Environmental/Horticultural Internship in Ecuador

Cause Areas


It's flexible! We'll work with your schedule.


2933 Lower Bellbrook RdOtavalo, 45370EC


The Tandana Foundation is seeking an intern to help with school gardens, a tree nursery, and other environmental/horticulture projects in the Otavalo canton of highland Ecuador, a region that is rich in natural beauty and cultural diversity. This internship is available from September through early July, and the minimum time commitment is 6 months.

Position Description

Your main responsibilities will be to assist local teachers and students with their school gardens and to help at the UCINQUI native tree nursery with weeding, planting, and other tasks. You may also help coordinate garden or environment-related experiences for groups of U.S.volunteers that may visit the community and help with other environmental projects as needs arise. Finally, you will serve as a a cultural ambassador and a positive representative of The Tandana Foundation. In return, you will be placed with a host family, which will allow countless opportunities to explore the indigenous cultures and subsistence lifestyles of highland Ecuador as well as the natural environment around you. You will also be given all the support you need to succeed in your work and be encouraged to accomplish your personal internship goals.


  • Conversational Spanish
  • Experience living in cross-cultural situations, preferably in Latin America
  • Demonstrated interest in gardening, reforestation, or other environmental/horticultural work
  • Ability to work cooperatively with a diverse array of people, to solve problems creatively, and to promote a positive experience for all involved
  • Self-motivation, responsibility, and an ability to work independently
  • Minimum age is 19
  • Minimum time commitment is 6 months


  • Assist in school gardens and the UCINQUI native tree nursery
  • Engage in other environment-related projects as needed
  • Help coordinate the activities of visiting gardening groups and ensure that volunteers and community members alike have positive experiences.
  • Represent Tandana in a positive manner to all community members and volunteers and help to build good relationships


  • The opportunity to participate in unique cultural activities and be a part of a dynamic, multi-cultural team
  • Detailed orientation and ongoing support from Tandana's Ecuador Program Manager as well as a mentor
  • Room and board with a local family (homestay)
  • Work expenses including local transportation, cell phone, etc. (Interns pay their own airfare to Ecuador)
How to apply:

Interested parties should send a resume and a letter addressing each of the following questions to Herman Snel, Ecuador Program Manager, at herman@tandanafoundation.org

  1. Please describe any experience you have living in Ecuador or in another cross-cultural situation.
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a leader?
  3. Describe an experience that was very challenging for you. How did you deal with the difficulties, and what did you learn from the experience?
  4. What are you passionate about, and how do you express that passion?
  5. What do you think will be most exciting about this internship?
  6. What do you think will be most difficult about this internship?
  7. What are your personal and professional goals for this internship and how can we help you accomplish them?


  • Spanish
  • People Skills
  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Science
  • Gardening
  • Horticulture

Good Match For


Requirements & Commitment

  • Must be at least 19
  • Orientation or Training
  • minimum time requirement is momths
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