¡Vamonos a Uxuxubí!

We’ve finally arrived in Mexico!

Our project team at the Instituto Tecnológico de Cancún

Our team at the Instituto Tecnológico de Cancún

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.

A big thanks to Moomin Characters for sponsoring us! Moomin will be joining us throughout our journey.

A big thanks to Moomin for sponsoring us! Moomin will be joining us throughout our journey.

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.

Team Uxuxubí is ready to roll!

Team Uxuxubí is ready to roll!

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!

Welcome To The Uxuxubi Project

This is an Aalto LAB Mexico project, a program affiliated to the Sustainable Global Technologies (SGT) course at Aalto University Finland. Every year through the SGT course, Aalto students are given hands on projects in different scopes which are aimed at improving lives and making the world a better place through sustainable technologies.

 In 2017, one of such projects is to implement a sustainable community-based tourism in a Mayan village called Uxuxubi in the Mexican Caribbean. The project is being executed in a collaboration between Aalto University and Instituto Tecnológico de Cancun, Mexico. The project starts at Aalto University in January 2017, where we formed our team and began preparations for a field visit of the Uxuxubi community. There are four Aalto master’s students in our group: Lawrence Ofosu Gyinaye, Elizabeth Miller, Jennifer Pitkänen and Niina Repo. We are also working with students from our partner university in Mexico during our visit to the community.

Our project is now in the diagnostic phase, therefore we will be collecting data and information about the village and identifying tourism potentials. Multiple stakeholders who are involved in improving sustainable rural tourism in Uxuxubí and the livelihoods of its residents will be brought together during this project. This 2017 diagnosis phase of the project will form the foundation for the project to continue successfully in the future in the development and implementation phases.

We invite you to follow this project as we present to you the exciting and beautiful scenery of Uxuxubi that promises to make it your next holiday destination. We will share our experiences and adventures in series of blogs everyday during our time in the beautiful community.

“Sitting at our back doorsteps, all we need to live a good life lies about us. Sun, wind, people, buildings, stones, sea, birds and plants surround us. Cooperation with all these things brings harmony, opposition to them brings disaster and chaos.” 
― Bill MollisonIntroduction to Permaculture

Welcome on board!