Ecuador Summer Internships


Climate change, risk management, science and journalism, communication. Issues on the country and context.
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1; intern will be in contact with experts on issues related to climate change, risk management, science and journalism, communication.
3 months (flexible), six hours a day
Preferred Skills
Spanish, knowledge of strategic planning, budget management, statistics, monitoring and evaluation, and social media.
Andrea Pazmino – Project Coordinator,
Claudia Arteaga – Executive Dirertor,

Yanapuma Foundation

Sustainable and community development, social media, education, marginalized and indigenous groups, culture, children issues, health issues, capacity building, environment and reservations, sustainable development, social enterprise The Yanapuma Foundation designs and implements successful and well-integrated development projects that improve the lives of poor and marginalized indigenous and rural populations in Ecuador. Interns work with either Yanapuma or one their partner organizations in Quito or throughout Ecuador.
ranges - anywhere from 1-3 months, depending on program
Preferred Skills
conversational level of Spanish, interest in community development, community tourism, and/or sustainable development.
include a Letter of Intent detailing potential projects of interest to work on during the internship; Resume and Letter of Intent written in Spanish
Additional Information
Yanapuma has a volunteer donation/registration fee of $125 for opportunities in Quito or Cuenca and $185 for opportunities outside of Quito. This fee helps cover the cost of administering their programs (orientation, support in country, initial accompany to site, etc.) and also provides funds for their sustainable development projects.
Dr. Andrew Kirby

Yanapuma Programs

Partner Organizations in Quito

  • Fundación Niñez y Vida – This foundation runs projects in 6 poor neighborhoods of Quito, working with daycare centers, schools, and youths.
  • Fundación Abuelitos de la Calle – This foundation cares for homeless ages person in Quito. The Center provides much-needed medical care, workshops, activities and free meals to between 200-400 elderly indigent persons.
  • Escuela Amable Arauz (Conocoto) – Escuela Fiscal Amable Arauz is a public school only for boys, with about 1000 students ages 5-14 years old. Teach English in one of three schools on the outskirts of Quito.
  • Camp Hope Foundation - Camp Hope is a school for disable and underprivileged children, with 130 students, from kindergarten to grade 5. It provides vocational workshops for disabled teenagers, medical attention, rehabilitation, afterschool programs and recreational activities. The Foundation also provides accommodation in Casa Hogar for some disabled children.
  • CENIT (Centro del Niño Trabajador) - CENIT is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that helps around 1,000 working children (especially working girls) and their families overcome grinding poverty and improve their quality of lives through education and job training, nutrition programs, health and social services, psychological help and recreation.
  • Fundación Gorritas Azules – work with adults and youth with severe mental disabilities
  • INEPE (Inst. De Investigación, Educación y Promoción Educativo) – work with pre-school and elementary-school children

Partner Organizations in the Amazon

  • Tena Public Schools – Development: the Centro Preventivo Ubaldo Bonucelli is an after school program for kids ages 5-18 of an at-risk population, such as those living in poverty, dealing with abuse at home or are living in foster care.
  • Sinchi Aqua Center - Sinchi Aqua is a visitor center and lodge created by a group of Kichwa women (Sinchi Warmi). Interns can help with daily activities related to farming, working at the visitor center, providing interpretation services, and teaching English.
  • Yancacocha Animal Rescue Centre - Yanacocha is a family run, privately funded sanctuary for rescued and confiscated wild animals. It is sometimes open to the public, but their main goal is the protection of animal and plant life in the Amazon through the rescue and rehabilitation of flora and fauna.
  • Runa Foundation - Runa is an innovative social enterprise, which markets Guayusa, a natural, delicious tea that provides a source of energy and nutrition straight from the Amazon jungle. Runa provides direct market access, agro forestry training, and integrated development services to Amazonian farming families to create lasting social change.
  • Proyecto Ecológico Selvavida - Proyecto Ecologico Selvavida is a private reserve owned and run by a native Shuar. It is located close to the community of Yagints. The Shuar ethnic group has been marginalized and is struggling to maintain their traditional culture. The principle aim of the project is to foment sustainable community development through education, and environmental conservation.

Partner Organizations in the Andes

  • Fundación ADIN- Guayabillas - Foundation ADIN consists of a group of community projects that focuses on sustainable community tourism and education projects. The animal rescue center in Guayabillas has a goal to provide a healthy home for animals from all parts of Ecuador that have been rescued from trafficking, as well as serve as an educational center to prevent the trafficking of wild animals as pets.
  • Fundación Ugshapamba – Work on projects in agro forestry, environmental education, and sustainable agriculture.
  • Odd E Hannsen School - A newly opened pre-school in Machachi, the Odd E Hannsen School gives children the opportunity to learn and socialize rather than being left at home while their parents work. The aim is to give children whose families have scarce resources the chance to gain a higher quality education so that they can develop academically and ethically to contribute positively to their community as adults.
  • Maquipuncuna Cloud Forest Reserve - The Maquipucuna nature reserve is one of the Earth’s most biologically diverse forest networks, includes primary forest and reforested areas, that are the home to numerous rare and protect birds and orchids, amongst other species of flora and fauna. The cabanas and tourism activities in the reserve, along with its organic coffee plantation and farm support the maintenance and protection of the area.
  • Brethren y Unida Foundation - FBU is a 60 year old organization with environmental education and the conservation of natural resources at the heart of its development policies, with its main role as a facilitator of reforestation and sustainable agriculture projects within various communities.
  • Comunidad de Chilcapamba - Chilcapamba is an indigenous community of over 100 families that is currently undertaking a range of projects in the areas of education, development, sustainable agriculture and preservation of indigenous culture.
  • Fundación Jovenes para el Futuro - Jovenes para el Futuro is a foundation that works to improve the quality of life and future prospects of Ambato’s poor and at risk children and teenagers.

Partner Organization along the Pacific Coast

  • Tsa’chila Communities - These are 4 of the of the 7 remaining indigenous Tsa´chila communities in Ecuador, and it is a culture rich in tradition, much of which is being lost in recent generations. Yanapuma is working on sustainable development projects with these communities, promoting sustainable cacao production, creating family vegetable plots, reforestation, and teaching diet and nutrition, and has permanent staff involved in these activities.
  • Finca Sarita - Finca Sarita is a family owned and managed organic farm and educational center for local, national, and international communities through training in permaculture, agro ecology, and ecological design. The experiences and knowledge of Finca Sarita are shared with those who want to live in a better world, seeking sustainable solutions to the problems generated by the grinding gears of the industrial world.
  • Planet Drum Foundation - The current main activity of planet Drum is reforestation projects in the areas surrounding Bahía. These are long term projects repairs eroded areas, secure water supplies and return important biodiversity to these areas. In addition the Foundation carries out an alternative environmental education program, for high school students, out of school hours.
  • Pacific Whale Foundation - Pacific Whale Foundation is a an international organization working in the area of marine research, education and conservation and in general working to address the issues that shape the future of our oceans and our planet.
  • Rio Muchacho Organic Farm – work with an organic farm
  • Cerro Seco Biological Reserve - Cerro Seco is a dry tropical forest biological reserve in Bahía de Caráquez, a small coastal town in the Manabi district of Ecuador. The reserve contains one of the best examples of rare tropical dry forest on the coast of Ecuador. The reserve takes an active role in environmental education programs including radio broadcasting on local radio, school programs and community education. They organize workshops, work parties, work in schools, and help build and maintain the concept of an eco-city with the local community.
  • Estero de Plátano - The village of Estero de Plátano is composed of fishermen and farmers who cultivate small plots of cacao, coffee, maize and fruits such as avocados and oranges in the coastal rainforest. Yanapuma is supporting 13 children to study at high school with scholarships. In addition we have created a computer center and work with the local school and social groups such as the community bank, community council, and a women's group.

Partner Organization in the Galapagos

  • Hacienda Tranquila - Hacienda Tranquila is a 50 hectare working dairy ranch and eco-tourism project in the highlands of Isla San Cristobal, where there is still native vegetation. One of the objectives of this new station will be to develop the technology to reconstruct native habitat in the highlands, and to serve as a center for similar projects in the Galapagos chain. The focus of their work is on the human population and environment of the islands, as opposed to the wildlife. With this in mind Hacienda Tranquila aims to carry our projects that, in a sustainable manner, improve the quality of life of the islands inhabitants.
  • Pajaro Brujo Reserve - The project in Galápagos works towards an integrated development in collaboration with Galápagos residents, in an alternative and responsible manner. It carries out programs of education designed to change the behavior of the local population towards a sustainable lifestyle. These programs include strengthening of the productive sector (artisanal fishing, agriculture and livestock, tourism, crafts, etc.); health; social research; renewable energy; among others. it also manages projects of environmental protection, governability and civic participation, including socio-environmental ethics.