Blum Summer Field Internship | 2014

The BLUM Field Internship Program was piloted in summer 2014. In its first year (2014) eight students from four UCSD divisions (Global Health minor, Global TIES, the Human Rights minor and the Sixth College Practicum) participated in a two months paid internship in the San Diego - Tijuana border region. The interns worked closely with staff to develop a "needs and assets analysis" in San Ysidro and Los Laureles, the sites of the new Cross-Border Community Station. Teams rotated between the two community-based organizations - Casa Familiar in San Ysidro, California and Alter Terra in the Los Laureles canyon in Tijuana, Mexico.

Analysis of the needs and assets in San Ysidro and Los Laureles was done through visits to the sites several times a week, in which the students conducted interviews among community members and community leaders, observations and measurements using state of the art technology.




  • Creation of a framework for subsequent internships;
  • Assessment of programs and unfulfilled needs at NGO partner sites;
  • Stress on ecology, development, and access as overarching themes for organizing connections between field sites and between ideas and practical application;
  • Establishment of sophisticated technological communication between Studio at UCSD, Casa Familiar in San Ysidro, and Alter Terra Community Center in Los Laureles Canyon;
  • Establishing basic Geographic Information Systems (GIS) skills for organizing and analyzing diverse kinds of data on a common spatial platform;
  • Benefitting the respective communities by sharing expertise and abilities learned in the University, and adapting and perfecting these techniques through rigorous application in the field;
  • Stress on active learning and collaborative projects as media for creating undergraduate engagement and enhancing the perceived applicability of skills learned.


    The internship was structured to meet three day per week, over a span of ten weeks. Each day started at 9 am, and lasted until 4 pm. The interns spent Mondays and Wednesdays in the field, either in San Ysidro or in Los Laureles Canyon. Fridays were dedicated for meetings at UCSD, during which we discussed and analyzed the work done that week in the field.

    The first week was an introductory week. The interns were introduced to both their responsibilities and the pressing issues to be investigated. They were also exposed to the field sites Los Laureles Canyon in Tijuana through Alter Terra and San Ysidro through Casa Familiar.
    In the following four weeks the interns spent at one of the field sites, followed by another four weeks at the second field site. The final week was reserved for the packaging of a final presentation that utilizes multimedia technology and the PIP methodology.



    BSFI | 2014