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Ubatuba-Paraty Aoka Brazil Green Map

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Mapping an Experience - Shifting Consciousness!
About this Map

Aoka embarked on this Green Map project to help develop a sustainable tourism program in an area around the border of Ubatuba in São Paulo State and Paraty in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Within the context of a gathering entitled "Aoka Beta Experience in Ubatuba and Paraty" (July 30 to August 4, 2010), Aoka engaged approximately 35 people: local community members, tourism suppliers, entrepreneurs, and state park representatives. This gathering was based on the Appreciative Inquiry Methodology. The process posed a series of appreciative questions on the resources of the site that inspired all participants to create models for sustainable tourism in the region. It included the use of Green Map iconography in creative exercises with pseudo-passports, drawings and concrete maps onto which all stakeholders physically mapped sustainable resources in the region. These findings were brought together in one overall Green Map on a hard-copy satellite map template. It was a conceptual mapping as the participants had creative license in collaboratively placing the icons not in an exact location but rather in the general geographic area of each community site. (A secondary reason for the imprecise placement of the icons was the challenge of mapping rural sites that are off the beaten path; sometimes with unnamed dirt roads or unclear territorial lines.) This map-making exercise is just the beginning and will inspire the development of more concrete, community-based tourism itineraries in the future.

Overall, this journey was a positive and generative step towards sustainable tourism in the region -- not only for Aoka -- but for all the communities, local actors, and visitors involved. This meeting of hearts and minds instilled a shift in consciousness through a collaborative process of seeing the world through different eyes.

Community Outcomes

Out of this Aoka Beta Experience and use of universal Green Map iconography, the participants conjured their visions of what a sustainable tourism itinerary could look like through pseudo-passports, colorful maps, text and drawings. From this creative space, they then committed to viable actions for solid itineraries in the region. Among the commitments were: the development of communication materials for each community; planning and technical support; environmental education; courses in marketing and foreign languages for community members; and linking community online information to relevant web and social networking sites.

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- São Paulo - Brazil - Latin America
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