The Center for Democracy in the Americas offers seasonal internship opportunities for qualified undergraduate candidates interested in building constructive and respectful relations between the U.S., Cuba, and the rest of Latin America. Former interns have gone on to work as congressional aides, journalists, lawyers, academics, and even as members of CDA’s staff.
CDA interns work with staff mentors to monitor and analyze current events, help plan Cuba delegations, work with partners in Congress to change Cuba policy, and amplify our message in communications to policymakers and the public. In addition to substantive work, interns are also assigned essential administrative tasks that build the nuts-and-bolts skills necessary to run a nonprofit organization.
Interns work in four key areas: Policy and Advocacy; Communications and Social Media; Delegation Planning and Coordination; and Nonprofit Development.
Specific duties include:
- Help CDA draft and edit the Cuba Central News Brief and other communications activities
- Assist with preparation for delegations to Cuba, conferences, and other events
- Monitor and report on developments in legislation pertaining to Cuba
- Attend and report on events and talks held in Washington, D.C. , as well as congressional hearings, pertaining to Cuba.
- Update and maintain CDA website, social media sites, and databases
- Help prepare direct mail and email campaigns
- Other duties as needed
Interns are selected based on demonstrated interest in Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly Cuba; attention to detail; strong organizational and communication skills; initiative, flexibility, and a positive attitude; working proficiency in Spanish and in Windows programs; and the commitment to work between 24–40 hours a week. Internships are unpaid and last two to four months. CDA provides a stipend to interns to help cover transportation costs. At the end of the internship, CDA will complete any evaluations or paperwork necessary for interns to receive academic credit for their work.
The Center for Democracy in the Americas is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.
- Resume including at least two references with email addresses and daytime phone numbers.
- Cover letter in which you state:
- Why you are applying to intern at CDA, what special skills you bring to the internship, and your Spanish language abilities.
- A ranking of your internship area preferences (see above) and examples of what relevant experience(s) you may have in those areas
- Your start and end dates and your weekly availability to be in the office.
- Writing sample (3-5 pages) in English; content should be relevant.
- Transcript(s): may be unofficial, and may come separate from or later than the rest of your materials.
- [OPTIONAL] Recommendation letter(s): may come separate from or later than the rest of your materials.
Please submit all application materials to Mx. Alejandrx Urruti Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- March 15: Summer Internship (late May through August)
- July 15: Fall Internship (mid-September through December)
- November 15: Spring Internship (mid-January through May)
Previous Intern Reflections
I interned at the Center for Democracy in the Americas during the summer of 2016, which was full of key policy changes and crucial advances in improving diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. Upon arriving in Washington D.C., CDA immediately allowed me to engage in substantive work and pursue my passions for international relations and Latin American studies. Working on the weekly Cuba Central News Brief and managing CDA’s social media accounts gave me the opportunity to learn about Cuba in real time and developed my research and writing skills, which I believe will help me in my pursuance of a degree in international law in the future.
As a daughter of Cuban immigrants, working at CDA challenged a lot of my previously held beliefs on U.S.-Cuban foreign policy and inspired me to continue working to foster relations between the two nations that advance both societies.
I interned at CDA during the summer of 2016. Having traveled to Cuba in April, I was eager to take advantage of my experience while contributing to CDA’s travel programs. I most enjoyed the chance to make infographs showing the involvement of U.S. Congress members in CDA-driven trips to Cuba. My work made me realize how much CDA has influenced politicians across the country to engage with Cuba and normalize relations, especially in recent years. I’m incredibly grateful to have worked in a small office environment with such passionate people who pushed me to accomplish tasks that may have seemed daunting before. I’m lucky to carry this experience with me to my freshman year of college and beyond.
I spent two months as an intern at the Center for Democracy in the Americas. This internship was an incredible opportunity to learn about Cuba’s history, society, politics, and culture. It was especially rewarding to be at CDA and following U.S.-Cuba relations during President Obama’s historic visit to the island in March 2016. Interning at CDA also helped me learn and develop professional skills that I continue to use. Publishing the weekly news brief and updating the Cuba Central blog and CDA website using WordPress has helped me better manage an international relations blog that I work on called Nations & States. I am also confident that contributing to trip briefing books, managing CDA’s social media accounts, and working on a number of administrative tasks played a significant role in helping me land a full time job at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
I interned at The Center for Democracy in the Americas during the Fall of 2015. The little time I spent there was certainly memorable as American interest in Cuba was rapidly changing. With CDA I had a first hand look at growing commerce on the island as well as rapidly changing policy like easier travel restrictions and direct mail exchange. Although it may not be at the forefront of U.S.-Cuba relations, I think I most enjoyed covering Major League Baseball and the steps the league was taking to bring both nations closer. From working on the Cuba Central Newsbrief to organizing delegations to Havana, CDA provided me with an excellent opportunity to study U.S. foreign policy as well as meet and learn from policy makers and experts.
I am an Undergraduate Student at Columbia University, double majoring in Latin American and Iberian Cultures and Human Rights with a Specialization in Race and Ethnic Studies. At the center of my life at Columbia University is my exploration of how to make a difference in the world. I have a passion for issues related to social change, human rights, democracy work, and responsible citizenship. Interning at the Center for Democracy in the Americas in the Summer of 2014 solidified my professional, academic and personal interests in international relations, cross-cultural understanding, and Latin America.
The Center for Democracy in the Americas offered me an opportunity to apply my passions in a professional context, develop my research and writing skills in Spanish and English, and learn from experts at hearings, briefings and conferences throughout Washington, D.C. The small size of the CDA staff allowed me to get to know the organization intimately and engage in substantive work.
Since my time with CDA, I have interned at the Office of Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro where I had the opportunity to attend a number of hearings and events on issues affecting Central America, immigration, and U.S-Latin American policy. I am currently interning with the Human Rights Foundation through the Kenneth Cole Community Action Program. I spent six months studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina where I studied international Latin American politics, democracy, and human rights in local universities. After returning to Columbia, I have continued to serve as an editor on the board of Portales, the undergraduate research journal for the department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures that I co-founded. In my future endeavors, I intend to continue my engagement in global issues, diplomacy and human rights.
Isabel Albee is an International Development and Political Science student at McGill University in Montreal. A native Washingtonian, she spent the spring semester of 2015 studying at the University of Havana, and later worked in Washington, DC at the Center for Democracy in the Americas. Since then, she has assisted and advised various groups with travel to Cuba. Isabel has been published in the Huffington Post for her work on Cuba.