Promoting Cultural Exchange

brand identity design / Aldeas de Paz

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Fundación Aldeas de Paz is a volunteer-run foundation located in Santa Elena de Uairén, Venezuela. It is a sustainable, grassroots NGO. Founded in 2001, it promotes cultural exchange between the local community and international volunteers. The foundation is run exclusively by the efforts of volunteers and interns. Programs focus on supporting local youth through educational and recreational activities.

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challenge: Both the country and the foundation exist without much infrastructure or support. Aldeas de Paz needed to find a strategic position that attracted volunteers who care more about supporting a community than changing a culture. How can a foundation staffed by a constant introduction of new volunteers show a reliable presence in the community?

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process: The project was completed during a six month volunteer trip to Venezuela in 2009. Living on the foundation for six months was the perfect immersion to know volunteers and the community. I had the privilege to sit down with volunteers upon arrival and again at departure to discuss the gaps between their expected experience and practiced reality.

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strategy: Aldeas de Paz was formed on the belief that through cultural exchange, volunteers are prepared to be role models for worldwide change. The brand essence of “individual empowerment” highlights these individual connections, and the person-to-person difference that can be made.

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outcome: The visual execution focuses on distilling and communicating the Aldeas de Paz story across cultural and language divides. A focus on imagery shows the experience instead of trying to explain it.

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client: Manfred Mönnighoff, Founder

team: Volunteers, community

role: Strategist, workshop lead, designer, photographer, front-end developer