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 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:
Weekly Huarique Meetups
In Perú Huarique is a term used for a local hangout or restaurant. 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 few weekend trips will be offered throughout the experience. In Colombia, we will have the opportunity to visit 'La Zona Cafetera', the coffee region; in Perú, to cities on the northern coast and sierra; in Thailand to the southern islands; and in Portugal, to Porto and the north.
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 encourage our participants to take language lessons, and have connections with local language teachers for private and group lessons.
What’s included in your programs?
VWI participants receive a private room in a fully-furnished 2-3 bedroom apartment (private apartments are available), a customized skills-based volunteer partnership match, planned activities with the group of Venturers, as well as 24/7 support from the Venture with Impact team, including airport pickup and our cultural orientation. Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from the site, however VWI offers assistance with finding economical flights, travel insurance, visa information and other preparation material.
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: $1750 with a 10% discount off each additional month (2018 program fees)
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.
What is the cost of living in each program location?
The cost of living in Colombia and Thailand for Americans is very affordable. 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. All VWI participants will receive a kitchen with appliances and kitchenware included. The local markets of Medellín and Chiang Mai offer incredibly fresh produce for the quarter of the price of what’s offered in American grocery stores.
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 tranportation 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.