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Human Connections (Formerly Investours)

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Through educational tours, seminars, and internships in Mexico, Human Connections brings together international travelers and local Mexican entrepreneurs to share in cultural and personal exchange.

Our programs foster real connections that are transformative, rewarding and have lasting social impact.

Like Investours, Human Connections will offer day tours where participants can meet local artisans and business owners and learn more about their lives and work. At our Community Center, Human Connections will offer educational programming like English and finance classes to locals and Spanish classes for tourists.

As a result of the transition, Investours Mexico no longer exists (though we maintain a close and friendly relationship with the international NGO).

We call Bucerias, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico home. Bucerias is a charming seaside village just north of the world-renowned Pacific Coast destination of Puerto Vallarta.

Tour Experience

Human Connections offers a completely unique cultural experience. We bring our guests into the vibrant neighborhoods within Bucerias that travelers rarely get to see. There, we visit three different homes and engage with local artisans, tradespeople and food vendors. We spend about an hour with each person, learning the story behind their craft and seeing the “real Bucerias” through their eyes. While you will enjoy an outstanding homemade meal and history about the area, your favorite thing about the tour will surely be the people you meet. They are simply inspiring.

This is a tour about progress (not a tour about poverty) that aims to foster cultural exchange and promote local businesses, all the while providing our guests with an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

We have many unique tours to choose from, and our tours can be tailored to match the preferences of your group! On some tours, we visit Colonia Javier Obando, on some tours we walk up the riverbed in the heart of town, and sometimes we visit a variety of communities. All of our tours will give you a new perspective of Bucerias by showcasing its hardworking, gregarious people.

• Meet local artisans, tradespeople, and food vendors

• Hear the secrets behind their crafts and livelihoods, gaining new insight into Mexican culture

• Enjoy a traditional Mexican meal

• Stay involved with the artisans after the tour is over by following us online or as a volunteer

Note that of the tour fee, an impressive 80% will have a direct community impact: $9 will be used to fairly compensate the artisans for their time and services, $8 will pay for your homemade meal and transportation (if required), and $8 will pay for the tour guide, tour preparation, and materials. The remaining $14 will be reinvested in our community programs, meaning your dollar continues to strengthen this community long after the tour itself.

Educational Programs

English for Vendors

Our English for Vendors classes are designed to give local artisans the skills to overcome the language barrier with English-speaking travelers. Our classes are held at our downtown Bucerias office on weekday evenings. We are always looking for additional volunteers from our community to help teach and assist our classes. The curriculum is driven by our students and is focused on vocabulary and phrases that vendors often use. We cover greetings and salutations, making transactions, numbers and money, and other helpful topics. Our English for Vendor classes are proving to be very popular within the community.

Financial Literacy

The primary goal of our financial literacy courses is to help our artisans with their everyday business decisions. We share basic business knowledge such as budgeting, differentiating revenue and profit, accounting for all costs including transportation and time, local permitting laws, and help them with microloan debt relief. We also try to prepare our artisans for the changes in tourist high and low seasons through strategic financial planning. Students find that these courses often help them grow or stabilize their businesses and to maximize their capital throughout the year.

Speciality Workshops

To celebrate the diversity of Bucerias, we offer specialty workshops, in which anyone can propose a course to teach a specific skill to other community members. In the past, topics have included metal jewelry making, crocheting, and healthy cooking. Our workshops take place in our downtown Bucerias office and are a great way to bring the community together. Feel free to contact us about teaching a workshop.

Spanish for Gringos

For expats or long-term visitors, our Spanish for Gringos class offers a unique, personal way to gain useful Spanish language phrases. This class is taught by HC clients who have strong English and teaching skills. The curriculum is student-driven and depends on the students’ level of Spanish; topics covered often include greetings and personal introductions, common questions, numbers and money, and weather. Please contact us to see when these classes will be offered.

Intern Programs

Our internships are led by the Director of Human Connections, Elly Rohrer, with the collaboration of local staff and guest speakers. Interns will learn how a social enterprise operates, examine the impact on the surrounding community, and gain a unique cultural experience. We host a 3-week program in January and an 8-week program in the summer.

We have conducted more than 10 internship programs in Bucerias involving students from Harvard, Yale, University of California Berkeley, Northern Illinois University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and more. Our program is usually capped at eight participants, and given the intimate nature of our program and housing, participants tend to become close friends and often stay in contact after completing their internship.

Why intern with Human Connections?

Our interns do not get us coffee or sit in an office doing busy work; they play a key role in decisions and contributions that influence the progress and growth of our organization. Not only does our extended internship program offer students the opportunity to work on-one-on with our clients in the community, but interns gain many other valuable skills as well. Interns complete projects that teach them how to work productively and professionally in small groups, while also managing individual assignments and gaining a sense of cultural awareness. Interns are encouraged to practice Spanish, and they have the opportunity to assist in teaching public community classes on topics such as English, financial planning, nutrition, self-esteem, and investment. The experience gained during this program enables students to think critically about community and economic development and to act responsibly on a global scale. Previous interns attest to the impact that the internship had on their professional goals and personal development. They also rave about the fun they had on our intern excursions and during their free time as they explored beaches, mountains, small towns, taco stands, and artisan markets.

What are we looking for in our interns?

This is a competitive internship program. Ideal candidates have a strong interest in social enterprise, entrepreneurship, and/or international development. Therefore, candidates should be self-motivated, enthusiastic, and have a high degree of flexibility. While there is a priority for students who possess proficiency in Spanish, it is not a requirement.

How to Donate or Participate

How many times have you wanted to do something that will bring real change to your community but weren’t sure how? That’s where we come in: curating human connections that will benefit everyone involved. You are just a click away from taking action! Click here

Your generous donation helps Human Connections provide programs for community members in Bucerias. These classes are low-cost, open-to-the-public classes that address issues relating to literacy, language barriers, tourism, and sustainable business practices.

• $25 will fund a Artisan Workshop Class

• $50 will support a Workshop that empowers local women, foster better nutritional practices and enhance financial literacy.

• $100 can help us touch more lives and create a larger impact on the local community.

Thank You for your generous donation! You are making a difference! Click here

Last updated: October 14, 2019 · Charity ID: 133

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