At our international sites, currently located in Nicaragua, Ecuador and Guatemala, teams of thirteen-month volunteers called Program Directors work alongside targeted communities to implement a wide array of development programs. These programs are designed to strengthen communities through education, health, leadership development, and economic empowerment. Through these various programmatic focuses, we encourage our volunteers to serve according to their own specific passions, interests, and skills, an integral aspect of our holistic approach.
Working with and learning from the community is a vital part of the design and implementation of these programs. First, by targeting specific communities, our teams build foundations of meaningful, lasting relationships upon which our joint efforts can thrive. We work with both formal and informal community institutions and leaders in order to ensure that our programs will grow organically from within the community. In this way, we strive to involve and empower the community rather than create a limiting dependency on volunteer provided services.
Finally, our teams of Program Directors represent unique communities of their own. Each team consists of eight to twelve young adults, who live and work together in order to learn from and support one another’s efforts. In living and working together, these Program Directors are provided an opportunity for personal growth and development as they learn about each other’s perspectives, cultures, values, passions, and unique experiences. Additionally, MPI’s cooperative work model encourages both teamwork and leadership. Program Directors must rely on both of these skills to achieve success in their work. In order to provide organizational structure and maintain continuity through volunteer turnover, an on-staff Country Director oversees volunteers and programs at each of our international sites.