In January, 2016 a new group of Voces y Manos students eagerly began internships with local host agencies. The internship placements give students an opportunity to gain professional experience, while earning money to pay for university tuition.
The reflection below is written by Manuel Osorio Ixpatá, a graduate of Voces y Manos high school scholarship program who is currently completing a Voces y Manos-sponsored internship placement with a local NGO, Cáritas (Charity, in Latin). Through his internship placement, Manuel is giving back to his community by introducing sustainable agriculture techniques that allow rural farmers to better to provide for their families. As his reflection below shows, Manuel is quickly becoming a true leader in his community.
I am Manuel Osorio Ixpata, and I am a Rural Wellbeing and Community Development Professional. I recently started in Voces y Manos’ internship program, and I feel fortunate (and a bit nervous) to take on this new responsibility.
I am working with an institutional named “Cáritas” on their food sovereignty program.
On this project, they assigned me to the role of “field technician”, which includes administrative responsibilities and field work.
At the start of the year, I wrote an annual operational report, and I then began implementing activities related to food production. I deliver five training modules on agricultural techniques during the first half of the year, followed by technical assistance to more than 120 families in six communities in the community of Cubulco (neighbor of Rabinal). Some of the highlights of my experience so far include:
- In my workplace, my co-workers treat me as a fundamental part of the institution, and not like an intern.
- I am given large responsibilities.
- I can count on support from other members of my institution.
- I speak the Maya-Achí language, which allows me to communicate directly with the population in the communities where we work.
These are some pictures of my work!