Journey Latin America currently supports The LATA Foundation, a UK-based charity that supports grassroots social and environmental projects throughout Latin America. These projects are carefully chosen and always aim to relieve poverty through sustainable development and environmental conservation. Over the past 10 years the Foundation has upheld this aim through a number of different initiatives. Projects supported include the provision of clean drinking water fountains to schools around Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, free dental care for hundreds of children in the ‘villas’ of Buenos Aires and the planting of more than 30,000 native trees in the Sacred Valley of Peru by local communities. The Foundation is also able to support emergency relief to affected areas through working with trusted local organisations.
The projects are usually located in areas where tourism is high and fall into four categories:
- Education and training
- Community development
In Costa Rica, Abriendo Mentes provides children and adults with the opportunity to learn skills that will increase their chances of obtaining jobs within the local tourism industry, including English lessons and computer skills. The projects are based in two rural communities in Guanacaste. Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito in Guanacaste. LATA Foundation support includes: provision of teaching equipment, internet access, classroom rent, transport and extra-curricular activities such as sports.
In Brazil, Vidarte runs several projects for children from the complex Alemao favela of Rio de Janeiro. Since 2009, Vidançar dance school has offered hundreds of children the opportunity to learn ballet and other forms of dance - some of their students have fone on to gain places at the prestigiousTeatro Municipal ballet school. The LATA Foundation supports the dance school and Vidarte's other activities including theatre, football, audiovisual and surf projects.
Konojel Community Centre
In Guatemala, Konojel supports Sabor del Sol, a small woman's co-operative in San Marcos by lake Atitlán. In May 2015 they opened a restaurant in the town square. The money raised through this and the sale of good dries by solar-powered technology also supports a local food programme. The LATA Foundation is supporting the se-up of the restaurant, the expansion of the menu and the development of packaging for the dried products.
These are just a few of the core projects that the LATA Foundation is currently supporting. For more information about the LATA Foundation and a full list of the projects they support please visit their website: www.latafoundation.org