© 2018 by Mysterious Mexico.

oN-GoiNg Folk Lore InvesTiGatiOns

This is my favorite part... It's me getting to hang out with the local people, listen to their stories, meet their families, and ask lots of questions. It's super organic and flows out of everyday living. It's going to a Maya birthday party and watching the children break open the pinata while listening to dad tell stories about Mayan mystical creatures or sharing my lunch with the lady from Chiapas who sells things on the beach and asking her about the Shamanic practices where she lives.

The key is that when I am doing these things, I am actively gaining information. 

 

I have two general field research approaches. Both are simple and allow me to connect with people in an authentic way. 

ONE: I have questions I have previously thought of that I am looking for answers to.

 

For example: "What is an Alux?"   or    "Why do Maya children wear a red string on their wrist?"

This is where YOU get to share the experience. The research is fascinating.

Scroll down to see two ways YOU can be part of this!

I ask a whole bunch of different people the same basic questions and (after our conversation) I record their answers. I often take their picture to help me remember who they are and sometimes I share those photos and their stories with YOU!

 

One of the keys to this approach is to be genuinely interested in the person you are talking to. Try to put yourself in their shoes. I don't just walk around interrupting people and asking them questions. The most important part is to make CONNECTIONS. Don't you agree?

 

Placing value on each person you are talking to allows for friendship building and makes people feel important (which they ARE!) The best way to do this is to strike up conversations in a natural way. You are on the beach and the lady selling things stops to see if you want to buy anything. You take time to look through her things and ask her questions about how she made them. You ask about her family, and her language. She is happy because it is obvious you really care. You buy something small (which you will probably end up giving away as a gift to the next person you talk to!)

Soon, you have built trust and you can ask deeper, more interesting questions. She explains about how the little red string bracelets she sells keep away the evil eye. You ask her to elaborate and soon you are mining cultural treasures that are worth more than gold!

 

TWO: I allow the direction of the conversation to suggest new questions.

For example: While chatting with a college professor in Puerto Vallerta, I discovered that his mother had explained a lot to him about shape-shifting shamans when he was young. Sweet! Can you imagine how exciting it was to hear his stories? 

 

This is a great way to learn. I listen carefully and ask questions to encourage whomever I am speaking with to expand on their story. I find out all kinds of amazing things this way. Again, the core value of honoring people holds true here too. I have made many lasting friendships this way, which then open doors for more and deeper conversations. What a fun and "feel good" way to learn!

Send Me Your Questions

This is where YOU get to share the experience. The research is fascinating.​

Enjoy the adventure stories below and if you think of any awesome questions, send them to me!

Wouldn't it be cool to have someone on the ground asking questions YOU are curious about?

Topics include things like:

  • Maya mysteries

  • endangered languages

  • the roots of traditions

  • elemental beings

  • ancient ruins

  • sacred underground caves

  • jungle medicine

  • cultural idiosyncrasies

  • Mexican spirituality

or anything else you are curious about

Help Keep the Research Going

You can help keep the field research going. By donating, you make it possible for me to do all the things I need to do to facilitate relationships building and information gathering. Research expenses are pretty simple. They include things like:

 

  • travel expenses like gas, entrance fees to ancient sites and natural reserves, and the occasional cheap hotel room

  • buying art and handicrafts from locals which both supports local artists AND usually gets passed along to another local

  • purchasing meals and snacks to share because sharing a meal is one of the best ways to connect with people and many of these people are pretty hungry

Yes, I want to donate to help keep the research going!

All donations go to The Mysterious Mexico Research Fund