We are a nonviolent grassroots movement that works to stand in
solidarity with the people of Latin America, to close the U.S. Army
School of the Americas (SOA, now renamed the Western Hemisphere
Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC), and to change oppressive
U.S. foreign policy that the SOA represents. We are grateful to our
sisters and brothers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean for
their inspiration and the invitation to accompany them in their struggle
for economic and social justice.
Our staff is made up of paid,
unpaid, full-time, and part-time activists who are all dedicated to this
work. Interns have played a critical role in the campaign to close the
School of the Americas. While these positions are unpaid, financial
assistance for housing and transportation is available.
the internships and volunteer opportunities listed below are offered at
the SOA Watch Washington DC office, which is located on the Metro Bus' 70 line in Petworth.
Internships in SOA Watch's Washington, DC office
The Organizing Intern work with the National and Field Organizers to
coordinate, develop, and promote the SOA Watch campaign and major events
such as the annual Spring Lobby Days in DC to close the SOA/WHINSEC and
Trial Preparation for members of the SOA Watch movement who are standing
trial for civil disobedience actions, as well as the Annual November Vigil in Georgia. The internship could include, but
is not limited to: working with SOA Watch working groups on elements of
event organizing, assisting the Outreach Coordinator with convening the
organizing process for major events and bottom-lining major events,
updating the web site, and contacting partner organizations and
supporting grassroots activists in their work to build outreach, media,
direct action, legislative and organizing capacities.
Research and Legislative Intern
The Research and Legislative Intern will work with the staff
collective (South and North), national council, and working groups to
implement the national legislative strategy to close the SOA/WHINSEC,
and to expand our research efforts. This work could include, but is not
limited to: Assisting with the preparation of materials for Members of
Congress and for the grassroots including website updates, attending
meetings with coalition partners, participating in direct lobbying
efforts, researching and monitoring Congressional activity as it
pertains to Latin America, and working with the nationally
representative Legislative Working Group and Research Working Group via
email and conference calls to discuss, formulate, and carry-out the
legislative and research strategies.
The Communications Intern will work with the SOA Watch Communications
Coordinator in implementing media efforts to close the SOA/WHINSEC.
This could include generating US and Latin American media lists,
developing educational material for media and grassroots activists,
updating the web page, and building relationships and pitching stories
about the SOA to alternative and corporate media.
The Fundraising Intern will work with the SOA Watch Development
Working Group, and directly in the office with the Development and
Operations Coordinator. Tasks for the Fundraising Intern include, but
are not limited to:
1. Grant research and writing
2. Organizational funding appeals
3. Facilitating donor relations
4. Compiling regional fundraising toolkits and guides
5. Updating the fundraising page on SOA Watch's website
More Information About Interning with SOA Watch:
Interns commit to a certain number of hours per week. The minimum
commitment is 24 hours per week; 32-40 hours per week is most common.
become a full member of the SOA Watch staff during their internship.
All staff responsibilities are expected of interns, such as
participating in weekly staff meetings and sharing in the facilitation
and note-taking of these meetings. By the same token, these interns are
given the same decision-making power as a staff person. These interns
have input into her/ his job description and work. In other words, an
invitation to join SOA Watch in one of these four internship roles is an
invitation to join the staff collective.
A little less than
half of these interns' time will be spent doing the general
administrative work that all office staff participate in. These duties
include answering the phone, responding to e-mail requests, going to the
post office, etc. These interns' share of these duties will be no more
than any other staff member. These four positions are not all filled at
once; typically there are one or two of these interns working at any
The internship program is generally very flexible and
can be shaped for each person. An important part of the work
environment is participating in the collective process and supporting
each other in our work.
Qualifications for Internships:
1. Strong commitment to working in a diverse,
grassroots movement rooted in solidarity with the people of Latin
America. Commitment to the mission of SOA Watch as described above.
2. Ability to work independently and in a collective process; follow-through and attention to detail is essential.
3. Strong computer skills.
4. Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
5. Willingness to work in a consensus decision-making environment
1. Experience overseas
2. Fluency in Spanish
3. Strength in the program area for which you applying
Please send your resume, list of three references, and a cover letter indicating:
1. Why you would like to intern at SOA Watch.
2. What strengths you would bring to the staff collective.
3. Whether you are applying for a half-time or full-time position, and that you acknowledge this position to be unpaid.
4. What types of projects are you most interested in. Describe what you would like to do in an internship at SOA Watch.
5. If you having any housing needs for the time you would be working in the Washington, DC office
Please submit your application by mail to SOA Watch, 5525 Illinois Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20011, or e-mail to
We are accepting applications for these internships on a rolling basis.
SOA WATCH in LATIN AMERICA
The SOA WATCH Latin America office offers three different internships, or "activantia" roles in Latin America: Honduras and Chile. The term activante was coined by our first international team of young activists, who did not identify with the term "intern." They flipped the Spanish version of the word, pasante – associated to the Spanish pasivo, passive – to its opposite: activante. This term is a good reflection of what the role calls for: energy, leadership, initiative, dynamism, and creativity.
Acompaniment Activante in Honduras
After the SOA graduate-led coup in 2009, repression in Honduras was brutally unleashed against the resistance movement and continues today, entrenched by the fraudulent 2013 elections. Social movements, human rights organizations, journalists, lawyers, LGBTQ communities, small farmers, Indigenous people, and others who speak out are all targets. The US-financed and supported militarization of the country continues unabated, as repression and militarization are used to break social movements and forcibly turn Honduras' natural resources and public goods over to private corporations. Documentation, accompanimient, research and writing about the situation in Honduras and the US role in the ongoing repression is needed. This position requires experience in Latin America, fluency in Spanish and a commitment of 6 months. Stipend for travel, food and lodging is available. If interested, contact: Brigitte Gynther at Brigitte @ soaw.org
Communications Activante in SOAW Office in Santiago, Chile
Youth in Chile are at the forefront of challenging an economic model cemented by the Pinochet dictatorship that that forces young people into debt before their adult lives begin. In the past week one student was killed by security forces when protesting the growing privatization of education. The SOAW Chile activante would join SOAW’s Equipo Sur office in Santiago in connecting with this growing youth movement in Chile as well as contributing to the monthly Boletin de las Americas and the Somos Una America radio program. These are two dynamic formats that share initiatives of anti militarization work throughout the Latin America. This position requires Spanish fluency, experience in communications and a commitment of 4-6 months. If interested, contact Pablo Ruiz
The Media Volunteer will support the Communications
Coordinator and media working group during SOA Watch events and when
general media work is needed throughout the year
1. Making pitch calls to media outlets--newspaper, television and radio.
2. Website Updating
3. General Media Office Support
1. Excellent communication skills
2. Familiarity with CMS and HTML systems
1. Professional experience working with media
2. Bilingual Spanish/English
If you are interested in any of these volunteer positions, please contact the SOA Watch office at (202) 234-3440 or
to arrange for a short interview. Volunteer positions may start at any time.
The Database and Correspondence Volunteer will facilitate communications with its grassroots membership of over 70,000 supporters.
We need someone who can:
- Enter new contacts into database
- Change and delete contacts based on the Postal Service's Address Service Requested system
- Respond to e-mail and letter requests for information
- Manage partner outreach operations