My Cultural Day Tour Experience
After spending just over a month working with the team at Human Connections, I have gained a better understanding about the importance of relationships. Fostering long lasting partnerships is the reason why this organization exists. It has become evident through cultural day tours, artisan meetings, and daily interactions that Human Connections values their community and local partners. The dynamics amongst both artisan partners, staff members, and tour participants are not only reciprocal but truly inspirational. It has been an honor to witness the authenticity and transparency in the everyday interactions between the organization and the people they collaborate with.
The Cultural Day Tours are just one of the many initiatives part of Human Connection’s mission to join both international travelers and local community members through intercultural exchange. These tours challenge tourists and artisans to break down previous stereotypes and allow two different audiences to connect, relate, and understand.
My role at Human Connections as a Global Fellow has opened my eyes to the importance of responsible tourism and how it offers alternatives to traditional travel. I have had the honor to observe countless cross cultural conversations while attending the tours. Travelers arrive eager to “go off the beaten path” and leave with a deeper appreciation for the commonalities between themselves and the people they meet in Mexico.
At the start of the tour, Human Connections welcomes tour participants in their office and creates space for guests to introduce themselves. Our tour guide, Maya, greets travelers and prefaces the tour by giving background information about Mexico and its diverse cultures and communities. In preparation for the tour, Maya informs tour guests that the artisans partners they will be visiting live across the highway- in the less touristic section of Bucerías. She highlights the importance of keeping an open mind and displaying respect while they enter the homes of the locals. Through this dialogue, Human Connections hopes to prepare international visitors to leave stereotypes at the door and listen to the narratives of talented entrepreneurs.
Each tour consists of three visits to local artisan partners and their families. Because Human Connections’ ability to form long lasting relationships within their community, artisans are more than willing to share their experiences and welcome travelers into their homes. Artisans have the opportunity to engage in storytelling through translated conversations. Tour participants’ perspectives are shifted as they attentively listen to the unique narratives. Both audiences are encouraged to participate in this inspirational exchange.