Since 2001, ViaVenture has been operating tours in Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. It was in 2006, however, that this full service tour operations company decided to take part in the Responsible Tourism movement, taking steps toward giving back to the communities with which they work. ViaVenture, which still runs adventure, sport, cultural, and nature specific tours (www.viaventure.com), now offers the new ViaVenture Foundation (www.viaventure.org), an organization wholly committed to sustainable tourism.
Unlike other Â¨responsibleÂ¨ tour and travel organizations, The ViaVenture Foundation offers every single tour as responsible, backed by the Rainforest Alliance and in conjunction with local and sustainable businesses. The four development projects ViaVenture promotes now include:
MicroCredit Program Tour- Atitlan: This tour takes participants to a re-payment meeting, where they observe financial transactions between local women and a loan officer. Afterwards, guests can visit the home or business of the woman, to better understand the work she is doing and how micro-lending initiated or grew her business.
Reforestation Tour- Antigua: A half day trip, the Reforestation Tour allows participants to see the harrowing effects of deforestation and disappearing wildlife due to city expansion. It educates them on preventing soil erosion, the destruction of ecosystems, and ultimately, global warming. Through a service project, guests get hands on experience either planting trees (if it is the rainy season) or maintaining two acres of land (during the dry season). Participants work alongside local community members and students.
Coffee Farm Tour- Antigua: The Cup of Coffee tour allows guests to work alongside independent coffee producers, assisting with the daily processes of picking, pulping, fermenting, washing, drying, sorting and grading the coffee. This particular tour is supported by As Green as it Gets, a charity organization which promotes environmentally responsible agriculture in Guatemala.
Textile Cooperative Tour- Antigua: In order to learn about and take part in the local history, language and traditional ways of rural life, tour members can visit the handicraft center of Santiago Zamora. A walking tour through this village features a weaving demonstration and family-style lunch and cooking lesson. Note: ViaVentureâ€™s website states that 100% of the entrance fee for this tour goes directly to the villages and to a special fund used for social purposes such as education, medicine and emergency help.
The majority of tour travel is done in Guatemala, though the ViaVenture office is located in Honduras. Here they book tailor-made group, individual, incentive, cultural exploration, and multi-sport tours, all specific to the location and season of travel. Additionally, ViaVenture supports a number of charities related to responsibility, reforestation, and micro-credit, and seeks to provide high-quality tourism by embracing and protecting natural and local resources.
(As of September 2008)
Apartado Postal #89
La Antigua Guatemala
Guatemala, Central America
Tour Operator Types:
Eco tours, Coffee landscape, Cultural tours, Sustainable