What's New with PiLA! January 2018

PiLA Alumni Association - January Newsletter

The PiLA's Advisory Council would like to wish a very happy 2018!  Read on to discover Latin American related job postings and to learn more about professional development opportunities. We hope you are staying warm!
Career Opportunities
Trainings and Job Postings
Job Postings 
Various Positions- Vera Solutions- Various Locations (Cape Town, Mumbai, Washington, DC, London)  
  • Vera Solutions is a social enterprise and Certified B Corporation® building cloud and mobile applications for social impact organizations worldwide. Our clients—more than 230 organizations in over 45 countries—include major iNGOs and grant-making organizations, social enterprises, and community-based organizations. Our solutions help organizations working in health, education, and development to collect, analyze and utilize real-time, high-quality programmatic data, automate processes, and work more efficiently and effectively. Vera’s work is centered on the Force.com platform, the world’s leading cloud application development platform. 

Director of Leadership- Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute- Washington, DC
  • The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) is one of the leading Hispanic non-profit, non-partisan organizations in the country. CHCI was established in 1978 by a group of Congressman to develop the next generation of Latino leaders. To fulfill its mission, CHCI offers educational and leadership programs, services, and activities that promote the growth of its participants as effective professionals and strong leaders.
Program Coordinator- Global Glimpse- Various Locations (Nicaragua, Ecuador, Dominican Republic) 
  • Global Glimpse is a visionary nonprofit that inspires America’s next generation to become responsible global citizens through after school workshops and 16-day immersion programs in Latin America. Chicago, New York, and Western Massachusetts. We run programs in 15 international sites across Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.
 Summer Program Staff- Global Leadership Adventures- Various Locations (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Peru)
  • We are *Global Leadership Adventures (GLA), a fast-growing company committed to delivering life-changing journeys for high school students. Our mission is to inspire the next generation to realize their potential to transform the world and their role in it. We proudly operate service-learning programs in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Program Leader- CIEE- Various Locations (Argentina, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru)
  • The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) is looking for experienced and enthusiastic teachers, counselors, and coaches to lead our high school students through their summer study abroad experiences around the world. Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad programs are three to four weeks long and operated by CIEE Study Centers in one of 36 international locations. These programs give curious, motivated high school students the opportunity to immerse themselves in another culture, to learn and practice a world language, to develop self-awareness and leadership skills, and to conduct field research in a subject of interest.
Upcoming Events

PiLA's Fellows Advisory Council (FAC) is beginning the new year with an exciting collaboration with the Young Professionals of the Americas (YPA) and the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP)! Join us on February 5th in New York City for a networking happy hour and una plática with Bernadette Meehan, Executive Director of international programs at the Obama Foundation. Visit here for more information and registration details. We can’t wait to see you there!
Feel free to reach out to Kim (kimgordon09@gmail.com) if you have any questions.
A spotlight on PiLA Alumni and what they are doing now! 
Mackenzie Welsh

PiLA Year: 2016-2017
  • Placement Organization and Country: Global Partnerships, Nicaragua
  • Current City: Washington, DC
  • Favorite Hobby: Travel, Climbing, Flyboarding 

What impact did PiLA have on you/your life?

PiLA gave me the opportunity to travel across Latin America and see the operations of social businesses from the ground up. It was an amazing opportunity to see enterprises that have an impact on local livelihoods and made me more interested in looking at business solutions to poverty. At the same time, focusing on business solutions showed me their limitations, particularly for building up civil society and for the most vulnerable members of society.

What was your most memorable travel experience during your PiLA fellowship? 

Professionally, the site visits for Global Partnerships were always fascinating. On one field visit with a coffee cooperative, the pickup could not make it up the hill because the back tires were spinning out. As someone that grew up in a rural area, I was the only person that realized that the weight distribution was a problem, so I tossed logs and large rocks in the pickup bed before convincing my supervisor to sit in the back with me. We made it up the hill and the next client we interviewed was laughing the entire time after hearing our story and seeing us roll up in suits in the back of a muddy pickup.  

Personally, during Semana Santa and the suffocating heat of April, I escaped to Little Corn Island to become dive certified. Dark, deep water freaks me out so I decided that I wanted to go diving at night. Five of us went out on a little boat with only a sliver of a moon, and when diving, you have to fall backwards off the boat into the water. I was the first one in the water and for a minute worked on remembering to breathe in the middle of the pitch-black ocean. Sinking down, each diver lit up their flashlights and everyone looked like astronauts flying through space. A special light made the coral glow in bright blues and reds and after about twenty minutes, we turned off our lights and sat in darkness on the ocean floor. Slowly, little bioluminescent microorganisms lit up the water, in cascading chains going up and up. It felt like we were sitting in the middle of the Milky Way.

What do you miss most about your PiLA year? 

I miss my friends in Nicaragua and how close everything is – from the capital city you can drive twenty minutes and be on top of a volcano, forty minutes and be swimming in a volcanic crater lake, and you are just one hour from the beach. It is incredible to have so many beautiful landscapes right at your fingertips. Every month in Nicaragua I had the opportunity to explore a new and stunning landscape with amazing friends.  

Restaurant recommendation in your current city

The creatively named Little Ethiopian Restaurant on 9th Street. I’m really into anything that isn’t gallopinto (sorry, Niki).

Princeton fellows are global citizens and we value civic engagement. During our year in Nicaragua there were a lot of defining moments in the United States, how did you stay civically engaged in matters of your own country while living abroad? 

I was carefully following the presidential election from abroad, as well as my state referendums and local candidates. The day after the election was really difficult because every single candidate and referendum I had supported had lost. Being abroad, I felt limited in what I could do, so I signed up for 5calls and made calling circles. Calling circles are essentially a group of people where anyone can propose a call and each person in the group then has to call that representative and post a screenshot within 24 hours. It is great because it keeps people involved with pretty minimal effort, promotes accountability, and for each call script you create, you know that 5 other people are also speaking to that representative. This was a great way to stay up to date with political developments at the local and national level, and support one another to be more engaged.

I was also following the Women’s March very closely and six days before the march, a friend asked me if I was going. I had assumed I couldn’t attend, but checked flights and flew to D.C. two days later with my supervisor’s blessing. I am so glad I did!



Your Nomination for next Alumni Spotlight: Jesus Salas

  •  How do you think PiLA fellows can support local communities at their placement site if their organization is less hands-on service work?

Interested in learning more about the current PiLA fellow cohort? Check out the links below!
Follow PiLA on Instagram!
As part of a new initiative to encourage fellows to leverage social media to track their impact, PiLA has worked with the AC to re-brand the program's Instagram account! Now, fellows will take turns as "administrators" of the account, and will post photographs of their adventures. Click here to follow! 
Interested in getting involved? 
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