Community Engagement

Leadership Education
Building human capacity is a critical element of community development. Through the evolution of our programming, Via International and our sister organization, Los Niños de Baja California, have developed a unique model of promotoria (community leadership) that has enabled us to have tremendous success in our work. Promotoras/promotores are community members who have taken a leadership role in organizing and educating their community.

Developing Human Potential

“Human capital – the individual and collective health, skills, capacity, and knowledge of people – is the foundation on which all other progress is based. Healthy and well-educated citizens who are given a political voice and access to opportunity play an essential role in alleviating poverty, promoting good governance, and ensuring a more secure and prosperous future for themselves, their families, their communities, and their countries. Investing in human capital is both a humanitarian imperative and a driver of economic vitality, technological progress, and political stability.” - Clinton Global Initiative

The thread of leadership education runs through all of Via’s programs, whether nutrition education, micro-enterprise, youth engagement or international student travel. At every level of programming we are reinforcing the ideas of individual capacity, empowerment and civic engagement that benefit not just the individual but have collective positive impact on the community as a whole.

Additionally, we have programs specifically targeted toward developing leadership capacity in underserved communities. First and foremost are our Nutrition & Ecology programs on both sides of the border that in addition to promoting health awareness, are the cornerstone of our Promotora program. The goal of developing individual leadership capacity and training women from the community to become community health workers (known as promotoras) is central to its core objectives and serves to support program sustainability. Other programs include the Women’s Community Leadership Education Program in City Heights, the Empowering Youth Through History Program in the Logan Heights neighborhood of San Diego, and the “Educacion y Formacion Para Promotores/as Communitarias” (Education and Development of Community Workers) a two-year university credentialed program in Tijuana, Mexico.