The Tia Foundation is a small, Arizona-based
501 (c) 3 Public Charity 
dedicated to driving
sustainable health solutions in rural Mexico.


To bring access to lifesaving healthcare and preventative education in the poorest remote places where there are no doctors or medicine through Tia’s self-sustaining, teach them to fish program.


Tia visualizes a world where communities work together to attain good health for all and use the tools and self-confidence acquired through Tia’s program to address other areas of need, such as water quality, education, and economic development.


Using a “teach them to fish” model, the Tia Foundation trains and equips community health workers, elected by their fellow villagers, in remote parts of rural Mexico, where there are no doctors. We accomplish this permanent, sustainable solution for less than $5 a person, because the local governments take over continuing education and resupply of the robust medical kits each health worker is given. Tia currently serves more than 180,000 villagers. Our health workers provide vaccinations, deliver babies, manage chronic diseases like diabetes, and offer preventative education.

Problem Statement:

In the poor rural villages of the developing world, the most basic of health clinics are scarce. Often, providing a clean environment for childbirth, or treating the most basic illnesses and injuries are close to impossible. In the communities where Tia works, most family homes have dirt floors and no doors or windows. A daily struggle to raise enough food using unmechanized farm tools just to feed the family occupies much of their time. Village farm families live up to a twelve hour walk from the nearest hospital and vehicles are nonexistent. Women still die in child birth and young children are lost to diseases compounded by undernourishment.

The lack of essential services can mean the difference between life and death, not only for an individual, like a subsistence farmer, but also for the vulnerable family. For that farmer, the arduous long journey over rough mountain roads to the nearest medical care means that a major laceration or fracture can be a death sentence. The loss to his family compounds with the resulting downward poverty spiral of malnutrition and disease. With a trained health care technician who has a modest medical kit, the farmer can be sufficiently stabilized to endure the trip to a regional hospital, thus mitigating the risk to the susceptible family.

To guarantee long-term village health, the most effective way is to train local health care workers and give them the essential tools necessary to treat common illnesses and injuries. The key to long-term solutions involves implementing a sustainable program that teaches villagers the skills they need and provides them with links to necessary local resources, so they can become self-determining.

Tia’s Value Proposition:

Tia seeks to provide sustainable development strategies, as opposed to relief. Tia does not want to ‘parent’ or impose a policy of development, but rather, like an aunt, mentor, assist, advise and motivate villagers to develop their own organic potential and vision for their growth. Using our experience and resources, Tia shares knowledge and links the villagers to the means to do for themselves, thus engendering self-confidence and respect.

The Tia Foundation enjoys a number of competitive advantages in International Development consulting, including a strong relationship with Thunderbird, the Garvin School of International Management’s faculty and student ID organizations. With a robust school of International Development, which is in touch with the most up-to-date research in the field, Thunderbird’s professors’ and student interns’ close proximity and warm relationship with The Tia Foundation ensure the newest and most healthy ID consulting is offered. Memberships and relationships with the The Border Trade Alliance, The Arizona-Mexico Commission, Guidestar, La Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara’s PMC, NSHMBA (National Society of Hispanic MBAs), World Care, CHOICE Humanitarian, and other international organizations endow The Tia Foundation with a wealth of impressive resources.


9 Responses to “About”

  1. 1 L. Shapiro, M.D. January 7, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I have a significant # of lancets which are new and I have donated to you in the past. Have you any interest?

    • 2 gitanita January 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      Absolutely! We are able to make great use of the ones you have donated previously. I’ll get in touch with you to see when I can swing by to pick them up.

  2. 3 Katie S. March 17, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Do you ever need volunteers for anything in the Phoenix area?

    • 4 gitanita March 17, 2011 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Katie!
      Yes, we do need volunteers in Phoenix. We are having a volunteer event on Saturday, March 26th in the morning at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Details will be posted shortly. You will need to bring a laptop that can connect to the internet. You can also email me at and we will keep you posted about other volunteer opportunities. Thank you so much for your interest in our cause!!!!!!

  3. 5 Sue Crabb October 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    We are traveling to Baja California the end of this month (Oct. 2014) and visiting a remote fishing village. In the past we have dropped off medical supplies such as bandages, neosporin and aspin. Do you have any supplies that might be of use to a tiny fishing village. The fishermen were delighted at our last donation.
    Sue Crabb

    • 6 Laura L October 13, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Hi Sue! Thank you for commenting! We operate out of Guadalajara and do not work in Baja. We’d be happy to recommend some supplies you might take along with you to donate, but we only distribute our supplies through the medical kits we give each of our health workers upon completion of their comprehensive training.

  4. 7 Mohammed Abu Zeinab October 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    What a wonderful idea! And great reach in activity as well!

  5. 8 Cosima October 29, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Do you have to be an AZ resident to volunteer? And a current medical professional? I recently moved to CO and am doing pre-med studies, I would love the chance to help.

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About Tia Foundation

A 501(c)3 non-profit, the Tia Foundation endeavors to provide health-related development strategies, not relief. “Tia”, meaning “aunt” in Spanish, seeks to use our experience, resources and knowledge to link villagers to the means to do for themselves. Learn More...

Teach Them to Fish

Invest in Tia with Confidence!

Study Shows Four Fold Drop in Immigration from Mexico

A Thunderbird School of Global Management field study found a four fold drop in immigration from areas in Mexico that benefited from rural community development programs. Thus, an indirect result of Tia’s program efforts encourage people to remain in their home communities and invest in the future of Mexico

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