Internship Program

DATES

Fall, Winter, & Spring Internships:

Applications accepted on a year-round basis, placement dates are flexible. Minimum of 2 months (flexible for min of 2 weeks depending on intern’s qualifications).


 

Summer Internships:
Rolling application period with internships typically starting in late May or mid-June and continuing for 8-12 weeks.


QUALIFICATIONS

Our internships are geared towards industry professionals, undergraduate and graduate students majoring in international development, environmental science, policy, business, agriculture, agroforestry or a related field. Proficiency in English and Spanish is essential. Experience in Latin America and/or working in a rural setting is a plus.

 

Application Process

Please send the following to our Program Manager at volunteer@runa.org.

1

A simple resume

2

Letter of intent

3

Two references (email addresses are OK)

In your cover letter please include: why you are a good candidate for the internship, when you would like to intern with us, in which country, and where you learned about the program. If you are interested in applying or have any questions about the internship program please send an email directly to volunteer@runa.org.

Cost

Ecuador 

……….$350 USD/£200 GBP for the 1st week
……….$200 USD/£150 GBP for each week thereafter

***Program fees include in-depth pre-departure and orientation training, living accommodations in our fully-equipped and beautiful shared intern house (electricity, drinking water, Wi-Fi, basic cleaning/laundry services), 24/7 emergency support, and project costs. Food and travel expenses are not included. Currency conversions are approximate. All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee. If you live in the US and would like to do a direct bank transfer, please contact us. Optional Homestay fee $65/week (Ecuador only). Homestay includes all meals and lodging.

 

Programs:

ECUADOR

  • Community development interns will work alongside Runa Foundation staff to participate in the development of Fair Trade certified farmer cooperatives. Runa Foundation staff and interns work with farmers from the cooperative to facilitate meetings and improve methods of organization and communication. Currently, Runa Foundation works with the guayusa cooperatives as they begin to use the Fair Trade Social Premium Fund for community development projects.
  • Intern activities and responsibilities include: coordinate administration for the association, attend all meetings and training sessions, facilitate training sessions in areas of expertise, assist in the implementation of community development projects.
  • Sustainable agriculture interns will work with staff and community members to investigate the feasibility of producing new products in Amazonian agroforestry systems. Runa Foundation works with farmers that produce guayusa, coffee and cacao and is looking to add new cash crops such as wild Amazonian peanuts. We use a multi-faceted approach to farmer participation, data collection and agricultural economics analysis.
  • Intern activities and responsibilities include: the calculation of net present value for local agricultural systems, opportunity costs, and the social and bio-diversity benefits of high diversity agroforestry systems. Interns will help to find new markets and will research case studies of native crop production and the potential for new markets for these products.
  • Social Entrepreneurship interns will explore new supply chains for cash crops and products from the region. Guayusa is an excellent example of how Runa created new value for a native plant and now we are looking for other plants that could have new value for farmers. Our social entrepreneurship interns will work alongside Runa Foundation staff to look at new potential products, markets, and create a short business plan to commercialize these new potential products from Amazonian plants.
  • Intern activities and responsibilities include: Research supply chain development, international markets, and processing capabilities for these new potential products. Create a short business plan for potential new products.
  • Runa Foundation has created a partnership with WaterEcuador, a foundation based in Ecuador that works to provide clean affordable drinking water to impoverished communities. Alongside WaterEcuador, Runa Foundation staff and interns are working to analyze the quality of a range of water resources in the Amazonian region to raise awareness of the risks and benefits.
  • Intern activities and responsibilities include: Needs assessment surveys, assessing current knowledge and practices about water-related issues, water quality testing, grant research and writing and water and sanitation education.
  • Forest conservation interns will collaborate with Runa Foundation staff to draft management plan activities for sustainable forest management, women’s empowerment, agroforestry production, and wildlife monitoring. Runa Foundation is currently implementing a project to work with three pilot communities to develop integrative forest management plans.
  • Intern activities and responsibilities include: Planning and assisting with workshops in the communities, implementing monitoring and evaluation models, reporting findings from surveys. Interns will also work with placing camera traps in the forest reserves near the communities, create a wildlife census and conservation workshops.
  • Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship between people and plants. Runa Foundation’s core work focuses on how we can value native plants and the ancestral of knowledge of native plants as a tool for improving local livelihoods and biodiversity conservation.
  • Project Objectives include identifying important native plants of the upper and lower amazon region and understanding their importance in indigenous culture; documenting local knowledge of native plants; identifying new potential markets or uses for native plants.
  • Intern Duties include utilizing varied primary and secondary sources to research important native species and their uses; conducting interviews and other data collection activities with farmers, community leaders, and other local actors/key stakeholder; cataloging findings, including plants, their ecological and medicinal properties, natural habitat, cultivation, preparation, use, and cultural and commercial significance.
  • Social Impact Storytelling interns will be responsible for creating engaging and thought-provoking videos and social media content about Runa Foundation’s work in the Ecuadorian Amazon. They will highlight the farmers we work with, the significance of guayusa and other native plants to indigenous populations, and the dynamic Amazon Rainforest.
  • Intern activities and responsibilities include: preparing, editing, updating and composing online material such as graphics, photos, audio/video clips, etc. Create a video that describes Runa Foundation, what we do and how we help local communities. Create a video that highlights the results from a recent project, the best practices manual for guayusa production.