To Hell with Good Intentions by Ivan Illich (April 20, 1968) emphatically demands that volunteer “armies” in Latin America are harmful and represent American obliviousness. Illich delivers this speech to student missionaries about to work in Mexico, arguing that by going to Mexico they proselytize for an American middle class way of life, and demand more than they give. Illich seeks to educate all volunteers about why their “good intentions” are much more complicated, in order to stop them from volunteering in Mexico. Illich especially speaks of power dynamics in any volunteering relationship and suggests that if one must volunteer, at least do so in communities that “can tell you to go to hell.”

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