FUNDAHMER welcomes international volunteers who are interested in supporting our work, immersing in Salvadoran reality and culture, and accompanying the communities we walk with. Our long-term volunteers support the Solidarity department over a period of 2 years. We can also host short-term volunteers who are interested in accompanying delegations during the summer months or who have the desire to support a specific project.
CEBES, a network of Christian Base Communities in El Salvador, began in the 1980s in response to the violence and repression of the Civil War in El Salvador. During the 1980s and 1990s, the organizing efforts and projects of these communities were coordinated internally – among community members, lay and religious pastoral workers, and allies. In 2000, some of those who had been involved in this process formed the organization FUNDAHMER (Fundación Hermano Mercedes Ruíz) as a recognized non-governmental organization (NGO) with the task of assisting the Christian Base Communities/Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs). FUNDAHMER today is a Salvadoran foundation dedicated to accompanying and coordinating the CEBs, which each exist independently and have their own particular history. Our work maintains a spirit of solidarity as we implement human development and education projects. Together with the CEBs, we build relationships of solidarity at the national and international levels, working in a spirit of gender equality and in balance with nature.
The Solidarity Department of FUNDAHMER serves as a bridge between the CEBs in El Salvador and their “communidades de hermanamiento” (sister communities) around the world. Regular communication and visits between these communities (“delegations”) is encouraged in hopes of strengthening bonds of solidarity and understanding between the communities. These visits also serve to provide time and space to develop and implement sustainable development projects. Sister communities come from all over the world, in all shapes and sizes: church communities, university and high school groups, families, etc.
Position Description: Delegations and International Relations Coordinator
We seek full-time volunteers to accompany the Solidarity Department in the capacity of Delegations and International Relations Coordinator over a period of 2 years. The volunteer will spend the first year of his or her commitment coming to know the CEBs and their work through direct accompaniment of community activities and celebrations, as well as by planning for, accompanying, and evaluating delegations of visitors from the sister communities. The volunteer will guide groups through these visits, including a visit to the sister community and meetings with politicians, theologians, artisans, historians, and community leaders to better understand the history and reality of El Salvador from many perspectives, serving as a bridge between Salvadoran and foreign cultures, facilitating mutual understanding and dialogue. A high level of comfort and familiarity in both Spanish and English is required as the volunteer will be both guide and translator for groups.
After one year of learning about the work of FUNDAHMER’s Solidarity department, accompanying delegations, and coming to know the sister communities, the volunteer’s work will shift towards a focus on supporting long-term and long-distance communication between the sister communities. Part of the volunteer’s time will be spent directly in the communities: accompanying community meetings and celebrations, facilitating letters and photos from the sister community abroad, and collecting reports and photos from the community life and projects (scholarships, agricultural initiatives, formation, etc.) to send abroad. The rest of the time, the volunteer will manage bilingual communication with the sister communities via email and Skype, translating letters to and from sister communities, as well as coordinating updates for FUNDAHMER’s social media sites (website/blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) with other volunteers and staff. Secondarily, the volunteer will support delegation accompaniment when there is more than one delegation in the country.
We ask that volunteers have some experience in Central or Latin America, be committed to FUNDAHMER’s mission of accompaniment and solidarity, and be flexible to the needs of organization. We ask for a two year commitment, and plan to support one new volunteer annually, so that the roles between first- and second-year volunteers alternate.
Position Description: Assistant Delegations Coordinator (May-July)
At times, we need a short-time volunteer to accompany the Solidarity Department during the months of May, June, and July, our busiest time for delegations. The volunteer will accompany groups during visits to sister communities in various parts of the country and to meetings and tours in and around San Salvador, translating when necessary. The volunteer may also be asked to provide assistance to the International Relations Coordinator, translating documents and updating social media sites when not on a delegation. We ask that volunteers have some experience in Central or Latin America, be comfortable with the Spanish language, be committed to FUNDAHMER´s mission of accompaniment and solidarity, and be flexible to the needs of delegations. FUNDAHMER will provide modest housing arrangements, and volunteers will share most meals with delegations. We always look forward to having someone else join us in accompanying delegations!
HOW TO APPLY
For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.