What’s included (2019 Programs)?
Welcome Happy Hour
Orientation and city tour
Language and culture crash course
A private room in a fully-furnished 2-3 bedroom apartment (private apartments for couples and families)
Reliable internet and backup internet in your apartment
Access to co-working space
24/7 support from staff in-country
Customized skills-based volunteer match with a local partner organization
Day trip near your program city (transportation, activities, guide, and some meals)
Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from the site and daily living expenses, however VWI offers assistance with finding economical flights, travel insurance, visa information and other preparation material.
What kinds of people participate in Venture with Impact, LLC?
People that work remotely for their company (including entrepreneurs)
People who do freelance remote work and have one or more clients on a contract basis
People who are between jobs or are taking an extended vacation so that they can focus on the volunteer and cultural aspects of the experience.
VWI looks to have a diverse range of applicants in terms of age, profession, nationality, and experience.
The age of our applicants ranges from early 20s to 70s, with 21 being the minimum age requirement. Professions have varied and include software designers, entrepreneurs, non-profit directors, project managers, photographers, artists and writers.
The majority of applicants have been from the United States, but we accept and encourage participants from all over the world, and have had Ventures from the United Kingdom, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and more.
Couples and children are also welcome to participate, and we have had families and single parents with children from younger than a year join us. All families and couples receive private housing.
How many people participate in each program?
Each month our programs have from 5 - 15 participants. This number allows for a tight knit group with a fair amount of diversity.
What do you look for in applicants?
We are looking for a diverse group of applicants that have a few things in common: a passion for learning about new cultures and the desire to make a social impact.
I’m not sure if my employer will allow me to work remotely for one month, will Venture with Impact speak to them on my behalf?
VWI staff is happy to speak to your employer about the benefits of participating in Venture with Impact. We also can provide a document that gives tips on how to convince employers of your participation.
What makes Venture with Impact, LLC unique?
Although there are a few existing programs that plan travel experiences for remote workers, there are no organizations that so thoroughly integrate and emphasize the community relationships and cultural experience like Venture with Impact. We are the only program of its kind that is centered around skills-based volunteering.
We also encourage people to participate that may not have the ability to work remotely, but are interested in taking time off or working part time for their job. This allows for a more diverse group of participants, including teachers, university professors, engineers, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, etc.
How would you describe a week in the life of a VWI participant?
Check out a week in the life of some of our VWI participants on our blog HERE.
Each participant’s experience is unique, because each individual is matched with a volunteer role that aligns with their professional skills, interests and remote work schedule. Some participants may volunteer two afternoons a week, others one full day a week. Some participants may be taking time off of work and will be volunteering full time.
In addition to the partner projects, there will be many other planned activities throughout the program, all of which are optional and include:
Each week we will have a planned dinner meetup in which participants have a chance to try a new local flavor, and get to know other participants in the program. We’ll discuss our experiences from the week and invite guests from the community.
VWI will plan sporadic cultural opportunities such as lectures from local community members (professors, government officials, etc.), or local events such as dance performances, music events, etc.
A day trip is included in each of our program locations (beginning 2019):
Medellín Program - Guatapé and El Peñol Rock
Guatapé is an Andean resort town about 2 hours east of Medellín. The town is known for its houses decorated with colorful socolos (bas-reliefs) that are unique to each home. Guatape is located next to the vast, man-made Peñol-Guatapé Reservoir. The day trip includes a short hike up Piedra del Peñol, a giant granite rock southwest of town, with an incredible view. Venturers will enjoy a typical Paisa lunch, and explore the town.
Chiang Mai Program - Bua Tong (Sticky Waterfalls) and Mae Ngat Dam Floating Houses
Bua Tong or the Sticky Waterfalls are located about an hour and a half drive north of Chiang Mai’s Old City, and are impressive in nature. The mineral deposits that form the falls, allow one to climb directly up the rocks into the oncoming cascading water.
Following the falls, is a trip to the Mae Ngat Dam floating houses. Venturers will take a short boat ride to a floating house restaurant where they will enjoy a Thai family style lunch and spend the afternoon in the water kayaking or having fun on the lake's inflatables.
Lisbon Program - Bike Tour of Costa da Caparica
Costa da Caparica, located across the river Tejo from Lisbon, is home to many historic fishing villages. Venturers will spend the day peddling from town to town on electric bikes as they learn about the livelihood and history of the locals, whose families have subsisted off of the same traditional fishing practices for hundreds of years.
San Miguel de Allende Program - The Pyramids of Canada de la Virgen
One of Mexico’s best-kept secrets, the Cañada de la Virgen archaeological zone has only been open to the public since February of 2011. Through the tour Venturers will be provided with an academic-level introduction to the pre-Hispanic history of Mexico through visits to the site led by a local guide. The site itself is a true testament to the mathematical, astronomical and architectural genius acquired over thousands of years by its builders and their ancestors.
Partner Site Visits
In each location, we coordinate visits to various partner sites, so that in addition to each participant’s pro-bono project experience, they will also have the opportunity to view the work of other participants. There may also be opportunities to work with our partner organizations in short-term projects, such as a beach clean-up or assisting with a fund-raising event.
We encourage participants to organize additional activities and clubs, such as running groups, yoga meet-ups, photography workshops, book clubs, or any other interests that participants have! One of the most valuable aspects of our participants' experience has been sharing skills and learning from their fellow Venturers.
Part of Venture with Impact’s mission is to influence people to learn about new cultures. The diverse range of participants allows people to learn not only about South American culture, but about the experiences and culture of their fellow VWI participants. There are plenty of opportunities to spend time with fellow Venturers, locals and other foreign volunteers.
The only required activity as a VWI participant is the commitment you make to your non-profit organization. All other events and trips are optional. Some Venturers may wish to participate in most activities, where as others may wish to spend more time on their own. VWI staff are available onsite 24/7 for assistance.
Is language proficiency a requirement?
No. The majority of our participants do not speak the native tongue in their program location. We partner with local organizations that are accustomed to working with foreigners. All of our local partners have English speaking employees. Additionally, we include a language crash course at the beginning of each or our programs, and encourage our participants to take language lessons. We have connections with local language teachers and language schools for private and group lessons.
What is the cost of the program?
The program cost includes a private room in a fully-furnished apartment, with a full kitchen, reliable internet, and emergency backup satellite internet. It also includes orientation, volunteer placement, and any program fees and donations related to the volunteer experience. VWI staff are available 24/7 throughout the program, beginning before participants depart for abroad; staff are available to assist with booking flights, and providing information on visas, vaccinations, etc. In country, staff are available to provide support for any participant needs. Also, a few additional events and activities are included, as well as optional weekend and day trips very reasonable additional costs.
Medellin, Colombia: $2100 with a 10% discount off each additional month
Chiang Mai, Thailand: $2100 with a 10% discount off each additional month
Lisbon, Portugal: $2500 with a 10% discount off each additional month
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNTS:
15% New Year discount*: for program fees submitted by December 31st, 2018
10% discount : for program fees submitted four months or more prior to the program month.
*January - April programs receive 15% off for next steps completed four months or more prior to their program month.
What is the cost of living in each program location?
The cost of living in all of our locations for Americans is very affordable. In Medellin, Chiang Mai, and San Miguel de Allende, eating out at a local family restaurant runs between $2.00 - $5.00 a meal, and street food is even cheaper. More expensive restaurants range from $5.00 - $15.00 per meal. Meal costs in Lisbon vary, with very affordable options for food and wine (as little as $5.00 for a basic meal and $2.00 for a glass of wine) to haute cuisine with prices to match. All VWI participants will receive a kitchen with some basic appliances and kitchenware included. The local markets offer incredibly fresh produce for low prices.
Medellín's public transportation system is incredibly efficient and advanced for Latin America. The city's metro system carries locals and foreigners to all parts of Medellín, for a third of the cost of the New York transit system (less than $1.00 USD).
Chiang Mai's most popular public transportation are their Rót daang (literally 'red trucks'), which operate as shared taxis andTúk-túks which are similar to private taxis. Prices range from $ .50 USD - $3.00 USD per trip.
Lisbon has four main public transportations: bus, funicular, tram and ferry. Prices range from $1.50 - $3 USD per trip.
In Medellín, Chiang Mai, and Lisbon, Uber is also popular due to it's safety, efficiency and low cost.
VWI staff will assist with providing information for participants to get to their partner site and around the city.