Dates:

Fall, Winter, & Spring Internships:
Applications accepted on a year-round basis, placement dates are flexible. Minimum of 6 weeks recommended.


 

Summer Internship:
May 22. – July 24, 2017
June 19. – August 7, 2017


QUALIFICATIONS

Ecuador – Our internships in Ecuador 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.

 

Peru – Our internships in Peru are geared towards industry professionals, undergraduate and graduate students majoring in areas of International Development, International relations, Public Health, Botany, Ecology, Environmental Science, Policy, Agriculture or a related field. An intermediate level of Spanish, equivalent to four semesters of college level Spanish is required. Research experience is a plus and previous college-level coursework in a related field is preferred.

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 and Tarapoto, Peru

8 weeks room and program fees………….$1600
10 weeks room and program fees…………$2000
Additional weeks……………………………$200/week

*Program fees include living accommodations. Food and travel expenses are not included. 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.

PERU

  • Public Health interns will work with communities around the town of Tarapoto to survey access to healthcare and the interplay between traditional healing and western medical practices. They will work with local healthcare providers, traditional healers, and community members to assess current health risk factors, outcomes, and treatment seeking behaviors. Interns will play a valuable role in helping Rios Nete to devise a plan and highlight priorities for community participation as part of our ongoing effort to establish a community public health outreach program.
  • Internship Objective include understanding the current health situation in the communities surrounding the future site of the health clinic, building relationships with communities and civil and public organizations in and around the Tarapoto area, and establishing a baseline understanding of the dual roles of traditional and western-style medicine in the health outcomes and behaviors of community members.
  • Interns will work with local health care providers, including public health services and traditional healers, identify potential areas of collaboration between local communities and the Rios Nete clinic, and help to design and carry out projects with the local community.
  • Agriculture is vital to life in the communities surrounding Tarapoto, Peru. The new Rios Nete Healing Center plans to establish an integrated agroforestry system in order to grow native plants to supply the clinic with organic food and medicinal plants. Sustainable agriculture interns will be vital in compiling information on what environmental conditions these plants need to grow. After analyzing results from field data, interns will work with our team to plan and design the agricultural component of the Rios Nete Health Clinic. The interns will assist with the selection of species, collection of seeds, and planting and maintenance of agricultural and medicinal crops within our nursery and agroforestry plot, as well as the development of kitchen and botanical gardens.
  • Project Objectives incude createimg a sustainable agricultural system that utilizes properties of agroforestry systems as found in the local ecology of the region, designimg and implementing a plan for collecting and germinating seeds, expanding Rios Nete’s medicinal and edible plants nursery & gardens
  • Intern Duties include working with our filed team in propagation and planting in sustainable agricultural systems; identifying species, collecting seeds, propagating plants, and expanding kitchen and medicinal plant gardens; utilizing agricultural best practices in organic farming and permaculture techniques
  • We are looking for interns to carry out participatory analyses of community based resources and livelihoods. This internship provides the opportunity to learn about various qualitative and quantitative research methods in collaboration with the communities of Huapo and Chololon, just outside of Tarapoto in the tropical premontane region of Northern Peru.
  • Project Objectives include understand the lives, livelihoods, and resources of community members through collaborative research; identifying areas for community and program development activities; highlighting potential areas for collaboration between Runa Foundation, Rios Nete and local stakeholders
  • Intern Duties include Designing and implementing data collection activities (such as semi-structured interviews, household surveys, focus groups, etc.); building collaborative relationships with community members and local public, private, and civil organizations; and working with staff to develop project proposals and grants
  • 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.
  • Interns will work with agricultural cooperatives to understand local agricultural practices and their linkages to conservation and natural resource management strategies. In partnership with Runa and local agriculturalists, interns will gain an understanding of the role of agriculture and cooperatives in community organization and livelihood strategies. This collaboration will help to strengthen cooperatives through building capacity in areas such as sustainable agricultural practices, business and management skills, and other priorities of participating coops.
  • Project Objectives include building collaborative working relationships with local cooperatives; compiling information about current agricultural practices and value chains; working with cooperatives to determine short and long term goals; collaborating to plan strategies for reaching community development objectives
  • Intern Duties include Utilizing traditional and participatory research methods to understand cooperative activities and agricultural value chains; identifying current cooperatives’ strengths and weaknesses; designing workshops and capacity building activities; working with cooperatives and local stakeholders to identify opportunities for growth and development