is in the process of scaling up our programming across the country, so we are looking for support in the following areas. We are also open to project proposals from interested students.

  1. Case study of current programming in one of three sites(Tijuana, Acapulco or Coatzacoalcos): We would like to document and evaluate our progress in depth. The development of the project is up to the student's interests and capacities, but could include articles, short videos, photodocumentation, quantitative analysis, etc. The student would be based in Mexico City with travel to the site.
  2. Development of data gathering system to measure community development: We are in the process of buidling community development indicators to track changes over time and to measure the impact of our programming. We are particularly interested in digitizing our systems to make them more efficient (e.g. using cell phone apps to record and analyze survey data or to map community needs). The student would be working with our community organizers to implement a new data system. The project would be based in Mexico City with potential travel to one of our housing development sites in Tijuana, Acapulco or Coatzacoalcos.


We are interested in working with students at any point during summer or the school year for at least a month at a time, and up to as long as the student desires. The longer the stay, the better.


We cannot provide full financial support, so the student will be responsible for funding the majority of his or her stay with Fundación Hogares. However, we can provide support for travel to and from our program sites (i.e. flights from Mexico City to Tijuana), and we are happy to help with any other funding applications. We can also help the student find housing and get oriented once in Mexico City.


Contact information

Jody Pollock, MCP 2013
Manager of Analysis and Evaluation
Fundación Hogares


MIT Public Service Center
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