It’s beautiful sunny day with the clear sky in the Mexican Caribbean, in the state of Quintana Roo. You are on holiday heading to an exciting new destination. The driver of your Jeep turns down a road into a colorful and vibrant forest. Bird songs electrify the air, and even monkeys come to salute the newcomers. Twelve entertaining and
bumpy kilometers later, you have reached your destination: Uxuxubí.
Uxuxubí is a 15,000-hectare village home to a tight-knit community and an array of alligators, jaguars and many other species, who all share this land in great harmony.
The next few days will be filled with experiences like diving with alligators, hiking in the magical nature, teaching animal names in English to the kids of the community, sharing stories with other visitors and locals, and eating delicious food that has been
grown on the site. For a few days, you get to be a part of the community. You learn how to plant a fruit tree and know that the tree you planted will be there for many decades to come, which leaves you feeling good. The nights are spent dreaming in a
hammock under huge protective trees.
At the end of the stay, you will be happy to pay the hosts for your visit, knowing that the money will stay in the village and help them develop their lives and this sustainable tourism business they run. You left your mark to the community, and it left a mark on you. You will leave the place knowing you will be back someday.
Aalto LAB Mexico‘s Uxuxubí team is working to make this vision a reality. Using human-centered design methods and close collaboration with local residents and our partners at Instituto Tecnológico de Cancún, we will be co-designing a model for sustainable, community-based tourism that can help the villagers achieve their dream of becoming part of the Yucatán Peninsula’s booming tourism industry. This is the first phase of Aalto LAB Mexico’s three-year project in Uxuxubí, which is facilitated through the Sustainable Global Technologies programme. This year, we will be identifying and analyzing Uxuxubí’s challenges and opportunities as it starts to build its tourism capacity.