History of PiLA

In the Fall of 2002, an enthusiastic group of students, alumni, and faculty launched Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) as an independent non-profit organization dedicated to extending Princeton’s informal motto to the Latin American region.

Daniel Pastor ’03 and Allen Taylor ’03 were instrumental in the creation of PiLA during their senior year at Princeton. Their vision was to create a thriving fellowship organization in the tradition of Princeton in Asia (PiA) and Princeton in Africa (PiAf)

Through seed funding from the Program in Latin American Studies, the Woodrow Wilson School, and the Class of 1969 Community Service Fund, PiLA was able to place two members of the Class of 2003 in yearlong fellowships. As other dedicated individuals have joined the ranks of supporters, PiLA has continued to grow and recently sent its tenth class of fellows into the field.

Why PiLA? Why Now?

Interest in the study of Latin America at Princeton has risen steadily since the founding of the Program in Latin American studies in 1966. With over 80 students participating in the program today – making it the largest certificate program on campus – the Program in Latin American Studies and Princeton as a whole are educating students to actively engage themselves in Latin America.

The demand by Princeton students for fulfilling and challenging work in the public interest of Latin American communities has never been greater – and the objective of Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) is to answer this need. International experience has become essential in the education of today's students and PiLA offers the chance to gain such experience through public service work in that region.

In addition to providing fellowships to graduating seniors and recent graduates of the University, PiLA also seeks to embed a year of international service within the Princeton experience by allowing a small number of well-qualified and focused Princeton undergraduates to apply for a yearlong fellowship following the Freshman, Sophomore or Junior year.