“My 2-month internship with Los Aliados has been a great journey of learning about myself, the environment, different cultures and learning to stay “tranquila” in all possible situations that life can bring.
Before my arrival to Ecuador I did not speak much Spanish and I did not have any practical knowledge of working in agroforestry. During my first two weeks I felt like I couldn´t possibly bring any contribution to the foundation, as I did not know the local environment and I couldn´t speak with the locals very well. However, I had a great supervisor and colleagues around me who introduced me to all the ongoing projects and let me be part of all the meetings. Halfway through my internship I felt like I was getting more responsibilities and I could actually create something new that could improve some of the projects.
My Spanish got a bit better and I started to be able to have a conversation with people around me on a basic but mostly sufficient level. Besides taking Spanish classes twice a week I was trying to learn a lot by myself and use Spanish in my everyday life as much as I could. During my last two weeks I was working with a Reforestation and Biodiversity monitoring which kept my quite busy and I learned a lot from it. Firstly, I participated in all the planning that is necessary to be done before the actual field visit.
Then I went to one community to monitor 4 plantations together with 2 of my colleagues and collected all the necessary data. After 2 days I returned to the office and I spent almost 3 full days on processing all the data and reviewing the methodology for further monitoring in other communities. This was my biggest responsibility during my internship besides having smaller but interesting tasks, such as working in a plant nursery or helping with a medicinal plant research.
The whole internship has broadened my knowledge and view on life in many ways and will always be a very unforgettable memory for me.”