Location: Tena, Ecuador
Duration: Minimum 1 month (flexible for min. 2 weeks depending on intern’s qualifications), Maximum 1 year
Start Dates: Project is ongoing, and you can join at any time, depending upon availability
Cost: $400 for the 1st week + $250 for each additional week (2 month minimum is recommended) – see ‘Costs’ tab for further details
- Contribute to campaigns and projects to end gender violence in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
- Join an international network of people who are collaborating to increase gender equality and equity
- Gain hands-on experience designing and implementing fun and educational workshops for children who are victims of abuse
- Gain practical experience supporting operations of a non-profit and women’s shelter
- Create a positive local impact through building relationships and joining collaborations and campaigns relating to women’s empowerment and gender violence prevention
- Option to live in a shared volunteer house OR with a local indigenous family, immersing and learning from their traditions and point of view
- Participate in and help develop cultural exchange events including ecotourism, medicinal plant remedy workshops, Amazonian Forest to Table Feas,, and guayusa tea ceremonies.
- Keywords: women’s empowerment, gender violence, violence against women, gender equality, gender equity, flexible serious internship, sustainable development, global public health, research, community development, economic development.
In Ecuador, six out of every ten women has experienced some kind of violence in her life, and every three seconds, a woman is killed just for being a women [femicide]. While provinces in the Ecuadorian Amazon generally experience less femicide, they have very high rates of violence toward women.
This internship is an opportunity to contribute to the elimination of violence toward women in the this province of the Ecuadorian Amazon. You will collaborate with local partners and contribute to projects, such as violence awareness workshops for kids, grant-writing, and assisting with day-to-day activities at the first-ever women’s shelter in the province. You can also propose new project or research ideas and pursue them upon approval by your host organization.
You have the option to live amongst other volunteers in a shared house OR become part of an Ecuadorian family and community, dive deep into language learning (Spanish and Kichwa!) and cultural exchange. Interns live with an indigenous family in the Napo province, centered around the main city of Tena, about 4 hours east of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city. You will get to experience life in the Amazon rainforest through your immersion, as well as unique activities such as swimming in waterfalls, making chocolate from fresh-picked cacao, and trekking in the virgin rainforest. Your placement will include staff check-ins and 24/7 on-ground emergency support.
At the start of your program, you will have a 3-day orientation in the city of Tena. During our orientation workshops, you will start learning about the culture, people, and geography of the region as well as other tools to support you in your internship abroad. Here you will also be connecting with other interns that are going to be leaping into a similar experience.
After orientation, you will move to either an indigenous host family, or a shared volunteer house of a local nonprofit. If you choose to live with a host family, you will be able to participate in their daily lives, form meaningful connections, and exchange knowledge. No day in the family will be exactly the same, and you will get to experience many family rituals, like waking up at 6am to make guayusa tea with your host grandmother and interpret your dreams.
In this immersive experience, you will forge meaningful connections with the children, women, and advocates who are fighting to eliminate gender violence in the Amazon.
Daily activities and schedules during your internship will vary as well, depending on the needs at the time. Some example activities may include:
- Assisting staff with the day-to-day operations of the women’s shelter
- Planning gender violence awareness workshops and games for children
- Collaborating on events and programs with a local non-profit that conducts programs for children and adolescents from low socioeconomic households and victims of domestic abuse
- Providing after-school homework help and tutoring
- Accompanying staff to community and municipal government visits
- Assisting with coordination of programs and administrative work
- Writing and editing grants
- Conducting marketing and outreach
Your main internships can be complemented by personal research opportunities. If you are interested in conducting research, we can support you and connect you to our network of communities, women’s groups, and others to help you create your independent project.
Travel & Accom.
The best airport to fly into is Quito (UIO, Mariscal Sucre International Airport) as it is only 4 hours from the project. You will be put in contact with the director of the program upon applying and they can give easy to follow instructions to get to the project Headquarters from Quito or Guayaquil International airport.
You will stay for the first 3 nights in the town of Tena for orientation (accommodation is provided), and then will spend the rest of their time living with a local host family. This is an amazing opportunity to integrate fully with the local community, culture, and learn Spanish. Host families also provide 3 meals per day, bedding, mosquito net, and a place to do your laundry.
We recommend that interns commit to 8 weeks on the ground in Ecuador, have an intermediate level of Spanish proficiency (or a strong motivation to learn quickly before and upon arriving!), and bring knowledge in their area of research if looking to do a personal project. Interns are expected to finance their own travel costs.
For those interns looking to do their own research or fieldwork for university – we offer the knowledge and time of our network, technical knowledge and informational databases, access to communities, NGOs, government agencies, and consultants, and pre- and post-research support.
Further requirements include:
- Minimum 2 weeks commitment (40 hours/week), recommended 8-12 weeks.
- Industry professionals, graduate/undergraduate students majoring in pre-medicine, global health, public health, community development, or a related field.
- Full travel & medical insurance
- Necessary vaccinations
- Necessary flights & visas
$400 USD for the 1st week, $250 USD* for each week thereafter.
* Currency conversions are approximate. Use xe.com for up to date currency conversion rates
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Places are confirmed with a 1 week deposit.
- Accommodation and 3 meals a day with a local Host Family. This includes a private room, shared bathroom, all bedding, and place to do laundry.
- A pre-departure orientation (general and specific information about Ecuador, logistics and a Skype meeting)
- 3-day in-country introduction and orientation that addresses risk management, culture shock symptoms and remedies, cross-cultural adaptation skills, intro to history/culture/politics of the Ecuador and the Amazon, team-building amongst interns and staff, setting a vision and goals for your experience, and more;
- 1:1 coaching/check-ins every 3 weeks to track goals, check in on health, support with challenges, and providing feedback;
- 24/7 emergency support;
- Thorough vetted network of doctors, therapists, Spanish tutors, organizations, etc. in the country;
- Space for learning and reflection with other foreigners having a similar experience;
- Re-entry training;
- Alumni group and future references.
Additionally you will need about $15/day for food for the first three days of training. You will also need to pay for your own transportations and any other activities you want to do.
What’s not included:
- Food during the first 4 days of orientation
- Transportation from the airport to location is not included
- Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations.
Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.
Premium Support Upgrade
We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators. We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.
Note: Map coordinates are approximate