the social impact lab design challenge:
How might we creatively market and distribute El Pasaporte para el Mercado and stay true to its collaborative, community-based roots?
Be sure to check out the El Pasaporte Project lab page for details on the challenge, history of the project, and project sponsor.
Here’s a list of information that can provide relevant background information or inspiration to you as you think about the project and/or design challenge
Things to Read or Listen to:
Racist Sandwich podcast - Any episode but these two have particular relevance
Mexican Food is already elevated with Abel Hernandez and Jaime Soltero - If you listen to one episode of the Racist Sandwich, this one reinforces the significance of authenticity and value in Mexican food - themes applicable to perception and presentation of Latin American food in Portland
Food Stories that Don’t Pay the Bills - Another amazing and applicable episode interviewing Francis Lam (of Splendid Table) talking about the invisibility of the immigrant community in the food industry
Latino USA podcast - Journalism for and by Latinxs
That time Latino USA spent 16 hours in a New York City bodega - If you listen to one episode of Latino USA, an oldie but goodie is about the New York bodega culture, food insecurity, and Latinos’ love for the corner bodega.
Things to Read
Organizations to folloW
For the duration of the lab, we recommend you follow or check out what these organizations are doing or saying
People, Places and Things (Q&A with Mariel)
Here are some examples and recommendations from El Pasaporte Project about experiences you could do as a team during the research phase.
Who could team members talk to?
I think talking to the vendors at the Portland Mercado would give you a lot of good insight. I can look into setting up one-on-one time with a few of the vendors to talk about how they want their businesses to be portrayed and marketed in Portland.
If you have Latino friends and/or family members, ask them how they would want their culture to be portrayed? What does authentic cultural representation entail? How has their cultures been represented or misrepresented in the past? Ask them about the role of food in their culture(s).
Interview friends and/or family that go out to eat in the SE Hawthorne (SE 30th-45th streets) and Division (SE 30 to 40th streets) commercial districts and ask them what they look for in a dining experience.
Interview people from the Arleta neighborhood / Foster-Powell area / other neighborhoods near the Portland Mercado asking them what entices them to go out to eat.
Ask friends and/or family that consider themselves foodies, like to travel (even better if they like to travel to Latin America), or like to support social initiatives in Portland. Ask them what is important to them as a foodie, a Latinamericanista, or a social activist.
Where could team members visit?
First, visit the Portland Mercado. It is best at peak hours in the afternoon (7238 SE Foster Rd.)
Later, compare your experience at the Portland Mercado to Anglo-owned restaurants. Some suggestions are:
¿Por Qué No? (3524 N Mississippi Ave., and 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd.)
Teoté House Cafe (1615 SE 12th Ave) and Mezcalería (2700 NE Alberta St.)
Describe your experience at both Latino-owned and Anglo-owned restaurants
What do you notice in the visual and sonic experience?
Who is at the setting (customers and vendors)?
How do you feel (describe in emotions)
What do you like best about the atmospheres?
For questions about the Social Impact Lab PDX, contact your team lead directly.