by Alexanne Dick
This phrase hangs as an art piece made of old car licence plates in the General Director’s office in the IMPLAN (Instituto Municipal de Planeación) work space.
I, Alexanne, along with two other Canadians, Ezra and Alec, will be working in this space over the next 6 months through a program organized by the International Youth Internship Program, Sustainable Cities International and Simon Fraser University. We are all recent university graduates who applied to this program separately and are now engaged in our internships and new home of San José del Cabo, Mexico.
We were all greeted into the country with open arms and invitations to get tacos, cervezas and check out the many picturesque beaches. It’s been an amazing start to our internship, to say the least! The first day of our internship provided a detailed introduction to the mission, goals and values of the IMPLAN community. Our questions were answered eagerly by our supervisors and the employees in the office were enthusiastic about welcoming us into their work space. The group within the office, as well as people within the town in general, are incredibly kind and welcoming. We are greeted everywhere with “¡hola!”, hand shakes, kisses on the cheek, and smiles.
The position for my internship as a “Food Security Research Assistant” requires me to study the region of the East Cape to analyze current food production systems and to develop a pilot idea based on efficient and sustainable agriculture which can be replicated throughout the region. To achieve this, some of my duties include interviewing delegates, farmers and cultivators of the towns within the East Cape, using GIS and other geographical data to analyze the land uses and potentiality for infrastructural development, as well as researching areas with similar agricultural difficulties of arid land and a dry climate.
Alec and Ezra are interning as “Urban Development Research Assistants”. Their duties consist of analyzing empty lots within the cities of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo and creating potential site designs which would encourage densification and the development of infrastructure to satisfy an increasing population. They are also researching different financial schemes to fund this mixed use, social housing focused development. Their project is based on the Urban Development Plan for 2040, created by IMPLAN, which establishes a sustainable vision for the municipality, including how growth should occur.
The phrase “Dream it. Plan it. Do it.” resonates with us on many levels. As recent graduates seeking work experience in our fields we can certainly claim that a few months prior to our internship we were dreaming about the experience, planning it, and now we are doing it! It feels amazing to be part of a young and dynamic team of individuals who are all seeking to improve their community and maintain efficiency and sustainability within the development projects for the future. This phrase was also replicated in presentations we each made to members of the IMPLAN team last week. These 20 minute presentations allowed us to discuss the hopes and goals we would like to achieve while in this area as well as the methodology to “Plan and Do” what we are aiming to accomplish.
I am positive that the following 6 months will be an unforgettable experience filled with discoveries and learning opportunities. We are all expressing a lot of enthusiasm towards la nueva capitulo en nuestra vida (the new chapter in our lives!).