Field period over, getting prepared for the future

The field work period in the Maya community of 20 de Noviembre has been finished and the arisen ideas have been reviewed by the community. Also presentations have been given at the campus of UNAM in Mexico City like also at the campus of Aalto University, Finland. Now we’re at the point of formulating our insights deliverable for future Aalto LAB projects, persuading future funders and getting prepared for our presentation at the event about the end of Maya calendar at the Didrichsen’s museum in the Finnish capital area on the December 21st.

The focal question is, what we ended up doing in the field. In the end we didn’t use design probes as such but participant observation and interviews were definitely our keys to delve into the life of the community.

Our method of analysis included articulating and re-articulating the points arisen from the interviews and observations, using post-its and group brainstorming. If we look into the challenges arisen from this data, according to the extent to which they can be solved within and by the community we can find a pattern. However, the pattern excludes wider issues of health, transportation costs, general educational level, waste management and social security, because these issues require long term interaction with other stakeholders and can’t hence be solved alone within the community.

The challenges, the community of 20 de Noviembre is currently facing and able to resolve are:

-bridges to the market place (customers, materials) and the municipality (long term support from the upper hierarchy) are lacking
-internal communication and organization towards unity and common goals

From the stories and the overview of the current situation we can also draw that the main strengths of the community, helping it to overcome the issues, are

-creativity
-innovativeness
-enjoyment of artisanal work
-usage of local ecological resources
-positive community atmosphere
-positive examples of support and networking skills

There are examples of persons in the community that convince us that the community has the potential to overcome the issues of organization, learning and communication

Based on these existing capabilities and potential in the community, after our field period in the review session we suggested the community to

-increase the extent of sharing knowledge & learning
-create a unified way of working together and internalize a unique community identity towards inviting small-scale ecological tourism

So according to our story so far we see a lot of potential but also issues that require long term engagement in terms of issues that the community needs help in order to overcome. These wider issues could and should be addressed by external stakeholders in the future. This is what will be the next focus of the project.

Sofia

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