Max's Internship  U.S. Embassy | Lima, Peru

Week 1: 
June 6, 2019

I arrived in Lima, Peru, last weekend to begin my internship at the U.S. Embassy. I was particularly excited about the prospect of interning at the State Department, and especially intrigued to learn more about how an embassy operates. Having interned on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and having spent my previous summer in Jordan, I wanted to learn more about U.S. policy in Latin America. I explored the city over the weekend and particularly enjoyed jogging along the malecón (basically, a cliff over the Pacific Ocean). Peru is known for its food, and Lima is home to some of the best restaurants in the world. I tried ceviche (probably the most popular dish, which consists of raw fish and shellfish marinated in lime juice and chili peppers) and enjoyed sampling the local sandwich shops.

I started work last Monday, interning in the Political Section. Upon entry into the Foreign Service at the State Department, officers select one of five cones, or career tracks – political, economic, public diplomacy, management, and consular – but may serve in several over the course of their careers. In addition to the State Department, other agencies, including the Department of Defense, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Foreign Commercial Service, are housed at Embassy Lima.

In my first week, I received numerous briefings related to personal security, health, IT, and more. I have already begun drafting cables (essentially State Department memoranda) and providing other assistance to the embassy’s political officers. I expect to help provide support to Embassy Lima’s efforts to report on and analyze human rights and corruption issues. Monitoring Peru’s response to the deteriorating situation in Venezuela, including the impacts on migration, is a priority for the Embassy’s political section. I have begun learning about the Leahy human rights vetting process. Under the Leahy Amendment, passed by Congress in 1997, the State and Defense departments are prohibited from providing military assistance to foreign security forces that violate human rights.

I look forward to diving more deeply into my work this upcoming week and assisting the Political Section in any way I can.