Why we do it?
We believe in opportunities that drive innovation through exceptional talent!
What do we do?
The Alterna Fellowship is a 360º program that connects extraordinary international talent with change-catalyzers in Latin America and the Caribbean. The program seeks to promote the business and impact investment sectors by articulating three fundamental axes: professional skills, immersive experience and a high-level global network. The program points towards enhancing and catalyzing environmental and social impact around the world.
How do we do it?
A genuine and real experience with impact business leaders, within the context of a developing market and the Latin American and the Caribbean culture.
Appropriation of high-impact projects in collaboration of a pioneer organization in the sector.
Training through reflection on innovative approaches, ideas, local leaders and best practices.
Who makes the perfect fit?
We’re looking for dreamers; the ones that believe in the power of change, people who believe in building environments where others can belong and thrive. Dreamers who deeply identify with Alterna’s mission, vision and culture, and at the same time are looking for an opportunity to exercise their passion for business and impact investing. Their values and purpose align with the organizations.
We’re searching for listeners, with a solid people-oriented dynamic, who enjoy fostering deep relationships with diverse cultures within creative environments. They’re characterized by assertive, organized and results-oriented communication.
We want real doers who make things happen and are convinced that purpose-driven business models can transform reality as we know it. A doer understands impact solutions as a window of real possibilities for a more sustainable world.
Cristina Renedo, Spain; Impact Fellow 2022.
Current Cultivation Coordinator at Alterna.
Anish Malpani, India; Impact Fellow 2017.
Founder at Ashaya.
My experience at Alterna has been more than fulfilling for several reasons. First, it has given me the pivot twist to the impact industry that I’d been looking for, for a long time. At the same time, it has given me a lot of cultural perspective, understanding how the world of entrepreneurship works in Central America and the challenges and barriers that exist. Finally, on a personal level, it is indescribable what six months can do for you, both professionally and personally speaking, I have grown as a person and I have allowed myself to be “cultivated” by the excellent team of professionals and people that make up Alterna. The training and experience in the impact business sector has been more than rewarding. The experience totally exceeded my expectations!
My four years at Alterna totally changed my professional career. Before, my goal was to find a job in an organization based in Washington DC or New York, where there are many resources but few connections. Later, I understood that to achieve powerful, real, resistant and relevant impact, you have to know and understand the communities that businesses seek to impact. I understood that well-intentioned large contractors lacked a deep connection, making it difficult for them to achieve the impact they wanted to accomplish. I still take this into account with every professional decision I face.
Alterna and Guatemala will always have a piece of my heart. My experience at Alterna was my first foray into social entrepreneurship and I learned SO much from it. I learnt what it takes to make impact in a different country with a different culture and a different set of priorities. I learnt that true impact needs to start from the grassroots. I learnt that cultivating the right tools for entrepreneurs can help them multiply their impact, and I learnt that context matters – always. And to top it all, Guatemala and Alterna embraced me with love – that Latin American warmth that melts almost everyone and everything. I felt welcomed from literally the first day I arrived there, and I will always cherish my time there with the fondest of feelings. Thank you Alterna for everything you did for me, and for everything that you do.
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Is the Fellowship a paid position?
Alterna’s Impact Fellowship Program does not constitute a paid position. However, the program offers life insurance and medical expenses, travel expenses related to program activities, and a support stipend based on the local cost of living in Guatemala. Both Alterna and the Fellow make a significant investment in the program, which directly affects the businesses served and the impact sector.
Where’s the Fellowship based?
Alterna Fellows may be based in Guatemala City or Quetzaltenango (Xela). The fellow may be requested to travel to different regions of Guatemala for different projects.
Is it essential to speak Spanish?
Yes. The level of Spanish, whether intermediate, advanced or native, will define the area and type of involvement of the fellow within the program.
What type of support does Alterna provide?
Upon being accepted as a Fellow, Alterna will support logistics coordination to settle in the country. Arrival, training and orientation will be coordinated before and during the experience.
Although Latin America has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship, most regional companies are born more from necessity than from innovation and opportunity. In addition, the role of businessmen is increasingly important to promote positive changes. The local impact ecosystem is relatively young, but fast moving, compared to other regions around the world. There’s a growing network of influential impact companies and an investment culture for small businesses in early growth stages. These characteristics, which converge in Guatemala, make the region an ideal platform to generate and experiment with innovative solutions that can be applied around the world.
The Alterna Fellowship Program is a vehicle to accelerate professional careers in the impact sector. By joining Alterna, Fellows will gain unparalleled exposure to initiatives that are breaking boundaries and defining the business and impact investing sector in a rapidly developing region. The program gives Fellows a powerful professional boost in their career path, through:
- Joining the pioneer organization of the impact sector in the region.
- Developing a range of professional skills, generating impact through strategic projects that are key to the organization and the improvement of the sector.
- Gaining real-world experience in a developing context and impact ecosystem in Latin America, providing first-hand insights into systemic complexities and best practices in social innovation.
Is there an opportunity to work with Alterna full time after the Fellowship?
At Alterna we are committed to the professional development of each of our Fellows. We invest in training and mentoring to ensure they are constantly developing and strengthening their skills and knowledge. Although the Fellowship itself is not a precursor to paid employment at Alterna, we always look to the best talent in our Fellowship pool as our primary source when recruiting for long-term paid positions.
What happens after the Fellowship?
Alterna Fellows pursue career paths in various fields after the program, from the business and impact investing sector, the public and private sectors, to building their own companies. Currently, there are fellows alumni working in institutions such as UNICEF, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, McKinsey & Co., PWC, Etsy, the United Nations, General Motors, Danone, Acumen, and local impact companies, among others.
Is there an Alterna Alumni network?
Yes! At the end of the program Fellows are invited to join the Alumni Network, a diverse community of more than 130 change catalyzers. Alumni are encouraged to connect and support one another by regularly sharing job opportunities, events, programs, news, and more. The alumni network offers significant opportunities to develop professional connections and friendships.
Do you have any other questions?
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