Reports from the Field

Agroforestry and Environmental Development Internship in Ecuador

Kiera Mitchell - Agroforestry and Environmental Development Internship in Ecuador


“I have been at the project for nearly a week now and am already in love with Ecuador, Tena and the Agricultural internship. My fellow interns Raine, Jon and Ladislav are really nice and I get along with them all like a house on fire. We are a very international group, Jon and Raine being from the USA, Ladislav is from the Czech Republic and I am Australian.

Today I worked along side local interns to plant guayusa saplings. We arrived at the project at 8.30am already hot and sweaty. We met Pedro, the Field Technician and the two locals interns, Erika and Jessica,  on one of the  experimental plots.

We started off by digging the holes for the guayusa saplings. There are two techniques to dig the holes. I used a traditional shovel to dig, while Jon and the two local interns used post hole diggers. The post hole diggers make perfect sized holes for the guayusa plants.

We spent over three hours digging the holes and developed a system that would make it easier and more efficient to plant the saplings. It was very hot and sunny, making the digging very strenuous. All of us were struggling with the heat and had to take frequent drink breaks. After the we had dug enough holes we then proceeded to plant the guayusa  saplings. Pedro would distribute the guayusa next to each hole and we would plant them. This experimental plot tests at which  depths guayusa best grows.This is why we had to plant them at the depth that was marked. We spent another sweaty, humid and hot hour doing this until it was finally time for lunch.

For lunch we met up with Raine, Maureen, Lindsay and Ladislav. We met Ladislav for the first time, a new intern who had come in the night before. We ate at Comidas Tipicas, where we had traditional Maito Pollo, a broth like chicken soup. Maureen, Lindsay and Ladislav also had Chontacuro, a big, juicy, white grub that has been barbecued kebab style.

You never know what you are going to do next!”

Agroforestry and Environmental Development Internship in Ecuador


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Kiera Mitchell