Experiential Learning in Mexico

About the project:

uew-partner-logos-human-connections

Unearth the World has partnered with an organization called Human Connections in Bucerías, Mexico that focuses on experiential learning. The mission of Human Connections is to connect people from diverse backgrounds through educational programs that ignite action towards lasting social change. These educational programs take the form of “Global Engagement Trips” – customized group trips tailored to any number of themes. The goal of these trips is to facilitate earnest, personal interaction between participants and local people who communicate their experiences and perspectives related to the selected topics below.

  • Microfinance
  • Fair trade
  • Social enterprise
  • Migration
  • Women in Enterprise
  • Latin American Culture and History
  • Leadership
  • Community Engagement & Sustainable Development

Requirements:

Groups of all sizes are welcome! Unearth the World and Human Connections loves working with university, high school, nonprofit, and corporate groups. We are also able to facilitate retreats and staff development weeks.

Start/Duration:

Global Engagement Trips can range for as short as four days to as long as two weeks.

Accommodation and Meals:

Both accommodations and meals are included in the fees of every Global Engagement Trip. Participants stay in local hotels and dine on local specialties in restaurants around Bucerías.

Orientation:

Participants will receive two orientations.  The first before you even leave home!  Unearth the World staff believes in fully preparing you for your international exchange experience.  So, prior to your departure, we educate you about the country, customs, language, and project itself so you can have realistic expectations of the project prior to your arrival. Read more about Unearth the World’s global service-learning training curriculum here. Once you arrive in Mexico, the project staff will provide another short orientation in order to acclimate you to your surroundings, give you guidance on the current needs of the, and discuss safety and health.

Example 5-day itinerary

Global Engagement Trips” are customized 4 – 14 day group trips tailored to any number of themes. The goal of these trips is to facilitate earnest, personal interaction between participants and local people who communicate their experiences and perspectives related to the selected topic below.

  • Microfinance
  • Fair trade
  • Social enterprise
  • Migration
  • Women in Enterprise
  • Latin American Culture and History
  • Leadership
  • Community Engagement & Sustainable Development

Please take a look at a suggested five-day itinerary below for the topic of microfinance. Keep in mind that this is only an example as we work with Human Connections to customize itineraries to meet the needs of the groups with which we work.

Day 1: Arrival Day

Arrive at the airport and drive to hotel in Bucerias.  General orientation about local health, cultural and safety norms. Group dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.

Day 2: Understanding Entrepreneurship, Microfinance, & Small Business Creation in this Context

Breakfast. Presentation about the local microfinance landscape. Group lunch. Meet Mari Chuy (a community leader), Francisco (a local artist), and Lupita to learn their perspectives on microloans and how to best access capital. Debriefing dinner: engage in conversation about how to navigate a context of extreme poverty and the culture-specific nature of goal setting. How do these factors relate to microfinance?

Day 3: The Challenges of Microfinance

Visit three micro-loan borrowers on the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta who have had challenges in repaying their loans. Discuss solidarity group dynamics, investment strategies, and how MFI policies affect the borrower’s experience. Group lunch and free time. Meet with Lydia (a solidarity group leader) who advocates for financial literacy class. Group discussion with local leaders. Debriefing dinner.

Day 4: The Potential of Microfinance and Community Development

Breakfast. Meet two local entrepreneurs—Luz and Carmelo—who have overcome tremendous obstacles through loans. Lunch at traditional restaurant with Carmelo’s family. Tour of local community center. Free time and dinner in Sayulita—a unique surfer town.

Day 5: Departure Day

Farewell group brunch with local staff, clients, and artisans; engage in a final discussion of all you’ve seen, heard and learned, and what you’d like to explore next. Pack and return to the airport.

Estimated Fees:

Application Fee: At Unearth the World, we pride ourselves on being financially transparent so the volunteer can understand exactly where their money is going.  We have two different types of fees: a one-time application fee and general project fees.

Application Fee – $300 (USD)

This is the only money that goes towards Unearth the World.  This application fee includes the matching of the volunteer candidate with the international program, volunteer education and orientation, an information packet on volunteer program and country of travel, 24/7 support from UTW staff, program marketing costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteer.

General Project Fee

As this project is geared towards group, the fee varies. The project fee is based on theme, size of group, selected activities, and length of trip. Please reach out to UTW for an estimate!

I’d Like More Information About This Project

Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter