Beyond South America is a mediation agency that supports volunteers and interns who want to come to South America. The agency was founded in 2012 by Marye Dijkstra and Cil Alferink who after the first year approached Laurie IJzerman to support them as a local contactperson in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In 2017, Laurie took over the office and eversince all profits go to the Bolivian foundation Casa de la Alegría: a foundation founded by Laurie to support traumatized children and adolescents in Bolivia to come out (and stay out) of vicious circles of violence.
The aim of Beyond South America is to provide a helping hand for interns and volunteers from all parts of the world and help them find a suitable internship or volunteer workplace at local organizations. And all in a way that contributes to sustainability and is affordable. The underlying idea is also to offer them the chance to gain an unforgettable experience and to let people broaden their horizons. Over time, the idea came to expand the work to other countries in South America, starting with Brazil. This extension required an umbrella name: Beyond South America. It didn’t stop after Brazil. We have contacts in Ecuador and Guatemala, so there is something for everyone!