For the last module of the program, we have the option of completing an internship, service learning project, or research paper. I chose to do an internship located in San Jose with INAMU, the National Institute for Women. Each week, I will be interning in a different office or center of INAMU that deals with the issue of violence against women. This past week, I shadowed and helped out in the Office of the Delegation of the Women. It is an INAMU center that provides legal, social work, and psychological counseling to women who need it, with a special focus on victims of gender-based violence. Throughout the week I was able to perform various duties around the office but also practice my Spanish and shadow lawyers as they worked with their clients. When I asked the lawyers why they decided to pursue a career in law at INAMU, they explained how they wanted to make a dent in the historical prevalence of gender discrimination that exists in every country of the world. They also expressed that working at INAMU enabled them to form personal relationships with the women and really see the direct effects their efforts were making. Hearing these passionate individuals talk about the work of INAMU and their roles within the organization made my week at the office a truly meaningful and inspiring experience. I am excited to begin my next week at an INAMU shelter.
In addition to my internship in San Jose, several other girls in the group traveled to other sites in Costa Rica to complete their internships or service learning assignments. One has gone to study ecological conservation with the BriBri community, one has traveled to Uvita to work at an ecotoursitic hotel, another has gone to teach English in a rural community, and another has stayed in San Jose to work with children with mental disabilities. Everyone in the group is completing an amazing experience this month, and I look forward to hearing their stories upon their return.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hello! My name is Sydney Perlotto, and I am a junior at the University of Maryland, College Park majoring in Global Social Change and Development and minoring in Latin American Studies and International Development and Conflict Management. I am originally from Atlanta, GA but came to UMD because of its proximity to DC (and snow!). You can often find me volunteering around campus, baking tasty treats, or just generally frolicking! After traveling to Chile for a short term study abroad my sophomore year, I have definitely caught the travel bug and hope one day backpack throughout Latin America. Costa Rica is bound to be an adventure of language, culture, and biodiversity - and I have my waterproof hiking boots at the ready!</span></p>