Since it first launched in 2009, Kickstarter has emerged as one of those rare tech companies that goes beyond some convenience-oriented pain point and actually changes the way we interact and engage with one another. That is, if you happen to live in the US, Canada, Australia, or the EU. For the rest of the world, Kickstarter’s game-changing crowdfunding model hasn’t actually been available, though savvy entrepreneurs have been able to fill the gap with regionally oriented spinoffs like Verkami and Fondeadora.
Still, there is no replacement for the deep international network a site like Kickstarter brings to the table, which is why thousands of Mexican creatives, dreamers, and doers have good reason to be excited now that the platform, together with Fondeadora, officially launched Kickstarter Mexico for the nation of 120 million. In a statement released earlier this week, the Kickstarter team celebrated the opportunity to bring Mexico’s vibrant creative community into the platform, and name-checked everyone from Sor Juana to Gabriel Orozco as proof of the country’s contributions to global culture.
But Kickstarter has also taken their announcement a step further than merely celebrating Mexico’s artistic tradition, and they’ve framed the announcement around the idea of building “bridges, not walls.” The politically charged subtext makes it clear that Kickstarter’s expansion to Mexico amounts to a defiant gesture of globalism and cultural exchange in the face of the closed, hyper-nationalistic rhetoric that won Donald Trump the presidency. They’ve even committed to donating 5% of the fee they earn from every project launched in Mexico (during the first 100 days) to a Mexico-based charity.
More importantly, it will provide Mexican creatives with a new tool for reaching broader audiences, stimulating creation, and showcasing their culture. A quick glance at the Mexican projects already on the platform – which include a documentary about indigenous resilience in northern Mexico, a music and arts festival, and an initiative to preserve the pre-Columbian tule-weaving tradition – leaves no doubt that seemingly small gestures like this can add up to a real impact.
Check out the rest of the projects here, and if you see a worthwhile project, support it!