Management, Mail, and Museums: My Mexican journey so far

For my LiA project this year, I have been working in the reaction4climate initiative organised by make_sense Mexico to battle climate injustice. While there is still a week left of the project, I would like to share and reflect on what I have learned so far during this experience.
Management, Mail, and Museums: My Mexican journey so far
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The past two and a half weeks in Mexico City have been incredible: exploring an unknown city and discovering its most famous landmarks, visiting half a dozen museums in the span of a few short days, tasting the irresistible street food, and completely falling in love with the rich and profound Mexican culture. The particular highlights for me have been the accidental discovery of the astounding Tlatelolco Archaeological Zone, with its incredible temple ruins from the time of the Mexica people, and the visit to the lush canals of Xochimilco to learn about chinampas – the ancient and effective farming practice of Mesoamerica. But, of course, it couldn’t be all sightseeing and free time, as there is always work to be done, with all it peaks, pitfalls, and challenges…      

As part of my LiA project this summer, I am working with make_sense México in their reaction4climate initiative which, as the name suggests, is intended to tackle some of the most pressing climate issues of our generation. This socio-environmental program has brought with it a lot of challenges and new learning experiences, which have all been greatly rewarding and beneficial for my leadership growth. One of the main skills developed over the last few weeks has been the Design Thinking methodology – a non-linear and intuitive process through which we can consider problems in depth, realize creative solutions, and critically evaluate our actions to make adequate changes to optimise the solution. This is a method that I had not known before starting the project, though I had probably used some of it subconsciously in previous projects, and its versatility and potential applicability to many different research fields makes it a great tool to use in future endeavours (I will certainly use it more from now on now that I know its details!).

More specifically for the project, my partner and I have been collaborating with an organisation called Sommos, which specialises in delivering local and organic groceries in an ecological way. They do this by promoting a circular economy in the local communities (meaning that all of the groceries are delivered in reusable and returnable containers, producing no waste), and by making all of their deliveries on bicycles.

To increase their engagement with the communities, and increase the latter’s overall sustainability and ecological awareness, we will be putting on a big sustainability event in collaboration with other teams of students from the reaction4climate program, with many activities related to recycling, artivism, and of course an organic picnic for all to enjoy! In helping to organise this event, I feel that I have utilised many leadership attributes, from demonstrating initiative when contacting venues (which consisted of sending lots of emails in Spanish!), networking with teams and volunteers to achieve the best result for all of the involved organisations, and presenting concise ideas for solutions to the organisation’s problems. But more importantly, this experience so far has cemented in me the belief that positive change can only occur with clear inspiration and motivation of others around you, and by having a clear long-term goal to which everyone can strive to. 

Needless to say, there will be more chances to display leadership in the remaining week of this dynamic project, with the event, the biggest challenge of them all, just around the corner. For now, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for its success, and hope that it will leave a lasting impact for communities and climate fighters in Mexico City.

Artivism Workshop (organised by Becca and Kathleen :) ) at Huerto Roma Verde
Artivism Workshop at Huerto Roma Verde (organised by Becca and Kathleen!)
 
Tlatelolco
Temple ruins at Tlatelolco

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