Home Institution

Oregon State University

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Program Name

Chile: Cultural Identity, Social Justice, and Community Development


This report evaluates my own experience over five weeks as an intern at the Communal Office of Migrants in Valparaíso, Chile. This office, along with the Communal Office of Women and the Communal Office of Sexual Diversity, was founded in June 2016 by Mayor Jorge Sharp as a part of the initiative to better represent the citizens of the Valparaíso región. Within the last ten years Chile has had a massive boom of immigration that has come as a shock to many Chileans. Due to a lack of cultural understanding about immigration and an immigration law that dates back to the Pinochet Dictatorship, systematic xenophobia and discrimination oppress the migrants of Valparaíso. This brings us to the Communal Office of Migrants whose unofficial mission statement is to promote the human rights of migrants and immigration regularity, and to support the associativity and democratic participation of the migrant community in the región of Valparaíso.

During my internship at the Communal Office of Migrants I chose to focus my attention while completing the tasks given to me on understanding the role of government actors in the fight for the human rights of migrants. This report concludes that the regional versus national politics of Chile play a heavy role in how a government agency that works with immigration functions. My tasks consisted of work within the office, such as data compilation, and attending events outside the office, such as migrant discussion tables. Throughout this essay I will explain these tasks further in detail as well as evaluate how they had an affect on my personal and academic development. I will also examine how my tasks as well as my observations during the internship related back to the topics we covered in our SIT courses. The intent of this report is to provide a short summary of an internship with a government agency that provided experiential learning to reinforce the themes of this SIT program.


Civic and Community Engagement | Inequality and Stratification | Latin American Studies | Politics and Social Change | Work, Economy and Organizations


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