CUSO INTERNATIONAL URGES SPANISH-SPEAKING CANADIANS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING IN LATIN AMERICA

Volunteers being recruited with specialized skills to help local communities

(TORONTO) Dec. 1, 2015 – Cuso International is calling on Spanish-speaking Canadians to help fill urgently needed volunteer placements in Latin America. Currently, there are more than 20 volunteer positions to be filled in Peru, Colombia, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Honduras, with another 10 opportunities for volunteers in Canada to support projects in Latin America through electronic volunteer positions.

“This is an excellent opportunity for diaspora and other Spanish-speaking Canadians to make a meaningful difference in Latin America,” said Arianne Moran, a Volunteer Mobilization Advisor for Cuso International. “We’re looking for volunteers who have specialized skills and can work in particular communities from six months to a year to provide critical support in helping local businesses and initiatives thrive.”

The placements include a variety of non-profit organizations and groups recruiting volunteers with specialized skills in areas that include: business and economics, communications, working with youth and gender equality, as well as in agriculture.

For Chrissy Fair, of Toronto, one of the highlights of her Cuso International volunteer placement in Nicaragua earlier this year was watching the transformation of women growing into successful agriculture entrepreneurs. Volunteering as an agricultural advisor with the Association of Women Producers, Fair was in Nicaragua for six months. Among her tasks of helping local farmers was working with three groups of beekeeping women where she was able to help the women expand their businesses and take their honey to larger markets.

“I worked with a women’s collective that included eight communities of women with economic agricultural-based initiatives in horticulture, beekeeping, vegetable gardens, pigs and chicken,” said Fair. “My role was to help them enter the markets and turn their farms into businesses. It is an incredible opportunity to work alongside local communities and share your knowledge in helping them to strengthen their business and succeed.”

Volunteer in Latin America

The types of organizations that volunteers could be placed with include:

  • Arca de Esperanzas (Ark of Hope) in Honduras which is an association of parents and specialists, serving children, youth and adults with brain injuries, those at risk or who wish to increase their neurological performance.
  • Impactos Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, also in Honduras, is an organization that sells and distributes art supplies to design bijouterie, souvenirs and handicrafts among others. This initiative aims to assist women and youth in the first steps of entrepreneurship, that will help them to earn an income with the products they design.
  • Fundación Escuela Taller de Bogotá in Colombia aims to provide youth from vulnerable communities, ages 18-25, with job training in traditional trades such as carpentry, culinary arts, handmade paper and construction.
  • The Citizens Movement for Climate Change in Peru is a civil society organization that unites organizations to generate actions to protect sustainability of the land, threatened by climate change.

For more information on volunteer placements in Latin America, visit: cusointernational.org/

Volunteer from Canada

For those who want to volunteer but are unable to travel, Cuso International now offers e-volunteer placements that connect volunteers with Latin American organizations so that volunteer work can be done online. For these roles, there is a particular need for communications, social media experts and web site specialists.

For more information on e-volunteer placements in support of Latin American projects, visit: www.cusointernational.org/spanish

About Cuso International

Cuso International is a non-profit international development organization that works to improve the lives of people living with poverty and inequality in various countries across South East Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Each year Cuso International mobilizes hundreds of volunteer professionals who work with local partners to create positive lasting change.

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Media Contact
Karen Snider Leiva, karensniderleiva@gmail.com, 416-937-4109