Volunteer in Rabinal

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Are you conversational in Spanish? Are you passionate about social Justice? Global Health? Education?  If so, Voces y Manos may be exactly the program you are looking for for this summer.

Internship Description: 

This is a 8-week summer internship with three main areas of focus: a) conducting popular education workshops with Guatemalan youth on a variety of themes related to social justice, community health, and development b) working on promotional activities (e.g. writing blogs and newsletters), and c) realizing individualized projects such as research or digital storytelling. Voces y Manos will work with interns to tailor the internship experience to their needs and strengths as well as to their particular educational experiences and objectives.

Program Dates: 

June 20-August 13 (tentative)

Approximate Cost:

$2,400 (airfare, living expenses, and program fee)

Program Requirements:

  • Ability to communicate in Spanish (while continuing to learn)
  • Openness to working with others in collaborative group settings
  • Flexibility to respond to the ongoing nature of this work

If you are interested in learning more about this internship opportunity, please email Kimberly (ksvinall@gmail.com) for an application (applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until spaces are filled, no later than March 31, 2016 ).

What have former volunteers said about the program?

“When I became involved with Voces y Manos, I was told I would be co-teaching in a youth empowerment and leadership class. After about a week, I realized what I would really be doing is “co-learning.” Living in Rabinal taught me to view the world from a completely different perspective. Experiencing life in an impoverished community taught me the true meaning of humility. . . Although I was extremely nervous to go to a different country on my own, after the first day, everyone made me feel right at home. The friendships I have developed in Rabinal will stay with me forever, and I definitely hope to be back! I truly believe that the experience I gained working with Voces y Manos has reinforced my decision in becoming a teacher and has given me essential tools for working in a classroom.” -Shelly Escobar, UC Davis, Class of 2014

“For someone planning to go into medicine, the Voces y Manos trip solidified in me the desire to pursue the path of international health.… Even for people who are not interested in medicine or public health, the trip is a great experience to explore another country, improve your Spanish, meet a lot of amazing people, and have a significant impact on a community. Now, every time I open my email and have an email from someone in Rabinal or pick up the phone and hear someone speaking Spanish, my heart starts racing. I know I formed friendships there that I will never forget. And to add to it all, the other U.S. volunteers are some of the friendliest, most good-hearted people I have ever met and I am honored to have been able to live, work, hike, dance, and play soccer with them, and most of all, to learn from them.” -Hannah Perrin, University of Michigan School of Medicine, Class of 2013

“Voces y Manos was a vehicle to eye-opening experiences that have changed the way that I view the world.  Through the simple acts of being and living with the people of Rabinal, Guatemala, I learned what the face of poverty and discrimination really looks like.  It is one thing to study the social structures that bound us to our brothers and sisters around the globe, but it is another to experience them forthright and to become conscious of how truly intertwined all of our lives are. In the midst of this new level of global social consciousness, to be able to work with Voces y Manos for the health of indigenous Guatemalans today and the community leaders of the future was a precious experience that I will carry with me into my practice as a physician.”– Elizabeth Berryman, UC San Diego School of Medicine, Class of 2013; Current Masters in Public Health student at Harvard University

“Voces y Manos has taught me, through experience, that as young people we can change the world…Voces y Manos combines the enthusiasm and passion of youth with the experience and wisdom of our parents’ generation. Our vision goes far beyond volunteerism. It goes beyond charity. Our vision is about Social Justice. Voces y Manos brings people of all ages and all backgrounds together to make health a reality, and to demand the right to health for all.” -Michael Bakal, Masters in Education from UC Los Angeles, Class of 2010

“The trip… went above and beyond all of my expectations.  Not only did the trip solidify my aspirations of becoming a doctor, I learned a great deal about teamwork and what it takes to make big ideas actually tangible.  I believe Voces y Manos is truly unique in that it is completely student-run and 100% of the efforts go towards the community.” -Amy Yam, Medical College of Wisconsin, Class of 2014