The Cristosal Internship Program provides college students, recent graduates, and professionals the opportunity to learn about and contribute to Cristosal's work, developing their skills as human rights advocates.

In addition to providing support to Cristosal's Research and Learning Programs, you will receive training in human rights work, as well as access to various capacity-building opportunities that Cristosal offers. We give you the opportunity to work with multidisciplinary teams on human rights education and research. Contact us for more information about what opportunities are available.

Internships last at least 8 weeks from June 1st to July 31st. If you are looking for shorter-term opportunities, check out our Global School of Human Rights for week-long seminars on human rights issues.


What Cristosal Offers

  1. Logistical support to locate housing and placement for intern work

  2. Support for interns cultural immersion process that includes full orientation to El Salvador and security measures, once a week meetings to debrief and discuss and support in emergency situations

  3. Training in human rights work through week-long seminars run by Cristosal’s Global School of Human Rights

  4. Methodological support for documenting and publishing on the experience that strengthens Cristosal’s human rights work (Personal reflections, research, video and photographic documentation, etc.).

  5. Exposure to the real life and daily operations of a human rights organization working in El Salvador

Application Process

1. Information: Request more information below, or reach out to our Intern Program Team at to learn more about available opportunities and discuss the program.

2. Application: Submit an application (see below), including a personal statement, resumé, valid passport and proof of health insurance. Applications for the 2020 internship will open in December 2019. Feel free to request information below in the meantime. Advanced Spanish required.

3. Letters of Recommendation: Send two letters of recommendation to our Intern Program Team ( that attest to your ability to life/work in El Salvador.

4. Interview: Upon reception of your application, we will reach out to schedule an interview to discuss your application and the specifics of your internship.

5. Notification: After your interview, we will notify you via email regarding the status of your application.


2020 Internship

Internships last a minimum of 8 weeks from June 1st to July 31st. Applications for the 2020 internship will open in December, 2019. Cristosal asks that interns (or their universities) make a $500 contribution toward the costs of the intern program, and cover their own living expenses ($800-$1,200 per month). Please let us know if you are unable to meet this requirement and we can discuss alternatives.

Learn More

Let us know what interests you, and get more information about our internship opportunities!

Submit Application

Applications for the 2020 internship will open in December, 2019.

Submit Internship Contribution

Submit your Internship Contribution online, or send a check to our office.

Submit Internship Contribution

Pay by Check

Checks should be made out to Cristosal, with the name of the intern and "Cristosal Internship" in the memo line, addressed to:

Cristosal, Attn: Global School
401 W. Division Street #9641
Syracuse NY 13290

Pay Online


Online processing fees are already included in the tuition cost.


Why work in human rights?

We believe every human being is inherently equal in rights and dignity. This belief in human rights provides both an ideal to strive for and a strategy for moving towards this ideal. The human rights framework provides us with a way of understanding conflict and poverty in the world as violations of human rights, rooted in inequality and discrimination. This framework also outlines an approach to responding to injustice by empowering people to participate in their own development and effectively advocate for human rights.

What kind of accommodations are available for interns?

Interns are welcome to look for housing during their internship, but Cristosal's intern program staff are able to provide assistance and make arrangements for interns. Fill out an application or contact us for more details on pricing and available options. Keep in mind what your priorities and needs are (for example, pet allergies, proximity to night life, Spanish or English spoken at home, etc.). All housing that Cristosal recommends will be through trusted contacts with a priority placed on the safety and security of interns. Generally, Cristosal offers two options:

  1. Traditional Homestay: Stay with a Salvadoran family which provides cooking and cleaning services during their stay. Depending on the specific homestay, different services, such as laundry, may be included. This option can be more expensive because of the additional services.
  2. Cristosal Staff/Contact Homestay: Stay with a Cristosal staff person or other trusted contact. This option is often less expensive, but interns are generally responsible for their own groceries, cooking, cleaning, etc.

Are refunds available if I cancel my internship?

All internship cancellations and refund requests must be submitted in writing to Cristosal. Cancellation notices and refund requests received prior to one month before the start date of the internship will be issued a partial refund. There is no refund for interns who cancel less than thirty days prior to their start date, unless the cancellation is due to family emergencies or medical reasons. In that case, Cristosal will work with the person to issue a partial refund or transfer the internship fee for up to one year.

What kind of background do I need to apply for an internship?

Cristosal internships are for anyone interested in participating in processes for change locally and globally. We provide opportunities for both undergrad and grad students, recent graduates, and professionals with experience ranging from a few years to decades. Cristosal interns are able to work in a variety of different areas, including education, communication and research. We accept interns with diverse skills and training. For more information on our program areas and what we do, check out ourResearch and Learning Program and The Global School of Human Rights, or write to

Spanish proficiency is highly recommended, though not required. There are opportunities to take Spanish classes while here, but the less Spanish you speak, the more limited.

Why El Salvador?

Whether your interests lie in Latin America or elsewhere, El Salvador is a compelling setting in which to work in human rights, community development, human mobility and migration, and violence and peacebuilding. Its recent tragic history of grave human rights violations, and inspiring resistance and progress toward greater freedom are powerful testimonies to our ability to effect social change and serve as models to look at human rights challenges in our world today. Located at the center of the American continents, El Salvador is a global crossroads, offering a unique perspective on how our interconnectedness and global relationships affect vulnerable populations.

Is El Salvador safe for foreign travelers?

Cristosal has 15 years of experience safely hosting groups and individuals from North America in El Salvador. Most people find El Salvador to be a beautiful country and Salvadorans to be inspiring and extraordinarily welcoming hosts. We do ask that interns abide by Cristosal’s security guidelines, in order to reduce the risk that you would be affected by any type of crime or incident, including petty theft.

Check out our Safety and Health Guidelines for our recommendations on how to minimize your risk while in El Salvador and get the most out of your time with us.

What immunizations should I get before I come?

Before visiting El Salvador, be sure to have all routine vaccinations up-to-date. In addition, while we take substantial precautions to ensure all food and drink is healthy and uncontaminated, it may be a good idea to get Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations, though it isn't required. Risk of contracting malaria or rabies are relatively low in El Salvador, but the Center for Disease Control does recommend that some travelers get vaccinated for extra precaution. We recommend bringing bug spray and not playing with stray dogs in the street to reduce this risk as much as possible. See the Center for Disease Control's website for the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on vaccines.