VIA was born in 2016 from the need to share information and to create bridges between our community and existing organizations here in New York City, but it was also born from empathy and solidarity, from feeling close to our homeland, Venezuela, knowing that we were helping our fellow citizens to make their adaptation process easier and more bearable.

Founders and Directors

Hector Arguinzones

Niurka Meléndez

Niurka and Héctor are both from Caracas, Venezuela. They left their country with their only son in 2015.

In Venezuela they obtained their university degrees, Niurka in the area of ​​Computing and Héctor in Administration. Both describe themselves as citizens committed to their country and their community.

Since their arrival in New York, Niurka and Héctor began to work as volunteers in several organizations that help immigrants in the city, serving  as guides and interpreters of the growing Venezuelan community that, like them, seek asylum in the United States.

After creating several networks and connections serving as a bridge, in 2016 Venezuelans and Immigrants Aid (VIA) was  founded, which is how they define it, a 100% voluntary and community-based NGO that helps and builds bridges to the Venezuelan forced migrants.


VIA’s members and volunteers are, in large part, asylum seekers and forced migrants from Venezuela who wish to pay their support forward to the community and local institutions that support our mission.

Together we have made VIA a community-based organization, supported 100% by volunteer contributions that carries out activities to empower and support the forced migrant and asylum-seeking community in New York City.


Our passion, moral, and desire to show others through our actions that, when you desire it, you can help and empower others, motivating them to do the same with those who come after.

This is the Venezuela we dream of. Contributing our part, a tiny grain of sand, not underestimating the impact of our actions.

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