Service Learning Immersion Trips
In North America, Central America,
South America, AND Asia...
NORTH AMERICA To learn more
San Diego, California
Learn about trans-border issues and culture. Meet with immigrants or migrant farm workers, support environmental restoration, learn sustainable practices for urban and organic agriculture, restore damaged beach areas, visit Chicano Park, and tour the border wall.
Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico
Northern New Mexico is one of the most culturally distinct areas of the United States. It is the home of both ancient Native American communities and towns developed by Spanish settlers long before the inception of the United States. Learn about the ancient acequia irrigation system, work on an organic farm, and contribute to land and cultural restoration efforts in local communities and regional pueblos.
San Luis Valley, Colorado
The San Luis valley is rich in natural spledor and multi-cultural histor and is home to one of the largest legal "commons" still functioning in the US. Learn about the ancient acequia irrigation system, work on an organic farm, contribute to land and cultural restoration efforts, and meet local families who have farming and ranching in the region for centuries.
Appalachia region, Virginia
Deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a rural community is proving its reslience by celebrating and strengthing its culture and natural and historic beauty. A place where small-town values and creative community collaboration are thriving. Meet microenterprise advocates, support food security and self-reliance initiatives, visit the Floyd country store, enjoy the lively folk traditions and music of Appalachia, and meet with community leaders and families that have championed these initiative together through Sustain Floyd.
CENTRAL AMERICA To learn more
Known as the "Land of Eternal Spring" Guatemala is home to ancient Mayan villages and beautiful colonial cities. Work in rural areas tohelp communities build self-reliance, improve primary school infrastructure, develop community kitchens, and create food gardens, while experiencing the distinct beauty of Guatemala's mountains and ancient ruins.
Mexicali, two hours east of Tijuana, is the home of a thriving beehive cooperative creating self-sufficiency for local families. Groups visiting Mexicali contribute to the efforts of micro-credit-financed enterprises, work in area schools creating green spaces for play and recreation, and work at a local cactus farm.
Nestled in the mountains just an hour from San Diego International airport, Tecate, Mexico offers a safe and convenient opportunity to explore the rich history and rural lifestyle of old Mexico. Work on community development projects designed to build sustainability and self-reliance, meet local promotoras and community activists, and visit a cactus farm and other entrepeneurial intiatives.
While events in the past year have made traveling to Tijuana more intimidating than in the past, we have resumed our long-standing and successful service learning program in Tijuana. Groups traveling to Tijuana work in local schools with students, parents, and teachers, visit with migrants at a local shelter, and explore the trans-border culture of Tijuana through a variety of immersion activities.
SOUTH AMERICA To learn more
In collaboration with Grupo Nacional de Trabaja para la Participacion (GNTP), Via International is now offering service learning and educational immersion programs in Boliva visiting rural communities including San Javier, Concepcion, and Toro Toro to learn about sustainability and support indigenous practices.
ASIA To learn more
In collaboration with the world-reknowned grassroots community development agency, Sarvodaya, Via International has begun an educational immersion and service learning program in Sri Lanka. Explore how communities transcend race, gender, class, and religious differences to build self-reliance and long-term sustainability employing simple principles of life, meet Sarvodaya founder and Ghandi-Peace Prize winner, Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, participate in village action service projects, and tour historic sites of cultural and religious significance.
COMING SOON To learn more
In collaboration with TNAFA Traditional Native American Farmers Association and IIIS International Institute of Indigenous Sciences, three programs are currently underway in Belize to support self-sustainability community initiatives and Mayan cultural restoration in small rural villages in the Cayo district and the Stann Creek district or in San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye.
In collaboration with EARTH University, Via International will begin pilot programs focused offering student groups an opportunity to provide volunteer service while learning about sustainable living and organic agriculture.
Volunteers at work in Mexico.