Feliz dia del amor from post-Carnival Bolivia! My name is Nora Harless, and I am the current fellow working at the Unidad Académica Campesina (UAC) in Carmen Pampa, Bolivia in the region of Nor Yungas. Here are a few impressions of my experience working as external relations coordinator at the UAC deep in the Andes mountains.
La semana haciendo experimentos científicos fue algo inolvidable porque encarnó la diferencia en el concepto de servicio comunitario con DREAM y servicio comunitario para DREAM. Los estudiantes en el grupo de Cape Cod, no querían ser solamente unos “salvadores,” proveer útiles escolares y después salir olvidando de los que dejaron aquí a “pudrir.” En lugar de eso, ellos querían una experiencia de vulnerabilidad mutua y deseaban involucrarse en la comunidad y aprender de ellos igual que los estudiantes pueden aprender de los voluntarios.
My work at Adisa has made me think more deeply about the meaning of inclusion. Adisa's motto: "Por una comunidad inclusiva" (for an inclusive community) is much more than just a slogan. It is the motivation and foundation for our work. Whether it be our healthcare, employment, education, or empowerment programs, or just daily interactions, Adisa strives to create a community based in inclusivity.
When I guide visitors through the Starfish Impact School, I do my best to convey how special and revolutionary it is to see nearly one hundred young indigenous women sitting at school in Guatemala at an age when many would no longer have the opportunity to continue studying due to lack of financial resources or cultural pressure.
As Communications Coordinator, a huge part of my job is storytelling—whether that is telling the story of Starfish to visitors in person, or communicating with a broader audience through online media.
What do I say?
We proudly announce the 2017–18 cohort of 32 PiLA fellows, who collectively will serve with 20 PiLA partner organizations in 11 countries.
College or University
Working alongside a resilient community in the outskirts of Lima continues to transform my outlook on development.Villa El Salvador, where Building Dignity works, has a proud history of fighting for recognition through movements to formalize its settlements. This legacy continues as community members continue to struggle to access basic amenities from the state, quality education and the now-deteriorating opportunities to participate in Peru’s evolving job market.
While driving home after meeting with community leaders about a new water project, community health worker Marta Eliza, program supervisor Yarisleidy and I discussed the challenges of being a woman in Latin America and a woman in the work force. In this case, each of us is both.
“A veces creo que se equivocaron conmigo.”
When friends and family from the States talk about Ecuador, they often mention the beauty of the Galapagos Islands and the snow-capped volcanoes of the Andes. Very few think of the prolonged armed conflict taking place in Colombia and its impact on Ecuador. Before I began my fellowship at the UN World Food Programme (WFP) last July, I also knew little about the effects of this conflict on Colombia’s smaller southern neighbor. Since 2000, approximately 175,000 people have petitioned for asylum in Ecuador, and the country currently hosts the largest refugee population in the region.