M E t o W E T r i p s
We l come l etter .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Who we are .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 What we do .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Expl ore Ecuador .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Bu i ld a l egacy .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Our s i gnature ser v i ce . . . . . . . . . . . 23 J i tan j l i ’s stor y .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Jo i n us .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
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Dear f r i end ,
You are warmly invited to join us on our ME to WE Trips this year being held in Kenya, India and Ecuador.
Visit WE Villages partner communities in rural Kenya, India or Ecuador and work alongside community members on a sustainable development project driven by need, such as laying the foundation for a school. Along the way, immerse yourself in the beauty of the vibrant and unique local culture. Recharge and reflect on your day’s adventures at our bespoke boutique lodgings in each of our destinations, exclusive to ME to WE guests. WE is a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world. With two divisions: WE Charity and ME to WE social enterprise, we empower people at home and around the world. We invite you to take advantage of this unique opportunity to see our sustainable development work on the ground through the eyes of our team! In the following pages, read more about each of our three immersive volunteer travel destinations—Kenya, India and Ecuador—see the story of a past traveler, and learn the true value of experiencing a ME to WE Trip.
We sincerely hope you are able to join us this summer—this is your time to change the world.
Craig, Marc and Roxanne.
Craig Kielburger Co-Founder, WE
Marc Kielburger Co-Founder, WE
Roxanne Joyal CEO, ME to WE
Roxanne Joyal pictured with daughter Lily-Rose
Marc and Craig Kielburger
Who we are
Humanitarian, activist and social entrepreneur, Craig inspires young people to take action and drive social change. Craig is co-founder of a family of organizations dedicated to the power of WE, a movement of people coming together to change the world. Craig is the youngest-ever graduate from the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program. He has also received 15 honorary doctorates and degrees for his work in the fields of education and human rights. Craig is a New York Times bestselling author, who has published 12 books, as well as a nationally syndicated columnist. Craig has received The Order of Canada, the Nelson Mandela FreedomMedal and the World Children’s Prize. Social entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author and charismatic speaker, Marc inspires millions to improve their communities and the world through their actions and everyday consumer choices. Marc is co-founder of a family of organizations dedicated to the power of WE, a movement of people coming together to change the world. Marc graduated from Harvard University with a degree in International Relations. He won a Rhodes Scholarship and completed a law degree from Oxford University. He has also received 10 honorary doctorates and degrees for his work in the fields of education and human rights. Marc is a New York Times bestselling author, who has published eight books, as well as a nationally syndicated columnist. He is the recipient of many honors, including the Order of Canada, and was selected by the World Economic Forum as one of the world’s Young Global Leaders. Roxanne is CEO of social enterprise ME to WE, which creates socially conscious products and experiences that empower people to change the world through their everyday choices. Roxanne is also founder and CEO of ME to WE Artisans, which empowers women in Kenya and Ecuador to earn an income with their beautifully handcrafted pieces. Roxanne graduated from Stanford University with a degree in International Relations. She won a Rhodes Scholarship and completed a law degree from Oxford University, completing her legal training by clerking for the Supreme Court of Canada in 2005. Roxanne has been featured as “Faces of the Future: 100 Young Canadians to Watch,” and is an Action Canada Fellow. She was also selected for the Women’s Executive Network’s “Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100.”
Craig Kielburger Co-Founder, WE
Marc Kielburger Co-Founder, WE
Roxanne Joyal CEO, ME to WE
Who we are Yo u r h o s t s
E c u a d o r
Elisabeth Valdivieso Amazon Program Manager
Belen Dias International Projects Coordinator, WE Belen serves as a liaison between our overseas offices and Canada, and ensures that allWEVillages development projects are implemented properly.
Scott Baker CEO, WE Charity
Elisabeth, or Eli, has been our Amazon Program Manager since we started operating in the Amazon. Her years of experience working as a National Tourist Guide in Ecuador, a Spanish teacher and in hotels make her the perfect hostess. You’ll see Eli excitedly sharing her love for dance with local children while also overseeing our entire Minga Lodge team. Her love of Ecuador and her caring nature will make your stay unforgettable.
Scott spearheaded the development of our partnership with communities in Ecuador’s Chimborazo province. Working to empower indigenous people in rural communities, Scott helped implement the WE Villages model, which included the building of schools, water piping, toilets and hand-washing stations. Scott returned to Canada in 2010 to assume his role of Executive Director of WE Charity.
What we do ME t o WE
ME to WE provides authentic products and experiences that make an impact. For some organizations this is a marketing strategy, but for us it’s in our DNA. Our 20-year social mission has given us great insight and ideas on how to create an innovative social enterprise. Half of all ME to WE profits are donated to WE Charity, with the remainder being reinvested to ensure sustainability.
What we do WE Ch a r i t y
We empower change with resources that create sustainable impact. We do this through domestic programs like WE Schools and internationally through WE Villages. The unique partnership with ME to WE ensures that WE Charity achieves a remarkable rate of financial efficiency, with 90 percent of donations going directly to youth-serving programs.
Built more than
Helped empower more than financial independence. 30,000 women with
to clean water, & sanitation programs. one million people with access
1,000 schools and
For two decades, WE Villages has been engineering an international development model to end poverty. It works. It’s proven. It’s scalable. It’s not a handout or a single solution, but a combination of key interventions that empower a community to help themselves. Our core mission is empowerment. In North America, we empower people to create positive change around them. WE Villages applies the same philosophy in developing countries, when our local staff work with rural villages and regional governments to support, teach and empower people within our five Pillars of Impact.
What we do WE V i l l a g e s
Your ME to WE Trip will allow you to meet communities and experience the WE Villages model firsthand in Kenya, Ecuador and India.
W a t e r
H e a l t h
F o o d
E d u c a t i o n
O p p o r t u n i t y
Travel deep into the Amazon rainforest to experience the true power of a ‘minga’, a way of Ecuadorian life. Come together at our bespoke Minga Lodge, the perfect place to relax and recharge.
A c t i v i t i e s
►► Volunteer on a sustainable development project alongside community members ►► Be invited into the home of a family to join them in their daily tasks ►► Vist a choza (a jungle hut) and sit down with a group of skilled artisans to hear how they’re generating an income by making jewellery using locally-sourced materials ►► Hike through the world’s largest tropical rainforest ►► Explore the city of Old Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
C u s t o m i z e y o u r t r i p
Your ME to WE Trip in Ecuador is perfectly situated as a gateway to South America’s vibrant people, history and culture. From Quito, you have easy access to some of the greatest wonders of the world, including the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu.
A tropical hideaway designed with its environment in mind, the picturesque Minga Lodge is located on the edge of the Rio Napo. After a day of volunteering in indigenous Kichwa communities, Minga Lodge offers serene and comfortable spaces to refresh and recharge.
►► Self-contained cabin-style accommodations with organic flair, suitable for individuals and families alike. ►► Inspired common spaces that include an al fresco dining platform overlooking the Rio Napo, offering spectacular sunset views. ►► Eco-friendly conveniences including hot water,
power and en suite washrooms. ►► Enjoy family style meals prepared fresh daily by expert chefs, including western favourites and Ecuadorian specialties. ►► We have a 15-year record of travel safety for our guests.
C u s t o m i z e y o u r t r i p : G a t e w a y t o S o u t h A m e r i c a
Gateway to South America Cu s t omi z e yo u r t r i p
Galapagos Islands Get lost in the flora and fauna of this famous archipelago on an unforgettable journey with family and friends. Located 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian mainland, the Galapagos Islands offer a truly once- in-a-lifetime adventure. Machu Picchu and beyond Begin in the capital city of Lima, Peru, and make your way inland to Cusco, an Andean city located 11,000 feet above sea level. From there, journey through the Urubamba Valley to Machu Picchu, a site nestled in the Andean Mountain range almost 8,000 feet above sea level that has mystified explorers since its 1911 discovery. Our team can help customize the perfect South American extension, tailored to you and your family’s preferences and needs.
We invite you to take this opportunity to connect as a family and bond in a meaningful way, doing something that is fun and different for everyone. Travel with like-minded people from all over the world as you build a legacy alongside your loved ones. Get to know our founders and/or executive team, and learn about the philosophy that drives our family of organizations. Join us, and experience a truly authentic and meaningful adventures. Be immersed in a new culture as you foster genuine connections with your loved ones and see the world through a new lens. Witness firsthand how communities are coming together to break the cycle of poverty, as you join fellow travelers and local communities to contribute to a sustainable development project.
Build your legacy
Know someone who would be interested in joining you on this once-in-a-lifetime trip? Let us know!
Your ME to WE Trip is built on a defining level of service and commitment that stems from our core values—we call it our Signature Service. Expert ME to WE staff guide and assist with every step of your journey from the moment you reach out to us until after you return home from your adventure. We take care of all the details so you can focus on what’s really important—being present and connected. On your ME to WE Trip, no detail is left untouched, with safety always in mind. Trip facilitators, expert local guides, world-class cooks and service staff are dedicated to making your trip unforgettable while always focusing on your comfort and safety. Finally, ME to WE provides full-service planning and will customize your time in country to make any adventure a reality, before or after your trip.
Our signature service
Our ME to WE Trip to Kenya was one of the best things we
have done as a family. It’s one of those trips—full of amazing
memories that always make you smile. Our daughters, ages
eight and ten, had a wonderful time! They loved hanging
out with Maasai warriors, meeting local children their
own age, and participating in building a school. They felt
and experienced compassion, humility, and purpose. For
my husband and I, it was amazing to see firsthand how a
grassroots movement has made such a real and positive
impact on communities in Kenya. This trip was a great
opportunity to connect with wonderful people and get to
know Craig, Marc, Roxanne and the staff. It really made us
think about what’s important in life.
Jitanjli Datt ME to WE Kenya trip participant
Jitanjli and family with Craig Kielburger on ME to WE Trip to Kenya
J a n i c e C a r e r e
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j a n i c e . c a r e r e @ w e . o r g
TICO # 50017614
27 Photographs courtesy of Scott Ramsay and V. Tony HauserPage 1 Page 2-3 Page 4-5 Page 6-7 Page 8-9 Page 10-11 Page 12-13 Page 14-15 Page 16-17 Page 18-19 Page 20-21 Page 22-23 Page 24-25 Page 26-27 Page 28-29 Page 30
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