Headquartered in Bucerías, Mexico, a small beach town accessible via a quick day trip from Puerto Vallarta, Human Connections (HC) is a non-profit that connects local people with international audiences through travel programs and curated experiences.
Human Connections' goal is to empower local communities while fostering conversations that shift perspectives and increase understanding. Through a vibrant network of local partners – Mexican artisans, tradespeople, and organizations – Human Connections creates opportunities for authentic, meaningful exchanges.
These local partners have a platform to share their culture, have agency over their stories, and generate increased income. At the same time, travelers gain an increased understanding of real Mexico culture while cultivating more empathetic perspectives about Mexico. Our small yet mighty team works to uphold our values of integrity, learning, self-realization, reciprocity, responsible travel, and empathy in all of their interactions.
We believe that sustainable travel has the power to transform communities. Our organization is built on the values of responsible tourism and is interwoven into all aspects of our long-standing programs and current COVID-19 initiatives.
Our long-lasting partnerships with artisans ensure fair and sustainable payment into our local economy. We include our community in decisions about how to best create authentic exchanges with fair reciprocation for our partners that provide education to visitors. This is connected to our environmental sustainability, as well. Our office operates on solar power, the products we offer to visitors aim to reduce waste, and we offset our carbon footprint.
HC’s responsible travel programs are built to strengthen the economic and social conditions of local communities through authentic, reciprocal exchanges between individuals from both the sending and receiving countries. Since opening our doors in 2014, HC has led over 330 tours to more than 3,800 travelers and financially impacted hundreds of Bay of Banderas residents.
Human Connections is built on the values of responsible tourism. We try our best to promote this type of travel through our long-lasting partnerships, student programs, day tours and education surrounding responsible tourism practices. We leverage travel as a tool that cultivates cross-cultural understanding, fosters empathy, and empowers local communities.
Since the onset of COVID-19, HC has been focused on re-imagining the principles of responsible tourism in a world with limited travel. This has translated into initiatives such as curating and selling artisan boxes, developing virtual viewing parties for would-be tourists, and designing and executing virtual immersive study abroad programs — all focused on creating opportunities for local partners to participate in income-earning, family-sustaining activities. You can visit Human Connections' website to learn more about our virtual experiences.
We are excited to be part of a community dedicated to responsible tourism. Because of COVID-19, finding new ways to reach guests and connect our artisans with the global market has been imperative to furthering our mission. Currently, readers can get involved with HC in a number of ways, including:
– Participating in or hosting a Virtual Viewing Party, during which participants will watch a short professionally filmed and edited documentary to showcase one of our partner’s lives and then take part in a Q&A session with that partner to gain insights into their artistic craft and life journey.
– Supporting our artisan partners’ economic livelihoods by shopping our curated artisan boxes that explore traditional techniques and natural materials used in Mexican handicrafts.
– Share the word about HC’s innovative virtual student programs and in-person Global Fellowships with like-minded individuals in readers’ networks.
– Learn more about the transformative power of responsible tourism to strengthen communities, protect the environment, and preserve cultural traditions on Sustainable Travel International’s website — and take the Travel Better Pledge.