We’ve finally arrived in Mexico!
Since January, we have been working on this project and preparing for our field trip. Now that it is upon us, we want to share our thoughts and expectations so we can see how they correlate with our experiences during the trip.
For our preparations, we have done research, gathered useful information and discussed about what we would like to do while in Mexico. We are planning on having workshops, doing interviews, mapping and most importantly: observing. We will document everything through writing, photographs and videos, which we will be sharing on our blog. The methods used in Aalto LAB Mexico are based on human-centered design and design thinking principles, so we have also familiarized ourselves with the methods and tools we could use using the IDEO Field Guide for Human-Centered Design. For most of us, these are new methods, so it has been interesting learning about new approaches to research and ideation. Other preparations have been meeting experts Duara Travels and ReiluMatkailu and getting sponsorships from Partioaitta, Moomin Characters and Aalto Shop.
It has been wonderful to finally get to Mexico and meet the rest of the team! In one of our Skype meetings, we “met” everyone already: all nine students, Dr. Elisa Guillen-Arguelles, the four other teachers and Mr. Pani, the head of Uxuxubí. We have had some great meetings and workshops during our first days in Cancún, and we can’t wait to get to the village. During our first in-person meeting with village leaders, we were moved by their ideas, passion, and deep sense of community spirit.
There is still a lot we don’t know about Uxuxubí, but from what we know they are very eager to get us there and to work with us. This makes it even more exciting to go there, as they actually want us to help and come with new ideas on how to improve the tourism in their village in a sustainable way. We hope to interact a lot with the inhabitants of Uxuxubí and get an understanding of their lives and lifestyles. Further, we are hoping to explore the area and get some guided tours in the surroundings. Uxuxubí is in the jungle, and the villagers have said that there may be natural features they don’t even know about yet. Maybe we can discover some new natural wonders together! Another thing we are planning on doing is mapping with the help of GPS devices. We will also be evaluating customer journeys throughout our stay from the perspectives of different tourist types. This, we hope, can be very useful for helping the villagers come up with possible tourist activities and areas in need of improvement.
We can’t wait to get started with the actual field trip and for all the things we will learn and experience! We are very happy and excited to help the villagers put Uxuxubí on the map!