Colima is a city of approximately 125,000 people and has been part of the SCI Network since 2006. It is one of the oldest cities in Mexico and retains its distinct cultural heritage. Interns in Colima are housed within the Instituto Municipal Planeación del Municipio de Colima (IPCO), an independent planning institute mandated to promote Colima's long term, sustainable urban development. In Colima, interns are working to engage women and youth in the identification, conservation and enhancement of public spaces.
Current SCI interns
Michael Adelino Esteves Vieira - Project Officer: Community Development
I was born and have lived most of my life in Etobicoke, a suburb that is now part of the Greater Toronto Area. Growing up, I made frequent visits to Caracas, Venezuela to connect with my large yet distant family. These trips exposed me to different socio-cultural norms at a young age, and triggered my curiosity for international politics.
I followed this interest academically and personally. In 2011, I obtained a bachelor's degree in International Development, with an emphasis on Political Economy and Administrative Change. To compliment my degree, I participated in developmental placements in Southeast Asia, East Africa and West Africa. I observed first-hand some of the challenges associated with development and learned invaluable lessons as well.
As the new Community Development Project Officer, I expect to continue the work of past intern Sarah-Maude Ippersiel-Guindon. More specifically, I will review Sarah's Participative Process Guide and – under the direction of the Instituto Municipal Planeación del Municipio de Colima (IPCO) – I will work on the implementation of a follow-up process with Colima's residents.
I see this internship as an opportunity to gain workplace experience in an overseas municipal office and to apply my prior community youth engagement experiences to contribute to IPCo's work, while improving my Spanish along the way!
Dawna Pachkowsky - Project Officer : Urban Planning
Having completed a BA in Psychology and a Post-Graduate degree in International Development I have gained an educational background in participatory approaches to community development, in both local and international contexts. This is in additional to seven years of work and volunteer experience with community-based organizations in places such as Toronto, South Korea, Kenya, Mexico and India. I feel very lucky to have had many unique work experiences that have required me to adapt to different cultural contexts and relate to people in new and interesting ways.
Additionally, I am fascinated by the way people live and adapt to urban contexts and am daily working towards a more sustainable way of living in my home in downtown Toronto and while traveling abroad.
My passion for urban sustainable living, community engagement and cross-cultural relations fits very well with the Community Planning position in Colima, Mexico and I am excited to both work with and learn from the Institute of Planning and the local population in relation to the problems and solutions surrounding the preservation of the Colima River.