Public Health and Traditional Medicine Internship in the Peruvian Amazon

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Fundacion Runa

Public Health interns will work with communities around the town of Tarapoto to better understand 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 collaborative research and healing center.

Interns will have valuable opportunities to learn about traditional medicinal plants and associated values and beliefs, and create strategies for providing integrated community healthcare.

Project Objectives

  • Understand the current health situation in the communities surrounding the future site of the health clinic in order to inform our strategies for community engagement

  • Build relationships with communities and civil and public organizations in and around the Tarapoto area

  • Gain a baseline understanding of the dual roles of traditional and western-style medicine in the health outcomes and behaviors of community members

  • Design an effective intervention that integrates traditional and modern approaches to solve current local health issues

Intern Duties

  • Hold workshops with communities in order to build collaboration and knowledge sharing

  • 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

  • Spend time in communities to understand local medicinal practices

  • Design a database to organize and analyze information

  • Create informative reports summarizing findings


This internship is designed for undergraduate or graduate students majoring in the areas of Public Health, International Development, Social Work, International relations, or other related fields. 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 Public Health is preferred.

Dates are flexible throughout the year.


8 weeks room and program fees...........$1600

10 weeks room and program fees............$2000

Additional weeks................................$200/week

*Program fees include living accommodations. Travel expenses and food are not included.

Please send the following directly to our Program Manager, Lindsay McGeehon, at

1. A simple resume

2. Letter of intent (including which project you are applying for and why you want to intern)

3. Two references (email addresses are OK)

If you are interested in working with us or have any questions about the internship program please send an email directly to

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We'll work with your schedule.


Via comunidad HuapoTarapoto, San Martin 3819Peru





  • Conversational level of Spanish

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