Casa Alitas is a program of Catholic Community Services in Tucson that provides humanitarian aid and support to asylum-seekers recently released from Immigrations Custom Enforcement (ICE) or Border Patrol. Our guests are released with temporary permission to be in the U.S. while waiting the outcome of their asylum cases. We provide temporary housing, food, clothing, showers, transportation assistance, advocacy, and brief mental health and legal orientation. We are run by a small staff and a large group of volunteers. Our guests are primarily families from Central America and Mexico, but we have also received guests from over 20 countries around the world. The majority of guests are only with us for 1-3 days.
At least 2 weeks before the enrollment term.
Internship Description: Unpaid
Most interns will work onsite, although there are offsite projects available. As they become familiar with the services and systems of Casa Alitas, Interns might choose to focus on one area (such as HelpDesk, Food Service, Intake, Clothing, Travel Escorts) in order to increase guest accessibility, effectiveness and efficiency, as well as grow in depth of knowledge and leadership.
Remote work involves completing a project that aligns both with a student’s interests and major, and the interests of Alitas. Projects could include creating advocacy tools for volunteers, tracking the influence of American as well as Mexican policies on Central American migration, partnering with local legal aid groups on advocating for detention center releases, or others.
We will also include you in some of the training and experiences that our interns take part in:
- Asylum Overview
- Border Issues, including trips to other groups involved in border/migration issues such as KBI Nogales or Project Streamline
- Cross-Cultural Communication and/or Indigenous People Groups
- Trauma-Informed Care
- Weekly meetings with other interns
Once you have chosen an area of service, you will be assigned a mentor who will be responsible for training you for the position, and checking in on a weekly basis, as well as be available as a resource for both professional and personal questions.
Interns also fill out reflection journals every week by Sunday evening. This journal, although it is short and simple, will help us support you, learn and grow from your input, and will form the foundation for your midterm/semester evaluation.
Strict COVID protocols are in place and all staff, volunteers and guests must wear masks. Testing is provided, and recommended on a biweekly basis.
Additional Information: All interns will be required to attend the Alitas Volunteer Orientation, preferably prior to starting or within the first month of their internship. Interns will meet 2x per month with all Alitas interns cross-disciplines for support sessions. Interns will also be invited to other optional training opportunities as available. Interns will have an onsite supervisor to check in with regularly.
Purpose of the Internship
The purpose of the internship is twofold. One, to provide students with a better understanding of the complexity of border issues and policies and how they affect families; as well as a better understanding regarding the people who come to our country seeking asylum. Two, to support the on-going work of Alitas.
Agency Minimum Qualifications
Enrollment in a current UofA program. Personal transportation to and from our site.
Agency Preferred Qualifications
Spanish proficiency is preferred. Non-Spanish speakers will have a challenging time at this internship.
How to Apply
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest in an internship at Alitas. Following your email inquiry, you should hear back within a week’s time to schedule a call to discuss the internship and whether or not it’s the right fit for you.