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Investours: a lifechanging tour!

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For those who are not familiar with Investours you’ll find this experience one that is both entertaining and enriching. Investours is an association that organizes “micro-finance” tours that allow you to visit and understand life in local, underprivileged communities, while giving you the option of investing a small amount that can make a big difference in their development.

How does it work? A small group of “investourists” (you) travels to the community with the Investours team. During the tour, you get to meet artisans or small business owners who are seeking investment in their business projects. They will talk to you about life in their community and share with you their craft.

For example, during the first tour of the season, Investours Director Elly Rohrer first brought the group to peak into the small “artesanias” (Mexican crafts) shop of a Bucerias woman named Paty. Paty showed the group how she paints handmade clay bowls and talked about her success in growing a profitable shop when she started with a loan of under $300. Next, they headed to meet gardener Salome. He had created a “before and after” display to show off his skills, shaping one overgrown bush and leaving the one next to it untouched. The group also learned about Salome’s experience of crossing the American border four times, each time more dangerous than the last. He wants to create a successful business so that his four sons are never forced to do the same in pursuit of better opportunities.

The next stop was the workshop of local piñata maker Lupita, who was busy making piñatas for the upcoming Day of the Dead celebrations. She was happy to share the secrets of her craft with the group, even allowing them to help make the mummy she was working on! Lupita, a single mother of one beautiful girl, is eager to grow her business so that she can one day pass it on to her daughter.

After building up quite an appetite, the group finished the day at Señor Ponce’s famous birria stand. Señor Ponce demonstrated how to make salsa Mexicana in a molcajete (mortar) as well as handmade tortillas. Everyone then sat down to a Mexican feast of quesadillas with all the fixings (cactus salad, three kinds of salsa, cheddar cheese, and stewed beans).

The collected funds from tour participants are disbursed via an interest-free micro-loan to one of the artisans visited during the day. This time, they were thrilled to find out that the tour proceeds would go to make Salome’s recent loan interest-free, getting him one step closer to purchasing the truck that would make a tremendous difference for his gardening business.

Over the following months, Investours collect small weekly loan payments and provide various forms of additional support for the chosen entrepreneur or entrepreneurs. Investourists can keep track of the progress of the loan online here at www.investours.org. They will receive an email once repayment is complete and will be given the opportunity to send a message of congratulations to the entrepreneur if you so wish.

Would you like to live this experience? Well, these are the upcoming tours:

  • Monday, November 12th, 2:30pm –  Special Food Tour! starting from the gazebo in the Bucerias’s center plaza.
  • Friday, November 30th, 2:30pm –  Departs from the Whales Sculpture in Marina Vallarta.
  • Friday, November 23rd, 10:00am-  Bucerias Food Tour! starting from the gazebo in the Bucerias’s center plaza.

For more information, prices and to sign up visit their website, or contact Elly Rohrer at mexico@investours.org / 322-191-5309