MAYTERM TERM MAY
RESPONSIBLE RESPONSIBLE TOURISM && TOURISM GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP Allendale Columbia School
Human Connections is a social enterprise working at the intersection of education abroad and international development. Since 2011, our team has been based in Bucerías, near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where we have developed partnerships with local artisans, entrepreneurs, and organizations. We connect these local partners with international student groups through carefully curated, educational itineraries. There is a lot of flexibility on what the focus of your own trip itinerary is, so we can cater it to what makes sense for your students. As a nonprofit organization we are committed to facilitating meaningful experiences while keeping prices accessible.
OUR TRIPS Human Connections is a nonprofit organization that connects local people with international visitors through mutually beneficial educational programs. Our work starts with our partners: dedicated artisans and small business owners from all over Mexico who have made their home in the Riviera Nayarit.
Human Connections is a nonprofit organization that connects local people with international visitors through mutually beneficial educational programs. Our work starts with our partners: dedicated artisans and small business owners from all over Mexico who have made their home in the Riviera Nayarit.
WHAT MAKES OUR TRIPS DIFFERENT? • • • • • • • • •
A focus on ethics and sustainability Customization for budget, course, student age, etc. Authentic community engagement Off-the-beaten-path experiences Fair compensation for our local partners Spanish practice across a variety of settings Facilitating learning through storytelling Bilingual guides 24/7 staff support
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Explore social entrepreneurship and responsible tourism. Apply creativity and innovation in developing new business ideas. Experience life with a Mexican family and local students. Practice conversational Spanish.
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PROJECT PROMPT: “ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN RESPONSIBLE TOURISM”
More and more people are traveling, so the amount of money and demand for services pouring into regions like the Riviera Nayarit is increasing. Tourism is the biggest industry here, and it’s actually one of the biggest industries in the world, as so many people work in its supply chain. More people participate in the industry than you might realize, such as the farmers who grow food, construction workers who build hotels, all of those who work in and support the service industry. While the tourism industry generally does create jobs and gives vacationers enjoyable experiences - it also has a dark side. Pollution, increase in local costs of living, and deterioration of natural habitats are just a few of the negative outcomes associated with the industry. “Responsible Tourism” is tourism that takes into account social, environmental, and economic impacts. It is tourism that is intentional about making destinations more sustainable. Let’s take a critical look at the way in which tourism is influencing the Riviera Nayarit. Let’s engage with the community and learn from local leaders to understand what measures can be taken to make a tourism organization more responsible. Many different types of initiatives - from hotels that use solar panels to community centers funded on tourism dollars - exist underneath the broad umbrella of Responsible Tourism. Now it’s your turn to innovate solutions. Work with a team to develop a business idea that supports responsible tourism. You will have time to create a presentation to pitch your idea to a panel of judges. This pitch is an opportunity to inspire change in the ways in which people travel.
Arrival & Welcome Dinner with your Mexican Family
Orientation & Introduction to our Community
Introduction to Responsible Tourism Project Day
Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship Project Day
Continue project work
Project Presentations & Celebration Project Day
Free day in BucerÃas
Shadow a student & project work Project Day
Workshops with Community Members
Saturday May 25: Arrival (flexible depending on arrival time) • Arrival and transportation to homestays. • Time to settle in. • Welcome dinner with homestay families. Sunday May 26: Introduction to Our Community • Breakfast in your homestay. • Meet at the HC office for a health and safety orientation and a discussion about our community and how the area has developed due to tourism. Then we’ll head out to meet some of our community members and to hear their stories. • We’ll meet with Don Moises, a hammock maker from Guerrero, and his family, to learn about their culture and how they developed their business. • Lunch with Nallely, a local entrepreneur and restaurant owner. • Next we’ll meet Leonarda, mother of three and a Huichol artist who uses tiny beads to make jewelry and other decorations. Learn how she incorporates symbols of her culture into her art and how she manages her business. • Free time in Bucerias to shop, have a coffee, or relax on the beach. • Beachfront dinner in Bucerias. • Return to homestay families. Monday May 27: Responsible Tourism • Breakfast in your homestay. • Come to campus and meet the local students, teachers, and institutions collaborating on our project. • Introduction to the concept of Responsible Tourism. • Head inland to San Juan where you can try your hand at making homemade tortillas and enjoy a traditional meal with Segis, the charismatic founder of a country-style restaurant. • Next, get to know Francisco and discover how he creates ceramic art, from beginning to end, all the while learning how tourism affects his business. • Return to host families for evening meal. Tuesday May 28: Social Entrepreneurship • Breakfast in your homestay. • Homestay parents drop students off at Human Connections’ office. • After a brief introduction, head to out to San Pancho, where we will take a tour of an inspirational community center that has transformed its town through environmental and educational programming, funded primarily through tourism dollars. Learn more about their entrepreneurship workshops and other initiatives. • Lunch at our favorite local taco spot. • Head to school to meet up with your groups and learn more about your projects. • Project work time. • Return to host families for evening meal.
Wednesday May 29: Project Work • Breakfast in your homestay. • Homestay parents drop students off at Human Connections’ office. • Head towards Sayulita to experience the way tourism has affected this beach town. • Visit the Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and learn about how this social enterprise has leveraged the tourism industry. • Lunch at a socially responsible restaurant. • Head back to school to meet up with your groups. • Project work time. • Return to host families for evening meal. Thursday May 30: Shadow a Student & Project Work • Breakfast in your homestay. • Head to school with a Mexican student and attend their classes for a day. • Lunch at school. • Meet with your groups for project work time. • Return to host families for evening meal. Friday May 31: Project Pitch • Breakfast in your homestay. • Homestay parents drop students off at Human Connections’ office. • Attend a cacao workshop. Learn about the process of transforming the fruit of a plant into chocolate truffles and try it out yourself. • Enjoy sopes, a local specialty, for lunch. • Head to school to finalize your projects and practice your presentations. • Pitch your project idea to a panel of judges. • Celebrate your collaboration with ice cream. • Return to host families for evening meal. Saturday June 1: Excursion Day • Breakfast in your homestay. • Get ready for a fun-filled day with your project partners. • Choose between: A jungle hike along the coast Day trip to a colonial mining town in the mountains of Jalisco • Boat trip to Yelapa, a beach town on the southernmost part of the Bay of Banderas. • Say goodbye to your host family and transfer to Bucerias hotel. • Dinner at our favorite local taco spot. Sunday June 2: Free Day in Bucerias • Breakfast in your hotel. • Have lunch on your own. • Enjoy Bucerias! Relax at the beach, shop at the local markets, or take a surf lesson! • Dinner on a charming patio and project reflection.
Monday June 3: Learn and Do • Group breakfast al fresco in Bucerias. • Meet members of our community to learn their stories and practice their crafts. • Teresa, a Renaissance-woman from Jalisco, who makes jewelry and dreamcatchers. • Attend a cacao workshop. Learn about the process of transforming the fruit of a plant into chocolate truffles and try it out yourself. • Yolanda, a gardener and cook from Michoacan, who makes delicious tamales (lunch). • Dinner on your own or as a group. Tuesday June 4: Adventure! • Breakfast in your hotel. • Options include: Ziplining at a nature preserve, followed by dinner in Puerto Vallarta. Stroll in the Botanical Gardens and river swim, followed by dinner in Puerto Vallarta. Visit to a secluded beach, followed by a sunset dinner with views of the coast. Wednesday June 5: Departure • Breakfast in your hotel. • Depart for PVR airport. *This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change based on our partners’ availability.
THIS TRIP INCLUDES • • • • • • • • • •
Accommodations: 7 nights of homestay, 4 nights at a hotel for students, all double occupancy 11 nights at a hotel for faculty All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners All transportation once in Mexico (does not include airfare) All materials All costs related to collaboration with local students Fair compensation to our partner artisans and organizations Two all-day excursions Project and logistics planning, trip facilitation, interpretation, homestay coordination, risk management and support Insurance, taxes and banking fees Best practices in ethics and sustainability, including carbon offsetting Cost: $1700 - $1825 per person ($24,500 - $25,550 in total), depending upon housing and itinerary preferences. This estimate is based on 12 students and 2 teacher-chaperones.
Human Connections is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization | Hidalgo 13, Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico | 773.800.2811