Institute of Latin American Studies – ILAS Weekly Digest: September 25, 2017


Guatemala Accompaniment Coordinator for the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA)
Deadline: October 15


Join us in our fourth decade of solidarity in Guatemala!

The Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala sends trained volunteers to Guatemala as human rights accompaniers to support local organizations facing threats, harassment and violence by providing an international presence and human rights observation.

Accompaniers support Guatemalan activists organizing in defense of their rights in a variety of contexts, including precedent-setting genocide cases and indigenous communities defending their right to life and territory in opposition to destructive mega development

The Guatemala Accompaniment Project (GAP) of the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) trains and places qualified candidates as human rights accompaniers. NISGUA is one of many organizations around the world that employs accompaniment as a vital

tool in the global struggle for the respect of human rights. In the Guatemalan context, accompaniment is one tool used in response to the threats, harassment, and violence faced by survivors of Guatemala’s 36-year- long internal armed conflict, grassroots organizations working for justice, and indigenous communities combating destructive mega- development projects on their lands.

Accompaniers work as human rights observers, providing an international presence to Guatemalans organizing in defense of their rights in a variety of contexts, including precedent-setting genocide cases and local opposition to mega-projects. Accompaniers work in pairs in
both urban and rural contexts, connect with organizations and activists, observe and report on conditions, monitor the human rights situation and provide a crucial link to the international community. NISGUA trains volunteers and matches them with groups in the U.S. that support the accompanier’s stay, both financially and personally.

The ability to document and analyze events and conditions in order to produce quality written reports and education materials Cultural sensitivity; excellent judgment skills; ability to work flexibly in dynamic, changing situations; resourceful in self-care and relational dynamics
A high level of verbal and written Spanish or the ability to develop it with six weeks of intensive study
A familiarity with the history of Central America / U.S. relations, the current situation in Guatemala, and a basic understanding of human rights and accompaniment
Previous experience in Latin America
strongly preferred
Awareness of security issues, a willingness to work in a situation which might involve risk, and an interest in individual and team analysis

Important Dates:

Application deadline: October 15, 2017
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis – apply early!

Training: January 7-13, 2018 (Berkeley, CA). Placements are available throughout 2018, minimum commitment of 6 months.

Global core course “Colonization/Decolonization to be taught in Mexico City in Summer 2018

The Center for Mexican Studies, in collaboration with CSER and the Office of Global Programs, will offer the global core course “Colonization/Decolonization” (CSER OC3928) in Mexico City in summer ’18.   The Center’s Director, Professor Claudio Lomnitz will teach the class.  For more information, please click here.


Columbia University Ed Tech Design Challenge 2017

A partnership of Columbia Entrepreneurship, the School of International and Public Affairs, Center for Development Economics and Policy, and Fundação Lemann.

The Columbia University Ed Tech Design Challenge is an initiative where teams of entrepreneurs and students from schools across the University generate new products or program ideas that solve deeply entrenched education problems with technology.  


This year’s Challenge will focus on Brazil and three themes — kids with special needs, kids in need of remediation and parent engagement.  

The Challenge will kick off October 13th with a week-long design sprint that will result in the creation of ideas for new Ed Tech ventures and culminate in a semester-long entrepreneurship course in Spring 2018 taught by SIPA Professor and Ed Tech entrepreneur Sarah Holloway.

Winning teams will share a $25,000 prize and the potential for additional investment.  

Important Dates:

October 10, 2017: Global Ed Tech Forum hosted by SIPA

October 13 – 20, 2017: Ed Tech Design Challenge @ the Design Studio

January 20 – May 1, 2018: Ed Tech Design Course including March 2018 trip to Brazil

May 1: $25,000 Awarded to winning Team(s)

How to Apply: ​

Apply Here​

Ed Tech Design Challenge Application Open: September 1 – September 30, 2017

Open to current Columbia, Teachers College and Barnard students

Space is limited to 18 students.  Application is required.  Criteria for selection will include ability to participate in all elements of the program, background in education/technology/EdTech/startups preferred.



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