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Fundación En Vía2024-05-17T01:41:37-06:00

Fundación En Vía • Mexico

Fundación En Vía (En Vía) is a non-profit organization that was started in 2008 to promote the empowerment of women, the well-being of families, and the strengthening of communities. The En Vía team works to achieve the organization’s mission by providing participatory programs that encourage community members’ personal development as well as the growth of income-generating businesses. Their programs have been successfully funded through their unique responsible tourism model that engages both their community and tourists in impactful learning exchanges. En Vía currently operates in six Zapotec communities in the Tlacolula Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. To date, they have supported over 270 women with a team of just six people.

PROGRAM FOCUS

Microfinance Program: En Vía provides self-employed women living on the outskirts of Oaxaca with interest-free microloans to use toward their businesses. Prior to receiving the funds, all of the women must complete En Vía’s eight-hour Foundation Business Management Course (eight business and financial management classes) before receiving their first loan. As they move through the loan process, they must attend monthly classes on business development and present their businesses to responsible tourist groups. Through this initiative, En Vía aims to give women the financial security and resources to better provide for themselves and their families.

Education Program: Recognizing that microloans alone would not be enough to address poverty challenges in Oaxaca, En Vía offers an eight-hour Foundational Business Management course, monthly business courses, personal and professional development workshops, and an English language program. All of En Vía’s microloan recipients must join the management course and the monthly business courses. The purpose of the program is to equip entrepreneurs with the skills to successfully manage their businesses and to capacitate local business owners with the necessary communication skills to promote their businesses to responsible tourist groups.

Responsible Tourism Program: En Vía connects responsible tourists to communities living on the outskirts of Oaxaca to establish a meaningful exchange between the two groups. This gives the tourists the opportunity to experience a more authentic side of Oaxaca, to learn about Oaxacan culture, and about the local community’s way of life. En Vía uses the tour fees to support its microloan and education programs. En Vía’s women entrepreneurs who participate in the exchange are able to present their businesses to the tour groups, build their confidence, and share their ideas and goals for the future.

Growing Strong Program: This program was developed by En Vía in response to the emerging needs of families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The En Vía team realized that families with their own food resources were far more resilient compared to their neighbors. To support neighbors with fewer resources, En Vía organized a grassroots campaign that ultimately led to 417 donors gifting 154 women and their families with materials to start their own vegetable gardens or chicken farms. After seeing the success of the campaign, En Vía developed Growing Strong into a regular program to address immediate food insecurity.

The current program provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to expand their chicken farm and vegetable garden projects into a source of revenue. Community members also receive in-depth animal care and business development courses to ensure their success.

WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP

Since En Vía began its operations in 2008, its team consistently fundraised a majority of the organization’s budget through their own programs. Despite them having financial sustainability, the GoPhil team learned by talking with their team that they are in need of capacity development training. Knowing how difficult it is for small organizations to access funding for training and capacity development, we onboarded them as a learning partner in early 2023 so that they could access our learning resources, participate in our regional Learning Network, take part in our workshops and contribute with their incredible experience.

WHAT MAKES EN VIA UNIQUE?

En Vía uses a self-sustaining model that most nonprofit organizations could only dream of achieving. They are a fantastic role model for our partners and offer a unique approach to securing funds for their community through responsible tourism while simultaneously empowering their beneficiaries. The GoPhil community would greatly benefit from visiting En Vía to learn about local development challenges and successful business models directly from their entrepreneurs.

If you are interested in supporting Fundación En Vía, please email us at [email protected]

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