Back in Bellevue

March 26, 2007

I have to say it was quite refreshing to return to cool and rainy Seattle after spending two weeks in warm and sunny Mexico!

Looking back, the trip was an amazing experience. By far the highlight was the people- every one of the locals that I met was very warm and friendly. Marcos and Santos from Xyaat were so passionate about making ecotourism work in their community that it was impossible to not want to do everything you could to help them.

All of us at Laguna Azul

Our group was great- everyone seemed perfect for their roles. Heber laid down all the ground work for us, learning as much as possible about Xyaat and their tours and giving us a great framework to start with. Dan did a great job with the marketing, coming up with some wondeful ideas for Xyaat to implement. Beth had one of the harder roles, making sense of Xyaat’s financial situation and coming up with a business plan that they could implement. And Magdalena brought lots of people together (Xyaat, CTSK, and others) to discuss ways to coordinate their efforts- not an easy task, but it turned out to be very successful.

We presented our final results on Friday to Xyaat, and I think it went really well. There was a lot of information to hand off to Marcos and Santos, but they seemed to really understand what we were telling them, asking lots of good questions. I designed a brochure and a matching simple web page (you can see a draft here), and they seemed very excited about that. We’ll have to help them further so they can get brochures printed and get the web site hosted, but that’s part of the program- we weren’t done when we left Mexico!

It was difficult saying goodbye- our group had worked so hard over three weeks and had really gotten to know each other and the great people here- including Marcos, Santos, and Julia from Xyaat, Manuel, Antonio, Emilio and others from CTSK, and Julio from the UNDP. It felt like a sudden end for all that work, but in fact it’s not over. We will stay in touch with each other and Xyaat going forward, and help them if they have any questions about what we’ve done.

Mexico was beautiful and the people were amazing- I am so glad I was able to participate in the program, and I can’t wait for an excuse to go back!

Dan, Magdalena, David, Beth, and Barrie at the Tulum ruins

David

PS- If you’re interested, you can see all of my photos from the trip here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/71357528@N00/collections/72157594588522351/.

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One Response to “Back in Bellevue”


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