Via Institute | Training and Capacity-Building
In response to requests and steadily increasing interest in our community development work, the Via International’s Institute for Community Development and Voluntourism was established to share understanding and capacity-building support internationally.
We particularly recognize the valuable role that ‘voluntourism’ plays in a community development context and promote its constructive use by partnering with other community development organizations internationally to support development of voluntourism initiatives.
The model of community development tested in the US/Mexico border region by Los Niños for 35 years, has achieved recognition for its integrated and participatory methodology. Via International, sister organization to Los Niños, is now committed to providing training and technical assistance to communities and organizations. Via provides education and seminars in:
- Participatory Development
- Ecology/Environment Outreach
- Nutrition and Health Outreach
- Micro Enterprise/Micro Credit Development
- Community Leadership and Organizing (promotoria)
- Invisible Asset Development
- Cross-Cultural Training
To request infomation
In consultation with other organizations Via International discovered that many small, yet extremely effective organizations have the need for suport in:
- Board/Governance processes
- Management strategies
- Fiscal/Legal Systems
- Resource Development efforts
- Promotion and Public Relations
- Creative Momentum Development
- External Communications Audit
- Invisible Asset Asessment
Via International offers experienced faculty who can provide training, seminars, courses, and professional support for organizational development. Via International's intern program may also provide support for community development organizations to build capacity in these areas when appropriate.
Voluntourism can serve as a valuable tool for promoting international development while expanding the awareness of voluntourists about the world and their relationship to it. In the 30 years of experience hosting groups in the US/Mexico border region, Via International has heard countless testimonies of the impact voluntouring has made on the lives and perspectives of participants..
Voluntourism when designed as a social enterprise can also bring much-needed resources and labor to community-defined projects while generating some revenues to the coordinating organizations, as well.
To expand this powerful development methodology, Via International offers training and technical support that is both theoretical and practical. Organizations interested in developing their capacity to launch voluntourism initiatives are encouraged to contact us.
- Starting Voluntourism Initiatives
- Principles and Ethics of Voluntourism
- Administrative, Legal, and Fiscal Elements of Voluntourism
- Marketing and Trip Development
- Pricing for Viability
- Volunteer Project Design and Management
- Orientation, Facilitation, and Follow-up with Volunteers
- Voluntourism for Regional Development Agencies
- Voluntourism for Community Organizations
- Voluntourism for Travelers and Tour Operators
- Voluntourism and Corporate Responsibilty Opportunities
- Cross-cultural Seminar for Voluntouring and Voluntourists
Via International is also interested in connecting with and collaborating with trip operators and community organizations already engaged in voluntourism. We look forward to hearing from you! To request infomation
In the past decade we have experienced an exponential shift in the way the world is engaged as the internet eliminates borders, labor migrates to respond to new market offerings, and new awareness has shifted our priorities to include not only economic objectives but also social and environmental ones.
Many corporations, universities, associations, and service organizations are trying to come to terms with these rapidly-shifting global realities and are reacting to new conditions rather than responding with new ways of viewing and behaving in the world. With such dramtic change and complexity, new systems and perspectives are forcing us to think inclusively, long-term, creatively, and comprehensively to encompass a broader diversity of people and ideas, as well as the natural world.
Via International’s Voluntour program creates opportunities for engagement, analysis and knowing “the other” as a powerful way to transform thinking while taking action. The experience of travel and service combined allows us to respond more proactively and contribute to the development of new perspectives and systems.
Corporate Social Responsibility – The mission and objectives of a business can be enhanced by community outreach, civic engagement, and investment in the human development of staff. Via International offers a wide range of customized opportunities to deepen social responsibility through Voluntours, Global Citizenship training, community engagement, and service program support.
Cross-cultural Training - VolunTours™ designs cross cultural training that builds awareness and enhances immersion volunteer experiences in global settings.
Volunteer Training for Global Citizenship – Individuals that participate in well-designed immersion programs that combine service and travel deepen their abilities in cross-cultural understanding and expand their capacity to work in diverse environments.
Global Citizenship Training - VolunTours™ customized curriculum for global citizenship is an experiential learning process that benefits individuals’ personal growth while achieving team bonding and group participation objectives.
Volunteer Experience and Community Impact – Volunteers benefit most when they are offered a system that responds to their interests, provides orientation and follow-up as well as an engaged service opportunity that meets a need.
Via VolunTours™ Global Citizen programs are designed to achieve three objectives:
- The completion of meaningful and needed community-defined projects that are served by incoming volunteers.
- Engagement in cross-cultural and individually transformative experience that serves to create a more global perspective, and
- Provide a contribution to economic, social and environmental goals for the creation of more sustainable systems on our planet.
Faculty and Associates
- Rebecca Belletto
- Dana Carman
- Jennifer Case
- David Clemmons
- Marie-Elena Colon
- Teresa Franco
- Alonzo Lucero
- Gilberto Martinez
- Andrew Morikawa
- Rigoberto Reyes
- Elisa Sabatini