Skip to main content


A few words about us

“Messolonghi by Locals” is a non-profit organization that started in 2018 in context of the “START: Create Cultural Change” program. The aim of the organization is to strengthen collectivity within the local community of Messolonghi through a participatory mapping scheme of the city’s cultural identity but also through the creation and promotion of cultural activities.

The work of the organization concerns the study, promotion and preservation of the local cultural heritage and environment as well as the organisation of cultural tourism and ecotourism experiences for locals and visitors of the city.

The idea started from young people who decided to remain in the rural Greek town of Messolonghi and take action, at a time when the social and economic crisis has increased the number of young people leaving and has created a feeling of introversion and inaction within the local community.

Our action in titles

Participatory Mapping

We map with participatory processes the cultural heritage of our city

Local HUB

An open space for creation, expression, learning and networking of citizens

Creating Experiences

Dissemination of local cultural identity through the organisation of experiences of cultural tourism and ecotourism for locals and visitors of the city

Cultural Routes

Creation of cultural routes by the locals that bring light to our cultural heritage

Educational programmes

We map our city with the students of the regional schools


Three days of activities influenced by the local cultural identity of Messolonghi

Our vision is to create an active and dynamic local community that participates in decision making processes and that expresses, creates, collaborates and acts to achieve collective prosperity.



Participatory process of creating thematic cultural routes with the aim of getting to know better our local cultural heritage ad promoting it to the rest of the world.

By participatory mapping and recording we mean a dynamic process of creating thematic cultural routes that emerge through research, experiential learning, recording by various means (photography, video, painting, etc.), knowledge exchange, local community interaction and participatory planning.

The goal is to give the opportunity to locals to get to know their city better, but also to travelers visiting the city to get informed on the cultural and environmental richness of Messolonghi.

Mapping is done in 8 thematic groups






Local Products


Outdoor Activities

The process of participatory mapping includes


through bibliography, interviews, on-site visits, open calls to gather information, etc.


with video, photos, text, sound recording, etc.

Experiential learning

with games, theatrical playing, storytelling, role-playing games, art activities, songs, etc.

Creating maps

in printed and digital form with information on the points of the interest  of the  cultural route


with activities and events to promote the cultural maps through exhibitions, presentations, guided tours, etc.

Explore the cultural routes

Take action with us

Meet our partners

Local HUB

“Messolonghi by Locals” created and now manages the “Local Hub”, a social and cultural centre or otherwise a “habitat of culture” as the locals call it.

It is a space for expression, networking, learning, co-creation and collaboration where citizens’ meetings, exhibitions, workshops, seminars, screenings, “coworking” space, reading room, etc. are hosted.


Messolonghi By Locals 

Explore the Local Identity”

An annual three-day festival influenced by the cultural identity of Messolonghi where the locals share the routes that they have mapped throughout the “participatory mapping” process that the organisation has developed. The program of the festival included walks in the city, hiking, sports, exhibitions, screenings, concerts and of course food and local products. The first festival took place in September 2019.
The goal of the festival is for locals to get to know unknown aspects and sides of their city, to connect with the organization and to become more aware of its vision and activities. The festival attracts people not only from Messolonghi but also from other cities that by the end of the festival are impressed by the city’s cultural and environmental richness.

Educational programme

“Mapping our place”

The program “Mapping our place” is an educational program that concerns the participatory mapping of the cultural identity of the city and the wider area of the Municipality of Messolonghi by the students of regional schools.

The program aims to bring students closer to the processes of democratic decision-making, research, project implementation, collaboration, teamwork and networking with students from other schools. It is a project that sharpens their imagination and creativity at all levels.

Through an experiential method of learning, students come across new stimuli that broaden their interest and their knowledge on the cultural heritage of their city.

Within the context of the educational program, maps of the cultural routes mapped by each school are created.  At the end of the school year, events are organised where students share with the rest of the locals the cultural routes that they have mapped throughout the year.


the experience

“Live the Messolonghi by Locals Experience”

In the context of disseminating the local cultural heritage, the organization organizes experiences which are flexible and adapted to the preferences of each traveler.  The experiences connect travellers with the local community and give them the chance to live as a local would in the city of Messolonghi. The aim of this project is to promote sustainable, hospitable and responsible tourism in the city of Messolonghi.

Responsible tourism concerns the discrete integration of travelers in the city without affecting the natural environment and the socio-cultural character of the area. At the same time the traveler becomes part of our effort to protect and preserve the environment and the cultural heritage of the city. The goal is the extroversion of the city and the maximization of opportunities for local prosperity not with a mass tourism strategy but with a controlled quality tourism that will bring life to the city.

Actions with a focus on achieving Sustainable Development Goals


our Action

Donations are an important source of funding for Messolonghi By Locals.

Each one of your donations, large or small, helps us develop our organisation, intensify our work and increase the organisation’s footprint in the city.

Thank you very much for supporting us!

Make a donation

Our goals

Empowering participatory processes and motivating the local community to participate in actions, events and decision-making processes.

Recording, protecting and promoting the local cultural identity, inside and also outside the borders of the municipality of Messolonghi.

Creating new opportunities for local prosperity and encouraging young people to return to their city and create their future within it.

Through the actions of the organization, others bigger other smaller, to inspire even more actions.

Promoting environmental education and raising awareness on the need to protect it.

Contributing to the extroversion of the city and finding alternative tourism strategies in order to help develop sustainable and responsible tourism in the city.

Hosting groups of people from educational institutions, international organizations, ecological organizations, companies, etc. in order to disseminate the cultural identity of Messolonghi at a national and international level and also empower cultural exchange.

Developing a Sustainable Development culture for the municipality of Messolonghi

Our values


We encourage and seek citizen participate in all of our activities through open dialogue, synergies and collaborations.


Mutual assistance, strengthening the sense of unity and support towards people in need.


Many times the obstacles of everyday life prevent us from acting and trying for something different and innovative. Through collective activities we can find the courage to see things differently and take risks in order to create a better future for all of us.


Every action that supports diversity and justice is courageous and revolutionary, especially in a world where fear and division prevail. We are all equal in trying to create a better future and our diversity is our strength.


We believe that knowledge and culture are to be shared. Therefore, through participatory mapping and recording we try to share our cultural heritage with the rest of the world.


Respect from person to person and respect for different points of view. Culture for us means uniqueness and diversity.


Ethical and economic independence and transparency prevail in all our actions.


We scientifically substantiate our every action and transmit understandable knowledge to society.


Trust is the foundation for developing positive relationships, interaction and collaboration between individuals and groups.


Optimism of action against the feeling of despair, frustration and vanity.

Our Timetable

When did we start?
When did we start?

The initiative was launched in September 2018 as part of the "START: Create Cultural Change" program, which aims to support young cultural managers to promote their cultural initiatives, which enhance social cohesion in their local environment. The program was funded by: R. Bosch Stiftung, Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki, Federal Association of Socio-Cultural…
Read More

September - November
Messolonghi by Locals in Germany
Messolonghi by Locals in Germany

Alexandros Panagiotopoulos (cultural manager of "Messolonghi by Locals")  was one of the 30 fellows selected for the program "START: Create Cultural Change 2018-19". For the first phase “START” he followed a two-month cultural development skills development program. He started the training in Berlin and then continued at the Nellie Nashorn…
Read More

December 2018 - May 2019
Creation of the Local HUB and starting the participatory mapping
Creation of the Local HUB and starting the participatory mapping

In the second phase of the program "START: Create Cultural Change" "Messolonghi by Locals" was selected (along with 14 other initiatives in Greece) to be funded with 10,000€ in order to implement its cultural action in the city of Messolonghi. During this period: The social and cultural centre "Local HUB"…
Read More

June-December 2019
Expansion of the Local HUB and new activities
Expansion of the Local HUB and new activities

In June 2019, "Messolonghi by Locals" receives the "Scaling Award" (€ 10,000) from the "START: Create Cultural Change" program. With this financial support, "Messolonghi by Locals": Organizes the 1st Festival: "Messolonghi by Locals Festival - Explore Local Identity" Explore Local Identity "in September 2019. Renovates the top floor of the…
Read More