Interning Abroad in Business: Micro Finance

One of our most popular intern programs is the business internship in microfinance in Guatemala. Interns going into this field are usually from the field of finance, business or IT, but this is not limited to other related fields. INLEXCA partners with various Micro finance organizations that aim to help small entrepreneurs that are unable to get loans from banks or traditional sources. These small entrepreneurs not only get a competitive loan that fits their needs but also get important training, business intelligence and follow-ups to make their efforts sustainable.

By interning abroad in Guatemala in business you can help these small entrepreneurs by making case studies of their businesses and advising them on how to get the maximum return out of their loan. Interns that are particularly well qualified can help inside the organization in the fields of automation, accounting, data analysis, and strategy.

Also micro finance organizations help people who need a loan avoid loan sharks or high rate loans which are far too common in Central America.

Interning abroad in business: Micro finance

Interns helping clients are tasked with:

-Basic financial literacy training: A lot of the clients that request a loan have very vague knowledge of how to keep a healthy business running in the long term. Interns can train clients in tools like :
balancing sheets, separating personal and business funds, evaluating risks, etc.

-ROI: Interns can help clients evaluate return on investment with limited resources so they can make the right choices as to where to which aspects are more important to invest in.

-Marketing: An area where clients are usually in need of help is proper marketing techniques. Interns can help business thrive with proper marketing advise.

More experienced interns can also have the opportunity to get involved with bigger businesses taking out larger loans. If you have business knowledge, I.T knowledge or marketing experience the business intern program in Guatemala is a great way to gain experience with real clients and businesses.

Volunteering and Teaching Abroad

Many volunteers come every year to our education program to help students in low-income communities. The most common question from volunteers is “What am I going to be doing?”.We pair each volunteer at a school that will benefit from his/her knowledge; the profile of each volunteer is different, some might be good at music, or math, or sports, or computer literacy, so this is taken in to account before placement. The most common type of support that is asked by schools is English teaching, however, if you have a very specific skill that is beneficial to school children do let us know!

Work hours are usually Monday through Friday from 8 am-2pm and the academic cycle varies per country. In Guatemala, for example, it is from mid-January to early October. In Costa Rica, this is from mid-February to late October, so it’s best to pick a time that matches the academic cycle of your destination.

volunteering and teaching abroad

A few things to keep in mind when volunteering in as a teacher:

1. Have a sunny disposition: There’s no better way to transmit enthusiasm to school children than to have a positive attitude towards the class you are teaching.

2. Be proactive: Have suggestions or want to add extra content? Please let know other teachers or staff. We encourage volunteers to be as proactive as possible. Although remember changes come in small increments, so don’t expect to change the world in a few days.

3. Be an example: Remember kids look up to you as a role model, so everything you do in school is important; from the clothes, you wear to the way you behave. If you are unsure of how a certain behavior might be interpreted, please ask your volunteer coordinator.

4. Be playful: The best way to keep students engaged is to keep the class fun, by every now and then delivering educational material through games. You can discuss what materials and games you can prepare with other teachers and staff.

5. Be realistic: You want to teach French in 3 weeks? That is very difficult. Remember to keep your goals down to earth, and if they are long-term goals remember to keep a journal about your class so the next volunteer can pick up where you left off.

With good planning, a positive attitude and the right knowledge you can make an impact in the lives of the children you teach.

Environmental Policy in Costa Rica – A Move in to the Future

environment policy Costa Rica If you join the environmental preservation volunteer program in Costa Rica, you will notice that the projects have very clear goals and the country has a very strong sense of awareness when it comes to protecting natural resources. Here are some interesting facts on how Costa Rica is becoming a world leader in environmental preservation and what they are doing to improve.

1. Renewable energy:
Over 95% of energy comes from renewable sources. Most energy comes from hydroelectric stations and geothermal stations.

2. Carbon Neutral:
By 2021 Costa Rica has pledged to be a carbon neutral country. When volunteering in the environmental program you will notice that there is a big commitment to reforestation as this pledge is mostly being reached by planting native species of trees at a great scale.

3. Parks:
Over 30% of Costa Rican territory is being used for national parks and wildlife reserves.

environment policy

4. Incentives:
Farmers that own vast amounts of land are paid not to cut down patches of forest, thus creating an incentive to preserve Costa Rican forests. In fact, many reserves are private.

5. Volunteers:
Volunteer programs in Costa Rica are available everywhere in wildlife reserves and parks. Many Costa Rican volunteers every year to help in various national parks.

6. Emission controls: Costa Rica is the only country in Central America that requires strict emission controls for all of its vehicles.