Princeton in Latin America

Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) places highly qualified recent college graduates in yearlong service fellowships with nonprofit, public service, humanitarian, and government organizations.

Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) partners with NGOs and multilateral organizations and places highly qualified recent college graduates in yearlong service fellowships with nonprofit, public service, humanitarian, and government organizations with a social mission in Latin American and Caribbean. Placements emphasize the power of firsthand work experience to shape young people's attitudes and mobilize them to effect positive social change. PiLA enhances the mission of its partners by building their capacity to impact constructively the communities they serve, addressing the social, economic, and political barriers to egalitarian community development. Since 2003, PiLA has placed 320 fellows with partners in 20 countries throughout the region. PiLA fellowships offer formative field experience to those interested in working with community oriented organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean and those who are eager to pursue careers in international development.

The fellowship provides funding generally only at the subsistence level, to cover housing, utilities, food, local work-related transport, and personal essentials. Fellows should expect to live modestly in local terms. All stakeholders (the fellow, the partner organization, and PiLA) invest in the cost of the fellowship. Fellows generally cover or find outside help to cover airfare and mandatory overseas insurance. PiLA fellowships are not money-making posts, but they afford a unique opportunity to launch an international public-sector career.


Deadline Information

Due at 11:59 pm EST: Thursday, November 12, 2020

Eligibility Requirements

Application is open to all graduating seniors and young alumni of North American universities who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. You do not need to be a graduate of Princeton University. PiLA rarely considers applicants who are more than five years past the bachelor's degree. Individuals with graduate or professional degrees or postgraduate work experience are welcome to apply.

Working knowledge of the target language (Spanish, Portuguese or French) is necessary.


Application Process

The initial application process is online (hard-copy materials cannot be accepted or processed). Applications open the second Monday of September, with a deadline of 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) on the first Monday of November. No late applications are accepted.

A review committee surveys the entire applicant pool and selects the most qualified candidates for interviews that take place from late November to early January. Only semifinalists will be contacted and invited to interview. Because of the volume of applications, PiLA cannot respond to individual inquiries regarding the status of an application or feedback on why the application was unsuccessful. Hence, please do not contact PiLA regarding application status. All applicants will be notified via email by early February regarding application outcomes.

Finalists emerge through the interview process, and based on their interests, experience and skills, they are invited to select up to three preferred partner organizations, where their dossiers are forwarded. Then interviews ensue between finalists and the partner organizations, which make final selections and offers, based on their needs for the coming year. It is important to understand that being named a PiLA finalist does not guarantee placement, as final offers are made by PiLA’s partner organizations.

Placements are finalized any time between February and late April, depending on the partner organization’s timeline. Patience is essential to the placement process. When finalists receive an offer, they have five (5) business days to accept or decline; they reserve their placement by submitting the non-refundable placement fee. If an offer is declined, PiLA maintains a waitlist and uses it to fill every available placement. PiLA fellows begin their field placements any time after the early June fellows' orientation in Princeton, through September, as negotiated with the partner organization at the time of the offer.