We have celebrated many accomplishments in the last two years, but like every organization/business, we face many challenges…
Last night I was tossing and turning unable to sleep, because today I knew I would have to cancel a tour, and in turn, next week we would not be able to give a loan, and then in addition to even this, we would have to push back the line of 30 women all waiting to receive a loan from us, yet again. May was a hard month, tourism and Oaxaca was sliiimmmm and getting a tour together was a struggle every week, when all was said and done, we ran 3 tours.
This was not a surprise for us; we knew May would be a slow month and we planned for it, alerting our borrowers in March that April and May would be slow, but that we would pick back up in June. Now, here we are in June unable to run our Thursday tour, and Saturday doesn’t look promising either. Although last week, we were able to run both our Thursday and Saturday tours, which I took as a good sign for the month, we have found ourselves again struggling to sign-up tourists.
We are a project based on tourism and these ebbs and flows come with the industry. However, it hits hard because we know that when we don’t have tours we can’t give loans, and in this moment we feel like we are letting everybody down: the 140 women borrowers in Teotitlán and Díaz Ordaz counting on us, our incredible alumni making everything possible, and our dedicated volunteers helping us grow.
The last two days I have been asking everyone I know to come on a tour. And with every ‘I am on a budget, and I can’t swing the $50 bucks’ comment – I find myself wondering, what does $50 mean to people? It is not as though, I don’t think $50 is a lot of money, because I do, especially if travelling on a budget, but all I am thinking about in this moment is what $50 means to us. To us $50 means, next week we are providing 6 loans that will help jump start projects and provide 6 women with the opportunity to get themselves out of poverty. Even more, the money becomes more than just a loan, it’s facilitating social change and cross-cultural exchange – and uplifting and connecting communities. So, how do I communicate to someone that this will be the best $50 bucks they spend in Mexico, because believe me it is. Just the other day, Audrey, a tour alumni, “This tour was by far the best thing I’ve done in Mexico.”
Luckily, with a current team of 20 volunteers and so many incredible things going on at En Vía, I can’t help but wake up everyday excited for what the day will bring and the work we will accomplish. From the design of our very-own logo to the kick-off of our business-training program to the creation of new curriculum for our English program there are a lot of cool things going on. I can’t help but stop the next person I meet and tell them all about En Vía, and hope that after hearing everything we’re accomplishing, they’ll want to be part of it all by joining us on our next tour.
So I ask all of you for a favor - if you haven't already: Like Us on Facebook, suggest that your friends Like Us on Facebook, talk about us on Facebook, if Tweet - tweet about us, if you blog - blog about us, read our blog, re-post our blog, and finally if you hate social media, and really don't understand whether tweeting is a bird call or new sport and frankly you could careless, talk about us to someone in town at a local coffee shop, I even give you permission to use it as a pick-up line ;)
Thank you in advance for all of your support! -Sam