Sustainable Community Development is a global movement to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The United Nations has set Sustainable Development Goals to address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. As a part of this global movement, and informed by its history and experience, VIA INTERNATIONAL (or, simply, “Via”) has developed its own unique approach. Incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in the United States in 1976, we work closely with our sister organization, LOS NIÑOS DE BAJA CALIFORNIA (or, simply, “Los Niños”), which was established as an “Asociación Civil” in Mexico in 1988. We have spent 45 years building relationships of trust with community leaders from across the California/Baja California bioregion and indeed around the world.
In search of sustainable solutions, we promote “a participatory process through which community members identify community needs and organize themselves to take the actions necessary to improve their quality of life.” We support a range of community-led initiatives, including micro-lending, social enterprise, nutrition education, water projects, and school enhancement – always organized by community leaders and grounded in best practices of leadership development, gender equality, self-empowerment and civic engagement. viainternational.org/community
To further support our work of Community Development, we invite visitors to cross borders and participate actively in the work of sustainable community development. Along the way, participants in our programs develop cultural appreciation and learn from the host communities. Whether through virtual encounters or international travel, encounters hosted by Via are always “two-way pathways.” viainternational.org/global
Our extensive relationships and long history of work on both sides of the border have given rise to a range of community and social justice collaborations, including deep involvement at Chicano Park and Friendship Park, two sites of historic cultural significance in the San Diego/Tijuana borderlands. We host these collaborations (often through fiscal sponsorship) along with one-time and ongoing educational programs affording participants hands-on experiences in the work of social justice on both sides of the border, “de aquí y de allá.” viainternational.org/borderlands