Former WOLA Interns
Mary Ann Arizaga (Summer 2022)
With the support of the Lang Center’s Social Impact Summer Scholarships, Mary Ann Arizaga ’25, was able to work at WOLA, and contribute to their efforts of promoting human rights, social justice, and democracy in Latin America.
During my time at WOLA as a Development and Colombia program intern, I was able to learn about the political situation in Latin America and get an in-depth perspective from activists, NGOs and politicians about the on-going human rights issues due to the political crisis happening in Brazil and Colombia. I worked in conjunction with my supervisor in different tasks such as scheduling meetings with 10+ human rights delegations from Brazil and Colombia, WOLA representatives and Representatives of Congress to discuss foreign aid policies implementation as well as collaborating in the writing process of +15 human rights advocacy articles for the institutional website. I was able to attend different meetings held in senators’ offices and institutions such as the U.S Institute of Peace and the Organization of American States. Being an intern at WOLA allowed me to make meaningful connections with people passionate about public policy and Latin America.
Marcos Estrada (Summer 2021)
With the support of the Lang Center’s Social Impact Summer Scholarships, Marcos Estrada’22, a double major in Neuroscience and Spanish, was able to work at WOLA (remotely due to COVID-19), and contribute to their efforts of promoting human rights, social justice, and democracy in Latin America.
During my time as WOLA’s Citizen Security intern, I had the opportunity to learn about the ongoing human rights issues in the Northern Triangle of Central America and the advocacy work conducted by Washington D.C. organizations to help address these issues. As part of this process, I worked with my supervisors and program director on the development of the Central America Monitor (CAM), an initiative to track the U.S. assistance to Central America and evaluate the progress made to reduce violence, safeguard human rights, and increase accountability, amongst other areas of concern. In conducting qualitative and quantitative research for this project, I had the opportunity to engage with government institutions and partners in Central America. Apart from focusing my research on the CAM, I had the opportunity to conduct research on a topic of major interest to me: the conditions of immigrant women. Based on this research I had the opportunity to publish a blog article about the complexities of violence against women and migration in the Northern Triangle. An even more motivating factor is that I can continue to apply and expand on this knowledge through my future endeavors. I am grateful to the Latin American and Latino Studies program and the Lang Center at Swarthmore College, and WOLA for this incredible opportunity.
Read Marco’s piece published on WOLA’s website:
Louisa Carman (Summer 2020)
With the support of the Lang Center’s Social Impact Summer Scholarships, Louisa Carman ’21, Political Science major, was able to work at WOLA (remotely due to COVID-19), and contribute to their efforts of promoting human rights, social justice, and democracy in Latin America.
As an intern for WOLA’s Mexico/Migration and Citizen Security programs, I got an in-depth look at how human rights issues in Latin America are translated into policy advocacy and action in D.C. WOLA is a small organization with a wide network of partners, which made it possible for me to hear directly from people such as lawyers at migrant shelters in southern Mexico when I was researching a policy memo on access to asylum in Mexico. I also got to see how the experts at WOLA work to share information from their partners on the ground and center human rights concerns in their interactions with members of Congress. For instance, I was able to help with some of the background research for WOLA’s commentary on corruption in the selection of judges to Guatemala’s Constitutional Court, which was one of the first English-language publications on this topic. Through these invaluable experiences at WOLA, I not only deepened my knowledge of some of the most pressing issues in Mexico and Central America but also connected with the international network of people who are working to change U.S. policies on these fronts.
Read Louisa’s piece published on WOLA’s website