“My Experience at Fundación Mujer: Looking for Women and Refugees’ Financial Stability”

ICADSCosta Rica, Culture, Internship, Latin America, Study Abroad

This semester, our Internship Program students had something in common: they all wanted to learn about the challenges women face in Central America.

Rebecca Ritter, an English and Spanish student at Saint Mary’s College of Maryland, was one of them. She wanted to learn about microfinances and its impact on women entrepreneurship, so advisors at ICADS suggested that she intern at Fundación Mujer.

Located in San Pedro, just shy of two miles from San Jose city, Costa Rica’s capital, Fundacion Mujer aims to provide women the tools necessary to start their own businesses. Not only do they offer loans to women and refugees, but also job training and worshops.

Rebecca worked as an assistant at the office. Much of her work contributions consisted of  data entry, assisting with the planification of training sessions for workshops, making materials, and attending different diagnostic meetings.

Through her internship experience, Rebecca was able to understand the problems facing women in Latin America today, speficially those in Central America. She heard many stories about Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Venezuela, which have led to some immigrants to finding better opportunities in Costa Rica.

While here internship was rigorous, not everything was about work. Rebecca grew very close to her partners, whom guided her through the internship. They even helped her during her adventures in San José, because she didn’t know anyone other than her host family.

“I feel like I’ve gotten more independent since being here. That was one of my goals”, she said. In addition, she has gotten an insight into how the US impacts the rest of the world, which is something hard to see when you’re living there.

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