Calling all Tripsters!
A tourism program built by youth for youth. Youth share their neighborhoods, their favorite places, and their passions with tour guests. They are empowered as they tell their stories through tours. They actively explore and learn together. Perhaps they try something new that alone they would never have given a chance. The program will be a platform of creative confidence via participation in multiple experiences with peers, including leadership training, research, program design and tour guiding. There will be continual interaction between youth who are at different stages of their education. This will be an opportunity for mentoring and friendship. Guides and guests will participate in activities that promote creative confidence including sketching, music, videography, photography, writing, physical challenges/dance, sports, and opportunities for spontaneity.
The target users for this program are tripsters, youth, ages 13 - 24, teenagers, college students and post graduates. Youth will work in the program to build it. Youth will untilize the program as tour guests. We envision guests to be travelers, youth who relocate for education and employment, and local youth who want to experience a different part of their hometown.
Platform - Marketing and Collateral to include website, TUMBLR BLOG, app, social media, and advertising via print, press, brand development and direct marketing.
The initial build will be out of a home base ideally a community based organization, such as a Y, which is working in the field of youth development. The Y as a sponsor is an excellent fit because many branches have hostels on site bringing tour guests directly to the program. As an international organization there is potential for scalability, if initial pilots in the USA are successful.
Building the HipTrips program will require investigation and collaboration. We will need community partners and most importantly student participants! Important issues such as safety and liability must be addressed. A complete program brief which includes all of this has been developed. Please read it to see what HipTrips has to offer! HIPTRIPS - PROGRAM BRIEF
BEHIND THE SCENES The HipTrip program has been built on information gathered from many sources. Here is a look at the back story which includes wisdom gained from speaking with youth, outreach into the community for partners, and prototyping. Contacts & Conversations
THE PILOT TOUR - EL BARRIO, EAST HARLEM, NYC
This is a tour built by a fictitious group of teen and young adult guides for a group of three young women guests, ages 19-22. The guests are real people. They participated in this prototype. The guests were in contact with the guides prior to the tour. See prototype 1 for details of that encounter. The tour is intended to start at 11am and finish between 4 and 5pm. Please see the tumblr blog for images and links that accompany this tour.
East Harlem is a vibrant neighborhood which encompasses several communities. We will see contemporary life as lived by locals. You will see evidence of, and hear stories about culture, history, immigration, and gentrification of this New York City neighborhood.
We will start our tour at el Marqueta on East 116 Street and Park Avenue, under the railroad bridge. We will meet Aurelia Velez. Mrs. Velez is 72 years old and has been working in this market for 42 years. She is of Puerto Rican descent and was raised in this community. She paints a colorful and nostalgic picture when speaking of the history of this market. "On Saturdays everyone was here. Families came in from Philadelphia and Connecticut to shop. The entire family, aunts, uncles, cousins would meet here. They sold food on this side of Park Avenue, clothing and shoes across the street. It was many blocks long, the heart of shopping for this neighborhood. Now it is small." There is currently an effort to revitalize this market and there are signs of this. The plans are for food and craft stalls. In the spring and summer there is community salsa dancing on Saturday afternoons. We will walk through the market before crossing Park Avenue to start our walk on East 116 Street.
East 116 Street is a major business district in the neighborhood. Here we will see evidence of the multicultural neighborhood that is the current El Barrio. Recent immigration has brought an influx of Mexican families to this area. Many are from the areas around Puebla and Oaxaca. Some immigrants speak Mixtecan languages exclusively. We will find many Mexican eateries and food carts here. One not to miss store is the Mexico Plaza. Frequented by locals, everything in this store is imported from Mexico. One can find a wide assortment of cowboy hats, belt buckles and boots. An interesting stop on this street is the Casa Latina. This is a store which sells latin music, CDs, LPs, sheet music, and instruments. This store is a beacon for artists in the community. While researching this tour we had the fortune of meeting Eddie Montalvo, a grammy nominated Latin percussionist when he came in to see the proprietors of Casa Latina.
As we continue our walk to 1st Avenue. We will speak briefly about earlier immigration to this area. At the turn of the 20th century there was a large immigrant population who settled here from Italy. We will walk by Patsy's Pizza, a neighborhood landmark, since 1933.
We continue by heading south towards Jefferson Park on 1st Avenue and 114 street. Here we have the opportunity to see local families watch and play soccer with their children. One neighborhood teen told me "go to the back end that is where we will be. The adults are up front." Soccer is extremely popular amongst the Mexican immigrant families in this community. Here we will have an opportunity to interact with families and teens and to join in kicking the ball around. Everyone is welcome as per the teens we met playing here on our research trips. Maybe learn a few tricks? After this we have a rest stop which includes sweets, so let's move around and build up an appetite! (We will ask the guests today if they think some teens would like a longer stop here so that they can play in a game.)
Our next stop is a delicious surprise. Coffee break at Le Tropezienne Bakery. This french bakery is a gem in any neighborhood! Have a pastry, coffee and relax! (We also have the option to stop here first and take our coffee back up to watch some soccer )
From here we walk west on 110 Street to Park Avenue. We will pass Ricardo's Brazilian Steakhouse on 2nd Avenue and 110 Street. Next door is the Lorenz Dance Studio where one can learn to salsa! (Aside - We plan to include a Salsa lesson in the next tour to El Barrio. Today we will go inside and have a small spontaneous introductory lesson. One of the guests remarked during our conversations on email that they would be interested in seeing Salsa at el Marqueta. It is only available there during the warm months. We decided to include this as a surprise. We hope the guests enjoy it.)
We will see signs of gentrification as we walk on 110 Street towards Lexington Avenue. We will hear more about this issue when we have our next break at the East Harlem Cafe. We will meet with a local who will inform us on how gentrification is affecting families in this community. Young people are now being pushed out unable to afford the high rents. We arrive at Park Avenue and 110 Street. Here we enter a community garden and within it is a "casita." This is an example of vernacular architecture. Wooden houses have been built in vacant abandoned lots by Puerto Rican immigrants in New York City. Gardens are planted around them. What was once a sign of urban blight is now a social space for the community, connecting them to their common heritage and to nature.
We head back to Lexington Avenue. The remainder of the tour will focus on the Puerto Rican community in El Barrio. This area is rich in murals. Many honor Latino cultural figures. We will visit Taller Boricua, Workshop and Artist Gallery founded in 1970. Here we will hear about the Nuyorican intellectual and cultural movement in New York City which started in the 1960s and 1970s.
We walk past the En Flor Garden on our way to Justo Botanico. Here we will meet with the proprietor, Justo. He is a spiritual adviser and he will educate us on the products and services that he offers to the community.
Our final few stops are at the East Harlem Cafe for a drink, and La Casa Azul Bookstore where we can find books by Latino authors, many local to the area. This store serves as a cultural hub for this community.
Our next and last stop will be on 5th Avenue and 105 Street. Here we can enter the Museo del Barrio or the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. The choice is yours!
Inspired by our day we started a mapping project. See some of the images above. More to be posted on the blog as our guests send them in!! We will also post remarks/reviews of this pilot tour.
HOW DOES THIS BUILD CREATIVE CONFIDENCE?
This program builds connections. It brings people together. It builds empathy and an understanding of our commonalities through active learning and shared experiences. It builds skills and knowledge.
It illustrates for youth that they are capable of making things happen. They can flex their creative muscles and do just that. They have control, things do not just happen to them.
It gives youth a new way of relating their experiences. It allows youth to speak, to be heard, to engage and to act.
The surveys that I have developed and utilized are first small steps in acquiring useful information that can grow this program in a direction that users want. Please read the RESPONSES. Here you will find that the majority of the youth and parents believe this program will have a long term positive effect on their lives. You will also find out why they think so. You will find questions to the parents regarding whether the program will attract youth, their own and other kids, whether it will have a positive effect on building social skills and academic skills, whether this program will be viable/useful in the developing world and whether it will build creative confidence. You will also find the reasons why they as parents would be motivated to encourage their kids to participate and what important concerns they have. (Parent survey is brand new so there is less information but it is useful already.) The remarks have opened the door to more questions. Please read the comments. They are thoughtful, honest, entertaining, and full of the right kind of information, straight from the user. I am always amazed that when you ask a young person something in a way that they can sense that you are listening, that they will tell you exactly what they think and feel. The first order of business will be to consider renaming the program with the assistance of young people! It appears that half of the teens and young adults do not like it at all. For now though here is HipTrips
TO THE VIRTUAL TEAM: 12/16/13
Thank you for your collaboration, feedback, and comments!
Thanks Mandy for the Educators Focus Group Questionnaire. It is great and I look forward to seeing the results! Thanks for your awesome input, and for your writing contributions throughout this refinement process. Thanks Kelly for the design work, the editing, tech support and everything behind the scenes! Thanks Alexandra for the great build concerning safety issues, and for all of your feedback! Thanks for the great brainstorming session in NYC Rachael and Sylvia, and for the continued dialogue. Thanks Kirk and Brad for your recent thoughtful comments and ideas. I just added you to the team as you are helping to move HipTrips forward!
To the OpenIDEO Community: Thank you for your contributions. Each comment helps to build the HipTrips concept and move it forward!