Author: alsteve

Peru Week 2: Design Thinking

As many of you probably don’t know, the Peru football team (*cough cough* soccer) hasn’t been to the American Cup Finals in 44 years, but they made it this year, and Lima was insane. We have never seen so many people watching a soccer game in our lives. Even during the semifinals, we were walking down the streets and there was nobody out that wasn’t watching the game. People were crowded around every TV there was. If you had a TV, it was turned on to the game. Every store had people circled around it, watching intently. We went to a cafe 15 minutes before the game was over, and we watched the shootout between Peru and Chile! It was super intense. When Peru made it to the final, Miraflores (a district in Lima, and where Nic and I live) closed a street and set up a screen so everyone could watch the game together. Peru didn’t win, but they did score a point against Brazil, and I’m pretty sure the whole city shook.

This week, Nic and I held two design thinking workshops. One for the “Promotores” (Nataly, Rocio, and Eveli), so they could take part in it, and one for the mothers in their community in Pamplona Alta (30 women showed up!). It started off shaky because even though I can speak a decent amount of Spanish, It was very hard for me to answer questions off of the “script”. I could give them a very vague answer, but sometimes I didn’t even know what their question was. No one there knew English, so I couldn’t even use my Spanglish skills. After a while, we got into a better swing of things, but they struggled to come up with solutions, and with my limited Spanish vocabulary, I struggled to help them. In the future, when we have Design Thinking workshops, I think I’ll get a translator because I could give an okay description on how to accomplish the task, but I think they missed the huge point of the workshop. I couldn’t get them to realize they can start a program to fix some of these issues they have. For example, one of the problems they have is that a lot of people just throw their dirty water in the street because they don’t have plumbing, and since they live in the hills where nothing grows, it makes everything really gross and mucky and hard for “cars” to go up. One of their solutions was to tell people “don’t throw your water in the street”, but when they do that they aren’t really fixing a problem. Some other problems they talked about was the trash being thrown in the street, the stray dogs, fathers not being there for their kids, not having plumbing or electricity, not being able to get a house in your name, and not having many plants. In the end, we don’t think they understood that they could be the ones to be the change, and that was the whole part of the workshop. We have another design thinking workshop in the future, so we plan on updating the process and using Carlos as a translator.

Design Thinking with the Promotores

Meet the Peru Team!

A note from Lexi:

It’s crazy to think that we are leaving for Peru in a little more than 2 weeks! We will be arriving in Lima, Peru late on Monday, June 24th. I’m so excited to get the feel of the city and make some new friends abroad. I am also ready to be motivated and motivate others on making a change in my and their community. Many people have this stereotype that other countries need our help (and yes maybe some do), but we kind of force our help on others and we think that we know best, especially when we just give other people things without educating them on how they can do it themselves. The thing I hope to accomplish is to encourage and motivate at least one Peruvian to make a change in their community. Keep reading to learn about me and Nic before we go on this grand adventure!

Lexi is a 4th year studying Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech. She studied abroad in Valencia, Spain in the Fall of 2018. As a new University Innovation Fellow, she is focused on creating a zero-waste culture on Michigan Tech’s campus. She is also involved in Pavlis Honors College where she is in the Global Leadership Pathway, and she is a Pavlis Ambassador. Lexi is beyond excited to be on the Pavlis Pilot Team for the Lima, Peru Site during Summer 2019. Stepping out of her comfort zone and gardening are among some of Lexi’s interests.

Nic is a fourth-year Biological Sciences Pre-Health major going for a minor in Psychology at Michigan Technological University. Nic moved around a lot throughout elementary school but ended up finding a home in Lake Linden, Michigan about twenty minutes away from Michigan Technological University. He is apart of Pavlis Honors College along with Health Occupations Students of America and Mont Ripley Ski Patrol. In his spare time, Nic likes to spend to be outside doing things like run, snowboard, skateboard, swim, and bike.