Bibliolab Cuines del Món

Cuines del Mon
People's engagement and participation
Build-up laboratory

Bibliolab Cuines del Món initiated 2 different projects: Cuinem Santa Coloma (2018-2020) and Cuina Oberta (2020-2021).

Cuinem Santa Coloma was born from the introduction of a kitchen in the Biblioteca del Fondo (Fondo library), generating a number of activities that get citizens closer to the venue of the library. This desireto get all publics closer to the venue accounts the diversity, in terms of culture, ages, geographical origins, of the population of the Fondo neighbourhood. Tales and stories from all over the world are used to work the bond with children.

The project is structured around the daily dynamisation (4 afternoons per week) made by young monitors of the neighbourhood hired by Urban Time, a social enterprise of the Germina Foundation, that propose workshops related to cooking and tales addressed to the children who go to the Fondo library. In parallel, a number of one-off activities are organised weekly, monthly or every three months, addressed to teens, youngsters and adults who will take part in activities ranging from cooking contests to talks given by professors of the University of Barcelona.

In 2020, The Fondo library of Santa Coloma de Gramenet hosts and maintains the Cuines del Món project. This space is a kitchen, but it is mainly a project that aims to create relations, mutual knowledge and exchange through gastronomy, that helps the library to better know its neighbours and their culture and to know more about their environment, their beliefs, and even the geography and climate of their countries of origin, as well as their dietary habits adapted to the new context where they live.

Main results and impacts produced by the initiative on the selected MESOC crossover themes

Target groups of Cuinem Santa Coloma: young people who are users of the Library and of Germina Foundation, the Casal dels Infants de Santa Coloma, families at risk of social exclusion and/or migrants needing support and guidance.

In the area of people engagement and participation:

  • Consolidating respect and recognition of the other (diversity)
  • Generating feelings of belonging to the community and the city
  • Encouraging positive values such as participation, tolerance and respect among users
  • Facilitating meeting and participation spaces in an intercultural context

In the area of health and wellbeing:

  • Fostering reading and writing skills
  • Fostering sustainability and health values through gastronomy
  • Knowledge transfer related to gastronomy
  • Fostering leadership skills in the young monitors

Other relevant impacts

The initiative produces other relevant impacts, such as:

  • Fostering the employability of young people in the territory through the monitor programme (monitors are contracted through internships)
  • Validating a model of community participation in the framework of a public library with the will to replicate it in other contexts (spillover effect)
  • The relationship between the library and Fundació Germina led to implementing other projects around health, kitchen, diversity and hybridization (beyond the framework of the given public grant)

Elements that contributed to the generation of these impacts

Contextual and exogenous conditions:

  • The multicultural environment of Santa Coloma has been the basis to start the initiative, trying to find a common language that in this case is food.
  • Having a fully equipped kitchen installed within the space of the library, as a result of a political decision from the Department of Culture of Santa Coloma de Gramenet City Council and having the support of the public administration since the design and during its functioning.
  • The library is located in an environment with a historically strong and active community and associative context.
  • The participation of ICI Serra d’en Mena (2014-2020) (Intercultural Project of Communitarian Intervention), financed by la Caixa Foundation, Santa Coloma City Council, Integramenet Foundation, and Carta de la Pau Foundation. When the ICI was over, it was transformed into the Community Action of Santa Coloma de Gramenet (Network of Positive Values of the Santa Coloma City Council).
  • Existence of municipal strategic project “Santa Coloma, Ciutat Universitària”, that aims to place Santa Coloma as a strategic point in food and nurturing at a European level and to be a reference for gastronomic knowledge, through the creation of a specific campus on Food Sciences.


The library received public funds from the BiblioLab project (Province of Barcelona, Santa Coloma de Gramenet City Council) in the call for proposals of 2018 and 2020. In terms of material resources, the space “Cuines del Món” has a fully equipped kitchen.

In terms of human resources, part of the personnel of the library is also working in the Cuines del Món projects. The young monitors coordinating the activities are hired through internships. 

Typology of programme:

Participatory activities of co-creation with young people contracted through internships and the participation of youngsters and children (Cuinem Santa Coloma) and also adults (Cuina Oberta):

  • Workshops of healthy and creative cuisine
  • Getting to know and sharing gastronomic traditions of different cultures
  • Creative cuisine and recuperation of food
  • Recovering food that cannot be sold in markets or shops
  • Urban garden (co-managed by Germina Foundation and other entities)
  • Master-Classes by lecturers at the UB (twice a year)
  • “Masterchef” cooking competition aimed at young adults (bimonthly)
  • Library open to the neighborhood: visits to the UB Campus Torribera, fresh market, community vegetable gardens or activities at Plaça del Rellotge, near the library (monthly).
  • Workshops given by UB students (bimonthly)
  • Reading activities
  • etc.