The University Community Immersion Program provides an opportunity for qualified students with an interest in international or cultural studies to live and work in a rural, Latin American community for a period of four weeks to six months. The program is operated through a partnership between EIA, the participating university, and the community.
While in the community, the students perform work in support of EIA’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs. Students receive credit from their participating institutions while participating in the intercultural program. The program objectives are intended to benefit the community, the students, and EIA.
Community benefits include cultural and technical interactions with students from the global north that can enhance the quality and sustainability of development programs being implemented in the community. Student benefits include developing a better understanding of rural, Latin American cultures; of the challenges of implementing effective WASH programs in remote and impoverished regions; and of the factors that impact the sustainability of development programs.
EIA benefits include gathering of important community baseline data that can enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of our ongoing WASH programs that will help to improve the community’s health and well-being.