PiLA Blog

Introducing Princeton in Latin America Fellows, 2021-2022

Annie L.
Thursday, September 9, 2021


It's hard to believe our remote 2020-2021 Fellows have all finished their placements and that we're moving on to a brand new cycle of remote PiLA experiences! We're excited to be working again with partner organizations Endeavor Mexico, EARTH University, and Partners for Andean Community Health (PACH); all of whom hosted remote PiLA Fellows last year.

Measuring Impact in Ecuador: A PiLA Fellowship During COVID-19

Katherine Kemp
Monday, May 3, 2021

When I applied to Princeton in Latin America, I fully expected to be sent off to a remote community somewhere in Latin America. I was already preparing for exciting new foods, the embarrassing moments that naturally result from being a foreigner in a new culture, and most importantly, learning about international development at the local level.


2021 PiLA Speaker Series

Annie L.
Thursday, February 18, 2021

We're excited to present PiLA's first virtual Speaker Series!

Please join us for Conversations with PiLA Partners, Fellows, and Friends.

Introducing Princeton in Latin America Fellows, 2020-2021

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

We are thrilled to share with the PiLA Family that all our new PiLA Fellows have started their placements!

It’s been a whirlwind year for PiLA and for our valued partner organizations, but also for our program finalists for the 2020-21 fellowship year.

The Power of a Desk Job in Rural Patzún

Emily Nagler
Friday, February 14, 2020

Although I'm less than halfway through my PiLA fellowship -- five months and one day to be exact -- I feel like I've become a member of both the community of Patzún, Guatemala and my host organization, the Women's Justice Initiative (WJI). To my surprise, it took only a few weeks for me to feel welcomed and settled as a member of the team, despite all the barriers I had created in my mind.

2019-2020 Fellow Updates

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The PiLA Team is happy to report that all of our 2019-2020 PiLA Fellows have started their fellowship adventures!

The Machismo Meter

Emma Soglin
Saturday, December 22, 2018

When I received news a year and a half ago that I had been accepted as the PiLA fellow at the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, I felt a massive rush of conflicting emotions. I was ecstatic about the new opportunity, hopeful that I would learn and grow, but at the same time very scared to be doing this alone, as the only Princeton fellow in San José, Costa Rica.

Wrong Jose: Outreach and Community in the Dominican Republic

Pranayeta Shroff
Friday, December 14, 2018

I realized I was in love with the Dominican Republic while I was waiting on the side of a street making googly eyes at a baby and the parents, amused and unafraid, offered me the child to hold and a chair to sit on. The love took a while to hit. From the start, living in the DR and working at the education and community development organization The DREAM Project inspired and pushed me.

Living and Working in Villa el Salvador

Friday, November 16, 2018

I always struggle trying to describe my work to my family and friends. While my official title is “Leadership Director,” and while my contract dictates that my primary responsibility is directing our Voices of Youth, our youth leadership program, that is far from what I do.

Mexico City Earthquake: A Retrospect

Annie Austin, PiLA Fellow 2016-2018, Endeavor Mexico City
Thursday, September 20, 2018

According to legend, the Aztecs determined where to permanently settle based on a sign from the gods: an eagle, eating a snake, perched on a cactus.  As they navigated the land that is today Mexico City, the eagle, eating a snake, on a cactus, sat on a tiny island surrounded by a massive lake. Recognizing the sign from the gods, the Aztecs expanded the island to make it habitable, filling the water with soil and sand.

PiLA en Washington D.C.

Lizabelt Avila and Claudia Lievano
Monday, September 17, 2018

When we applied to Princeton in Latin America, we envisioned ourselves in remote pueblos (towns), learning from la comunidad (community), and giving back to a region we deeply love and feel connected to in profound ways. To our surprise, we chose placements far closer to the U.S capital than we imagined, and we are actively supporting Latin America from the Worldwide Office of The Nature Conservancy (TNC).

You’re a good friend. Eres una buena amiga. At jun kilaj wixbil.

Tatiana Dalton and Alex Northrop
Thursday, August 23, 2018

Whatever language we use to describe them, relationships are central to a sense of community and personal well-being. Reflecting on our first months at Pueblo a Pueblo, we find that friendships and partnerships are also important to our work here in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala.

One month at ADISA

Monday, August 6, 2018

Having wrapped up my first month at Adisa, I am inclined to reflect more carefully on my experience to date. While in many ways I still feel like I’m adjusting and figuring things out, I’m also surprised by how much I’ve already learned. I might still not know how to navigate all the callejones of Santiago without getting lost but I do know where to buy my avocados, how to introduce myself in Tz’utujil, and how to give a fairly informative tour of Adisa.

Introducing Princeton in Latin America Fellows, 2018-19

Sarah Town
Friday, July 20, 2018

We are glad to introduce the 2018-19 cohort of PiLA Fellows! This diverse, dedicated, and talented group of 31 young professionals will be making significant contributions to socially responsible development work with 16 partners based throughout the Americas addressing issues such as accessibility/ inclusion, community health, conservation, education, and girls’ and women’s economic empowerment. You can see bios for the current year’s cohort here

Open Letter to PiLA 2018-19 Fellows

David Atkinson
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Dear PiLA fellows of the 2018-2019 class,


My witnessing your recent orientation program in Princeton, so beautifully organized by Sarah Town and Michael Stone and supported by Kim Gordon of the FAC and other alums, served to reaffirm the motives for my commitment to PiLA: you give me hope for the future. 


The Doer Mentality

Emilia Rybak
Thursday, June 21, 2018

I was just about to leave my office to get lunch on September 19th, 2017 when the building began to shake violently. Within a few seconds, panic began to set in as I realized this wasn’t a minor tremor like the one I had felt 12 days before. I had been in Mexico City for just 4 weeks and had experienced the strongest earthquake to strike the city in 32 years. But rather than be deterred, I went out to volunteer alongside my neighbors and coworkers.

Introducing La Brigada Verde

Angie Neslin
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

“¡Angie! ¿Hoy vamos al huerto? ¿Hoy vamos a reciclar? ¿Hoy vamos a hacer Parlamento?” Hearing this daily chorus always brings a smile to my face, because these are the programs I work on at Fundación Abriendo Camino. Our mission is to provide alternatives for the protection and education of children, youth and families in a vulnerable urban sector, the barrio of Villas Agrícolas in Santo Domingo. These alternatives include the urban garden, 3R (recycling), and student parliament programs I’ve helped to develop during my two years here.

President Oscar Arias celebrates Princeton in Latin America

Friday, November 3, 2017

Former President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987, delivered the keynote speech at the celebration of PiLA’s 15th anniversary at the Princeton Club of New York on the evening of November 2 and spoke highly of the organization and its fellows.

“PiLA became a trusted partner and friend of the Arias Foundation. PiLA fellows joined what seemed like an impossible mission that the Foundation undertook in the 1990’s … they believed and they rolled up their sleeves and for that I am eternally grateful.”

Reflections on Life in the DR: Hope in the Face of Challenges

Luisa Nilan
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

It’s hard to believe that I’m nearing 7 months here in Cabarete, working with the Mariposa DR Foundation. I’m saddened by the prospect of having to leave this beautiful place in just 4 months. My time here has been invaluable, as I’ve had so many opportunities to experience both personal and professional growth, to meet so many different people, and to really be convicted about my desire and responsibility to serve.