The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies goes beyond research and teaching to include outreach to the local Spanish and Portuguese speaking communities. An education in Latin American Studies would not be complete without direct contact and experience working with the peoples of Latin America either abroad or locally.
Students must complete at least one semester or one summer of internship or volunteer service work related to the region. Students must submit an internship / service work proposal form to the concentration advisor for prior approval. Upon completion of the internship or service work, students submit a brief summary report to the concetration advisor, signed by a supervisor, on how their experience related to Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Please note that this requirement can be fulfilled through paid or unpaid work. Visit our Funding for Undergraduates page for more information about grants that can help students afford a range of volunteer and service work.
Cultural Survival works closely with indigenous groups to defend indigenous rights and promote sustainable development. It coordinates campaigns such as the Guatemala Radio Project and the National Language Revitalization Program. They are located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
English for Action works with Latin American immigrant families in Providence's Olneyville community, providing English language programs for children and adults. Volunteers serve as classroom and workshop facilitators, youth mentors, and research assistants.
Grassroots International supports indigenous and women's groups with grant making, education, and advocacy. The Boston-based organization partners with communities in Brazil, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
Global Health through Education, Training and Service (GHETS) is dedicated to improving health in developing countries through innovations in education and service. GHETS provides start-up grants to local training institutions in low-income countries, and the technical help to launch and improve programs that prepare and support healthcare workers in rural and poor communities.
Accion partners with microfinance organizations to promote economic development and provide financial services such as housing loans to microentrepreneurs and their families. Internships are based in Boston, Washington DC, and overseas regional offices.
Ashoka is a DC-area social entrepreneurship organization that funds individual projects in areas such as civic engagement, economic development, the environment, health, human rights, and education.
The Center for Global Development is a Washington DC think tank that conducts policy research on issues such as foreign aid effectiveness, health, education, migration, foreign trade, and globalization in the developing world.
The Center for International Policy in Washington DC is a policy organization with a focus on human rights, demilitarization, and conflict resolution in areas such as Central America, Colombia, and Cuba.
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs in Washington DC offers internships for students who are interested in US-Latin American political, economic, and diplomatic relations.
The Inter-American Development Bank provides financial and technical support to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in an effort to mitigate inequality and alleviate poverty. The organization accepts roughly 40 students into its internship program annually, where they receive job training and work at the bank’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Interns must be in their third year of an undergraduate program or be enrolled in a post-graduate, Master’s, or PhD program.
The Inter-American Dialogue brings together a network of global leaders for discussion on democratic governance, social equity, and prosperity in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a not-for-profit organization with connections to institutions around the world. It offers internships related to education, climate change, migration, and other fields in development relations.
The Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars studies the rising global presence of Latin American countries and makes efforts to ensure economic growth, democratic governance, and security in the region. The organization also works to improve U.S. - Latin America relations. It offers internships related to Communications/Social Media, Political Economy, and Citizen Security.
The Latin America Working Group in Washington DC seeks interns who are interested in advocacy work, US foreign policy in Latin America, and the political, economic, and social issues facing the region.
The League of United Latin American Citizens is a DC-based civil rights organization that offers internships to English and Spanish speaking students in departments such as policy, communications, development, and education.
The Organization of American States (OAS) focuses on promoting democracy, defending human rights, ensuring security, and fostering development through Inter-American cooperation. It is the world’s oldest regional organization. The OAS offers internships in Washington, D.C. and in National Offices and Special Programs across the hemisphere.
Refugees International is a DC-based advocacy organization that promotes human rights and the resolution of refugee crises, including those in Colombia and the Dominican Republic.
The United Nations Development Programme promotes poverty reduction, democratic governance, environmental sustainability, public health, and women’s empowerment in countries throughout Latin America. Internships for graduate students are available in Washington D.C. and in regional overseas offices.
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants works to provide opportunities and resources to help immigrants and refugees become more self-sufficient in their new homes. The organization also combats refugee warehousing, helps victims of human trafficking, and fights for rights for unaccompanied immigrant minors. They offer internships in the spring, summer, and fall at their headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The Washington Office on Latin America is a research and advocacy organization focused on human rights in the Americas. The Sally Yudelman Internship Program has hosted interns since the 1980s and has an extensive alumni network. Interns are paired with staff member and are given hands-on experience in foreign policy and human rights advocacy. The organization accepts seven interns per season, each paired with a specific department.
Witness for Peace coordinates grassroots activists who are dedicated to economic justice and human rights, organizing campaigns to change US foreign policy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Internships are in Washington DC or Chicago.
New York City:
Banyan Global is a development consulting firm with offices in New York City and Washington DC. Its areas of focus include microfinance, the health sector, the financial sector, and micro, small, and medium enterprise.
Asociación Tepeyac is a community-based organization that defends the rights of Latin American immigrants, particularly Mexicans, in the New York City area.
The Council on Foreign Relations, located in New York City, publishes the journal Foreign Affairs and serves as a forum for foreign policymakers. Internships are available in departments such as foreign affairs, communications, and publications in New York and Washington DC.
MADRE is a New York-based women’s human, sexual, and economic rights organization that collaborates on projects in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru.
The Rainforest Alliance works to promote ecosystem conservation, sustainable agriculture, and ecotourism in the Amazon Basin. Internships are based in New York City.
The Anunciation House operates hospitality houses for refugees and immigrants on the border between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
The Carter Center in Atlanta seeks interns with background in Latin American and Caribbean Studies to work with its Americas Program, whose goal is to strengthen inter-American relations.
The Center for World Indigenous Studies, based in Olympia, Washington, addresses the problems facing indigenous peoples, including resource management, economic development, and health issues.
International Development Exchange is a grantmaking program in San Francisco that supports organizations working with Guatemalan and Mexican communities on economic development, women's empowerment, and resource management.
Amazon Watch works closely with indigenous groups in the Amazon Basin to promote indigenous rights, sustainable development, rainforest conservation, and biodiversity. Offices are located in Northern and Southern California and Washington DC.
The Center for Justice and International Law promotes the implementation of international human rights law in the member states of the Organization of American States. It has offices in Washington DC, Brazil, Argentina, and Costa Rica.
FINCA International is a microfinance organization that sponsors village banking campaigns serving low-income entrepreneurs in Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua. For more information, contact Amelia Kuklewicz, the regional operations manager for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Fundación Runa reinvests profits from the sale of fair-trade guayusa tea to support social and environmental programs benefiting an indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. For information about volunteer and internship opportunities, contact founder/president and Brown graduate Tyler Gage.
Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos sponsors homes for orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children. Summer opportunities for teaching English, music, dance, art, and athletics are available in Haiti and the Dominican Republic; volunteers in Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico make a one-year commitment.
The UN Economic Comission for Latin America and the Caribbean, headquartered in Santiago, Chile, is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. It was founded with the purpose of contributing to the region's economic development and reinforcing economic ties among countries and with other nations of the world, but its objectives have expanded considerably since. The Comission has subregional offices in Mexico City and Port of Spain and national offices in Bogota, Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Washington, D.C.
World Endeavors has international internship programs from a wide range of fields in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mexico. Student interns have the opportunity to receive academic credit for their work.
Fronteras Unidas Pro Salud provides basic and reproductive healthcare to families in Tijuana in addition to sponsoring outreach and education programs on family planning, domestic violence, and mental and physical health.
Project Racine partners US and Haitian college students in a youth leadership training program to address the developmental and environmental challenges facing Haiti.
Fundación Paniamor promotes the well-being and the rights of Costa Rican children and young adults by highlighting issues such as violence in the family, schools, and the community; sexual exploitation and child trafficking; and civic participation among youth.
The La Pedrera School Project supports literacy, English, music, and nutrition classes for Mayan children in a poor Guatemalan community.
Conectas Direitos Humanos is an international not-for-profit organization in Sao Paulo, Brazil, dedicated to promoting the realization of human rights in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
Corazones para Peru is a non-profit group that focuses on improving sustainable living conditions for those living in the Peruvian Andes, especially children. They offer internships in Peru for Spanish-speaking students. Interns work directly with children in villages or help at the organization’s microfinance bank, health centers, or agriculture centers.
Justiça Global is dedicated to promoting human rights in Brazil by documenting human rights abuses, advising local NGOs and organizations, and promoting international awareness of human rights issues in the media.
The Directorio Legislativo in Argentina supports legislative initiatives that promote the public interest and works to ensure greater transparency and responsibility in the legislative branch of the government. They should be contacted directly for information about internships.
Poder Ciudadano encourages citizens to participate in the political process and promotes government transparency and broader access to public information in Argentina.
VE Global is a volunteer program that helps foster the growth of children at social risk in Santiago, Chile by implementing literacy, arts, health, and English programs. View this flyer and brochure for more information.
Internship Placement Programs
These programs may charge a fee for matching participants with host organizations in various Latin American countries. They could be an ideal option for students who prefer a more structured experience.