Join Us in Oaxaca
Fundación En Vía runs half-day tours to villages near the capital city of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, to meet women applying for our interest-free microloans and to learn about their lives and businesses. Our tours provide a first-hand look at microfinance in action and connect tourists to the culture, development and daily life in Oaxaca.
"It was a fascinating experience…It gives real-life demonstration of the difference between 'give a man a fish' and 'teach a man to fish.'"
—Tami, Washington, USA
- "It was great! Probably the highlight of my month in Oaxaca."—George, Minnesota, USA
"Excellent way to encourage meaningful donations and provide a very special glimpse into the lives of these wonderful people…I believe we received at least as much out of this as they did."
—Jennifer, British Columbia, Canada
"I´ve been a banker, a realtor, a business broker and I´ve owned a dozen businesses. To see micro-businesses at the grassroots level was very rewarding and time well spent."
—Mike, Colorado, USA
"I am so glad that my stay in Oaxaca included an opportunity to see what is really going on and that I was able to help."
—Claudia, Oregon, USA
"Overall a great program—culturally rich and extremely informative, and no doubt a great service to the community."
—Aram, New York, USA
- "This was one of the best things I've done in Mexico!"—Emily, Minnesota, USA
Experience a Different Oaxaca
On an En Vía tour, you will experience a much more personal view of local life than ordinary tourism permits. You’ll be gaining not only a better understanding of the challenges of life here in the next-to-poorest state in Mexico, but helping to provide a viable path out of poverty. Our borrowers are an inspiring group of hard-working, optimistic problem-solvers who create their own success through their perseverance and skills with these modest loans.
Most people living in poverty do not have access to traditional financial services and cannot capitalize on the resources they do have: ideas, skills and determination. By participating in an En Vía tour, you will be giving 100% of your tour fee as an interest-free microloan to women who can then use it to expand their businesses and improve their lives. When the loan is repaid, we use the funds to provide English and business classes, among other services to support the community, maximizing your donation's impact on the community as whole.
See Microfinance in Action
Microfinance is a tool that has been used very effectively around the world to help people without access to traditional financial services to lift themselves out of poverty. With En Vía microfinance tours, you will get to see first-hand how microfinance works – its potential, benefits, and some challenges.
$650 MXN. Lunch and transportation are included.
General Tour Itinerary
We start our day by either heading to Teotitlán del Valle or Díaz Ordaz. Teotitlán, located about a 30 minutes outside of Oaxaca city, is one of the oldest Zapotec villages in the region, and is famous for its traditional rug weaving. Díz Ordaz, a town we began working with in the beginning of 2011, is a little further outside Oaxaca. Díz Ordaz is also a traditional Zapotec town, with fewer economic opportunities than Teotitlán.
On the tour, we'll first stop in the town center to admire the daily bustling of life and beautiful church.
Then we will visit two groups of three women who are applying for loans. Each of the women we visit will present her project—whether its weaving rugs or raising chickens, selling flowers or making tortillas—and what she plans to do with her loan. You will hear about the projects, see them in action, learn about the community and have a chance to ask any questions you may have about how it all works.
At the end day, 100% of your tour fee will be given in the form of an interest-free loan to the women you have met on the tour. Once the loan is paid back, we use it to cover administrative costs, give more loans, and support the rest of our work in the community.
Itinerary - Weekday Tours
1:00 Orientation: brief background on microfinance and Fundación En Vía
1:15 Travel to town
2:15 Background on the town and tour of the church
2:30 Visit the three borrowers in the first group
4:15 Visit the three borrowers in the second group
6:00 Discussion and debrief
6:30 Arrive back at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca
Itinerary - Weekend Tours
9:00 Orientation: brief background on microfinance and Fundación En Vía
9:30 Travel to town
10:00 Background on town and tour of the church
11:00 Visit the three borrowers in the first group
12:45 Visit the three borrowers in the second group
2:30 Lunch, discussion and debrief
3:30 Arrive back at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca
Please note that the actual timing of the day will depend on the group. Lunch is included in the cost of the tour, but we recommend that you bring water and a snack.
To Learn More . . .
Please contact uswith any questions you may have about our program, our borrowers or our tours. And also let us know if you are interested in volunteering for En Vía in teaching English, business classes or leading tours!