PiLA’s Mission

Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) is a non-profit organization that partners with non-profits throughout Latin America to match them with young, public sector professionals seeking full-year fellowships in development work. We are an independent 501(c)3 which is not funded by Princeton University. PiLA placements offer important field experience to recent college alumni who cannot otherwise find NGO work in Latin America and who are eager to pursue careers in development work; no other program like this exists. Therefore, PiLA provides crucial work experience to aspiring public sector professionals.

In return, our partners receive a new member for their workforce, one with training in needed areas such as grant writing, program evaluation, field biology, teaching, research and writing of policy proposals, for example. In recent years, PiLA fellows have: written several chapters of the Human Rights Watch report on the Venezuelan election referendum; raised over $300,000 for the Mexican Institute of Family and Population Research; published a paper in an international education journal on Convivencia Educativa's education reforms in rural Mexico.

Past fellowships have focused on: microfinance and entrepreneurship in Chile, Mexico, and Colombia, malnutrition alleviation in Guatemala, conservation in the Peruvian Amazon, research on human rights issues in Chile, women and childrenís healthcare in Bolivia, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, to name a few. Our fellows return from their year with a commitment to public service, both in Latin America and at home. PiLA fellows have gone on to Law School, PhD programs in the social sciences, Public Health and Public Affairs programs, and to work in the non-profit sector.

PiLA opens the doors to career paths, personal enrichment, and understanding service as an effective way to address social needs. The program seeks to add new members to a rising generation of internationally engaged civic leaders. These fellowships enable students to extend the benefits of their education beyond the classroom and join a group of motivated citizens with a lifelong commitment to Latin America. The work of these graduates supports efforts to overcome the regionís educational, economic, and environmental barriers to development.