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University of Minnesota Human Rights Center
Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellowship Program

                                                                                                                              Complete List of Past Fellows  

Past Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellowship Sites



Latin America

Network of NGOs of Trinidad and Tobago for the Advancement of Women

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

5B, Bergerac Road, Maraval
PO Box 410,
Trinidad and Tobago

Tel:  1-868-628-9655
Fax: 1-868-628-9655


Hogar de Cristo

Arequipa, Peru


Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights

Minneapolis, MN/ Peru


Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation

Heriberto Frías # 339 col. Narvarte,
México D.F., 03020

Tel: (525) 639-3091/1492
Language: Spanish
Salary: Unpaid

The Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation was founded in Mexico in 1993 to contribute to the recuperation and enrichment of human values in order to construct an ethic of world peace, through the struggle for justice and democracy, focusing on the indigenous populations. It seeks to enrich international human rights and world peace by actively seeking justice and democracy, specifically through the advocacy for Indigenous Rights. The Foundation offers creative solutions to human rights abuses and injustices related to violations by governments and transnational corporations.

Previously, an intern aided with logistical activities such as clerical and phone work but also the coordination of particular activities and photography. For more information on possible volunteer or intern positions, contact the organization directly.


Nicaragua Network

1247 “E? Street, SE
Washington, DC 2003

Tel: (202) 544-9355
Email: Send electronically on website
Language: Spanish
Salary: Unpaid

For over twenty years The Nicaragua Network has been a leading organization in the United States committed to social and economic justice for the people of Nicaragua. The Network advocates for sound U.S. foreign policies toward Nicaragua and provides information and organizing tools to a network of 200 solidarity and peace and justice committees across the U.S. The Network organizes speaking tours of Nicaraguans in the U.S. and study tours to Nicaragua. Volunteer brigades help in the areas of health, construction or the environment. Two of the most important current areas of solidarity support are labor organizing in the Free Trade Zone of Managua and supporting the efforts of Nicaraguan environmental organizations.

Internships vary according to length of time and the subject matter for those that are interested. Interns have a variety of opportunities ranging from learning how an international NGO works in Washington, D.C. to field work in urban and rural Nicaragua. Please contact the Washington office for specific application and internship information.


Cloudforest Initiatives

PO Box 40207
St. Paul, MN 55104

Tel: (651) 592-4143
Language: Spanish helpful but not necessary
Salary: unpaid

Cloudforest Initiatives is a small group of people, with quite limited means, who are carrying out some ambitious dreams. It is a non-profit organization committed to assisting and supporting the efforts for peace, justice and integral development of the Maya communities of Chiapas. Travel seminars are organized for people who wish to learn more about the Mayan people and their culture.

Programs include language study, housing with a Mexican family, and a chance to explore and reflect on the movement for democratic transformation and civil rights in southern Mexico. Volunteers are also offered the chance to live in a Tzotzil Maya community in the highlands of Chiapas, to share daily life, and work with the community in construction or other labor. There are few positions available and you must contact the organization directly to see if they have any current needs requiring volunteer assistance.



Apartado Postal 5156
Carmelitas 1010-A
Caracas, Venezuela

Tel: (58-0212) 862-1011 and 860-6669
Langugae: Spanish
Salary: Unpaid

El Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (PROVEA) is a non-governmental organization that promotes and defends human rights, in particular emphasizing economic, social and cultural rights. PROVEA is committed to encouraging the consolidation of already existing initiatives and develops its own programs to act in solidarity with the others. It attempts to educate people to organize themselves to defend their own rights, stimulating their autonomy while accompanying them through juridical conflicts. PROVEA’s professional structure is multi-disciplinary and approaches issues from both legal and non-legal perspectives.

Previously, an intern with PROVEA worked to research the relationship between the text of international human rights instruments such as treaties, declarations, and covenants and the existing laws and practices in Venezuela. The intern also observed and participated in PROVEA’s education and defense programs. If you are interested you should contact PROVEA by email or phone. The internship program is not fully established but PROVEA is interested in receiving bright volunteers.


Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

1889 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C., 20006

Tel: (202) 458-6002
Salary: Unpaid

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is one of two bodies in the inter-American system for the promotion and protection of human rights. The Commission has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The other human rights body is the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which is located in San José, Costa Rica.

The IACHR internship program is designed for juniors, seniors and graduate students at the university level as well as junior professionals to allow them to work within their field of study. The program requires a good command of two of the four official languages of the Organization of American States (English, French, Portuguese and Spanish). The internship has a minimum duration of two months. See website for exact dates, duration of particular internships and the application form.


Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos

Tehuantepec 155
Col. Roma Sur
México D.F. 06760

Tel: 5564-2582 / 2592 / 9116
Language: Spanish
Salary: Unpaid

La Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, A.C. (CMDPDH) is a nongovernmental organization established founded in December 1989 that has promoted a culture of human rights and has defended their implementation and fulfillment in Mexico. The mission of the organization is to contribute to the respect and guarantee of the fundamental human rights, focusing especially on the right to life, personal integrity and freedom, juridical safety and due process.

A past intern aided the Commission in the development of reports and case studies on human rights issues in Mexico. The volunteer also wrote summaries and releases for the national and international media and translated the organization’s analyses into English for distribution on the Internet. There is not specific information regarding current internships on their website but they welcome assistance and urge those interested to contact them directly for more information on future opportunities.


Center for Democratic Participation and Development (CENZONTLE)

Centro para la Participación Democrática y El Desarrollo

Managua, Nicaragua

Malena De Montis Solis
Reparto Belmonte, de la Cruz Roja, 50 varas al lago, Casa No. 5
Apartado Postal 5334
Managua, Nicaragua

Phone: (505) 265-1425
Language: Spanish
Salary: Unpaid

CENZONTLE is a non-profit, non-governmental rural development program in Nicaragua whose mission is in the short term to help agricultural cooperatives survive the dire economic crisis, which Nicaragua is currently experiencing. Its longer-term objective is capacity building and empowerment of cooperative members in order to achieve sustained economic growth and to build enduring local democratic structures. It has an integrated approach to development encompassing five major areas of work: credit, feasibility studies, legal aid, marketing, and training/adult education.

A past intern worked in the adult education and training department, learning about the organization’s pedagogy and content, along with helping them evaluate specific aspects of their program. The intern was able to integrate herself into the organization by attending staff meetings and participating in a sub-committee. Because this organization is still so small, you must contact them by phone to receive specific and up-to-date information about volunteer opportunities and the application process.


Legal Services Project of Profamilia

Calle 34, No. 14-5
Bogotá, Colombia

Tel: 287-21-00
Language: Spanish
Salary: Unpaid

Profamilia is an organization that promotes and provides family planning services as well as legal information and services to women. Trained personnel facilitate planning programs throughout Colombia and the Thirds World.

Inters will assist in the legal services project of the organization to strengthen the likages between women’s human rights organizations in Latin America working on issues related to the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The organization wishes that those interested contact them directly through email or phone.


Peace and Justice Service (SERPAJ)

Joaquín Requena
Montevideo, Uruguay

Tel: (598-2) 408-5301
Email: Send electronically on website
Language: Spanish
Salary: Unpaid

SERPAJ offers human Rights formation and training through workshops, conferences and seminars concerning diverse aspects of Uruguay. They create and distribute specialized materials in order to diffuse information to those involved in the actual instruction young people and people and institutions involved in the educational system itself.

In the past, an intern assisted attorneys working to protect the rights of un-protected segments of society who have been subjected to police brutality and torture, particularly juvenile offenders. The work involved documenting torture and other forms of abuse so that victims can obtain relief through Uruguayan courts. In addition, the volunteer joined a working group comprised of representatives from SERPAJ and other community organizations in order to research the issues of detention and abuse of juvenile offenders and to draft possible solutions to these problems. For specific information regarding current availability, please contact the organization directly via email or phone.


Trickle Up Program

104 W. 27th Street, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Tel: 212.255.9980
Email:,, or
Language: Helpful to speak Spanish or French but not necessary
Salary: Stipend of $500

The Americas region has continued to play an important role in the growth of the organization since the founding of the Trickle Up Program in the Caribbean. Beginning in 1979 with the first ten businesses in Dominica, Trickle Up has provided seed capital to help launch or expand 23,620 business in the Americas alone. In 2001, Trickle Up helped start 1,780 businesses in eight countries: Bolivia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru.

The Trickle Up Program welcomes interns and volunteers at all times of the year to assist with a variety of activities and projects. Trickle Up offers International Summer Field Internships. The Field Internship lasts from eight to twelve weeks between June 1-August 30, including six days of training at the Trickle Up office in New York City. The interns selected are responsible for transport and living costs in New York and in the partner country, and are strongly encouraged to seek funding from universities and other sources. Trickle Up provides a total stipend of $500 and will assist in locating low-cost accommodation in the country where the internship will take place. In December of each year, the Trickle Up Program posts specific projects for each international summer internship with selected international schools and also makes this information available on the Trickle Up website and in response to individual inquiries. Interested applicants should send an e-mail or fax to the appropriate program with a cover letter and resume.


Comité Nacional pro-Defensa de Flora y Fauna (CODEFF)

Luis Uribe 2620
Santiago, Chile

Tel: (2) 274-7461
Language: Spanish
Salary: Unpaid

CODEFF works for the preservation of plant and animal species that are at risk of disappearance. The organization helps to protect and defend unique ecosystems throughout the world. Internships require at least 3 months working in Chile with CODEFF and it is extremely important that the person be fluent in Spanish. Interns should also know how to develop an activity concerning the environmental field. All volunteers must be able to support themselves while in Chile and must join CODEFF as a member for one year at the cost of US $50.


Center for Human Rights Legal Action

Centro para la Acción Legal en los Derechos Humanos (CALDH)
9.a Ave. 2-59 Zona 1
Ciudad de Guatemala

Tel: (502) 221-1286
Website: (in Spanish)
Email: or
Language: Spanish
Salary: Unpaid

CALDH is a Washington, D.C. based organization that promotes human rights in Guatemala. In conjunction with other human rights organization ins Guatemala and the US, CALDH files petitions on behalf of victims before the OAS’s Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The Guatemala office focuses on interviewing victims family members, preparing affidavits, reviewing court records, conducting investigations of court procedures and writing reports.

An intern that worked with CALDH assisted them by interviewing civil patrollers and ex-civil patrollers, gathering information to be used in a petition to be filed before the IACHR. The volunteer also participated in meetings with popular movement groups and governmental officials. The intern learned on-the-ground human rights practices and techniques as well as gaining a keen, analytical sounding board for new strategies to be pursued in similar cases.


El Centro de la Nina Trabajadora

Calle Huacho 150 y Jose Peralta
Quito, Ecuador, South America

Tel: 011-593-2-265-4260
Fax: 011-593-2-265-4260

Centro de la Niña Trabajadora (known by its initials in Spanish as CENIT) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization founded in 1991 by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. CENIT uses educational and vocational programs to help working girls and their families overcome grinding poverty and improve the quality of their lives. The result is generations of working women with the education and skills to form healthy families that contribute to a more just and productive society.

Sin Fronteras (Without Borders)

Puebla #153, Col. Roma
Mexico D.F. 06700

(52 55) 5514-1519
Fax: (52 55) 5514-1524

Sin Fronteras, or Without Borders, is a non-profit, civil Mexican organization. It attends to the problem of migration and of refugees from an integrated vision so as to guarantee respect for human rights and improve the life conditions of migrants, refugees, and their families. It does so through promotions, defense, social and legal support, education, raising awareness, building relationships, and participating in the development of legislation, policies, and migratory programs.


L’Hopital Albert Schwitzer

Deschapelles, Haiti
P.O. Box 81406
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Tel: (412)361-5200
Fax: (412)361-5400

Established in 1956 by Dr. Larimer and Mrs. Gwen Mellon, Hopital Albert Schweitzer serves a rural population of approximately 285,000 in Haiti’s central Artibonite Valley. It is an integrated health service, incorporating a 200 bed hospital, a network of health centers and dispensaries, as well as community-based services in health promotion, disease prevention and economic development.




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