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Human Rights in Argentina with Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students

Human Rights in Argentina with Projects Abroad

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Human rights internship in Cordoba, Argentina

I volunteered as a human rights intern with Projects Abroad in Cordoba, Argentina for two and a half months.

After deciding on a gap year before I start college next fall, I started checking out various volunteer programs and Project Abroad immediately caught my attention. I chose the Human Rights project in Argentina because of its balanced structure, its location, and its contextual awareness.

The Human rights internship in Cordoba has great balance of experiences--we worked with both local, grassroots NGOs and national, more policy-oriented NGOs. As a person who wants to study public policy in school and go into the non-profit sector, it was perfect! As volunteers, we spent time interviewing and socializing with the local homeless population, going street to street. But we also got to gather research for an advocacy organization on topics like the promotion of breastfeeding, prison transparency, consumer rights, and indigenous peoples' rights. My favorite obligation, however, was working with young women in a correctional facility. We visited the girls twice a week, bringing activities intended to teach human rights or even just to have fun. I was able to act as a peer mentor to them while also improving my Spanish.

Cordoba is a great place to live! I lived in the city center, right near one of the main streets. My host mother was kind and patient--my Spanish was/is far from perfect (I plan to study it in college) but she always spoke slowly and clearly, and often taught us new words and phrases over dinner. The city itself is a good place for people with a tighter budget, like myself. Cordoba is close to many places of interest, and its buses are inexpensive and reliable. There are so many potential day-trips! My favorite trips included Capilla del Monte, Las Cascadas, and Alta Gracia. The Sierra mountains are nearby, so the hiking is absolutely beautiful! In the city itself, the weekends are full of craft fairs, street music, parades, and other events that always have a celebratory atmosphere.

My favorite part of this project was its contextual awareness. Argentina's struggle with human rights comes from its dictatorship period in the 1970s and 80s. Everything we did as human rights interns was given context by this history. We even sat in on crimes against humanity hearings going on in Cordoba's provincial courts, listening to the testimony of victims and their families. We participated in the women's march, where thousands of women took to the streets to ask for safe, legal abortions and bring awareness to femicide. I wrote an essay on Argentine "escraches," or ritual protests, which led me on a research exploration of public shaming, vigilante justice, and generational trauma. All of the work we did made us hyper aware of the cultural, social, and political state of the country we were visiting--which I think is a very important experience for anyone who is interested in human rights.

  • Projects Abroad responded to this review April 17, 2018 at 6:12 PM

    Dear Anneke. It sounds like you had a great time in Argentina! There is so much to learn and observe first hand about human rights in this internship so we are glad to hear you were so involved and inspired to even write your own essays. We are sure that this will be an experience that is set to mark your professional path. Thank you for sharing!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    7

Would do it again!

Traveling through Projects Abroad's high school program to Argentina for two weeks seemed like a pretty daunting experience but it ended up being one of my most amazing memories! I met truly life long friends, and although some parts weren't as amazing as I thought (such as some awkward encounters with me and my roommates host family, or a lack of freedom) the positives of this trip are so much greater.
The staff was overall very kind and extremely helpful. Since I speak fluent Spanish, I did not want to be part of the Spanish lessons that were held daily, and was extremely grateful when the coordinator Vicky allowed me to help alongside her with their project on homelessness. It was a lot of fun and made me feel truly helpful. By working alongside a couple Argentinian organizations, my Law and Human Rights group and I cooked for the homeless, visited girls' institutions, and organized a campaign on Pedophilia. Moreover, we took part in an extremely fun mock trial and were part of social events about twice a week, as well as a really fun excursion to another part of Argentina about two hours away.
I am extremely glad to have been part of such a fun organization, and I truly believe that through Projects Abroad I was able to make a positive impact on our world.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Incredible Trip

I could not have asked for a better experience volunteering in Argentina with Projects Abroad. I have traveled internationally before doing volunteer work and this was by far the most organized company/organization I have ever been with. Everyone at the office is so helpful and will personally assist you with any issues or concerns you may have. For example, I had trouble finding an ATM that would allow me to withdraw money and one of the coordinators walked me from bank to bank to help me solve the problem.

The Law & Human Rights project is awesome! The coordinator, Vicky, is amazing! I spent 3 months working with this office and found my work diversified and challenging. I was able to work with young children and teens who were living in government institutions, along with the homeless, incarcerated youth, and victims of all sorts of human rights abuses. The office staff is great at getting you plugged in, but you also have to be willing to dive in head first! I worked long days, at least 8 hours but the staff is so understanding and easy to communicate with about work and personal issues.

My host mom was great! I must admit I had some concerns regarding a host family but it turned out better than I could have hoped. I was assigned a roommate and I am so grateful! I made friends with other volunteers and was able to see some of their homes as well, and I can say that all of the host homes I saw were very clean and the families were so friendly! The office is great about planning social events so that you can meet other volunteers - one week they do a social and the other they do a community day where volunteers get together and...volunteer! This is an awesome way to meet volunteers from other projects outside of Law & Human Rights.

Institution Affiliates:

The International Volunteer Programs Association