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Program Leadership Fellowship In Ecuador

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The Tandana Foundation

The Tandana Foundation is seeking a fellow to help prepare, lead, and follow up after our group volunteer programs in the Otavalo canton of highland Ecuador, a region that is rich in natural beauty and cultural diversity. The minimum time commitment for this fellowship is one year, beginning either in January or May.

Position Description

In this fellowship, your main responsibilities will involve working with communities to prepare for the visits of volunteer groups, coordinating the stays of the volunteer groups, and following up afterwards to ensure that projects are completed and volunteers are informed of the results of their efforts. You will serve as an Assistant Coordinator or Community Coordinator for all scheduled programs during your time in Ecuador, gaining experience with a variety of volunteer groups and work projects. During group programs, the schedule is intense, and you will need to be prepared to work hard, focusing on the tasks at hand. In between programs, you will make arrangements with community partners and service providers, meet with community leaders for evaluation, and do other preparatory and follow up work, and you may also take on additional projects based on your interests. Finally, you will serve as a cultural ambassador and a positive representative of The Tandana Foundation. You will be given all the support you need to succeed in your work and be encouraged to accomplish your personal fellowship goals, which will provide you with valuable skills and experience in volunteer program leadership. And by living with a host family, you will have countless opportunities to explore the indigenous cultures and subsistence lifestyles of highland Ecuador as well as the natural environment around you.


  • Fluent Spanish
  • Experience working with North Americans and Latin Americans
  • Experience living in cross-cultural situations, preferably in Latin America
  • 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 22
  • Minimum time commitment is 1 year
  • WFA or greater first aid certification and CPR certification


  • Work with community leaders and other local contacts to arrange volunteer work and cultural activities
  • Help lead the group programs on a daily basis and facilitate all aspects of the groups' stays in Ecuador
  • Help coordinate logistics of the programs, handle money, keep accurate records
  • Solve problems and handle emergency situations in a professional manner
  • Set an upbeat tone for volunteer groups
  • Coordinate the experience of visiting groups and ensure that they are a positive experience for the volunteers as well as the community
  • Meet with community leaders after each program to evaluate and improve
  • Follow up with communities on any projects that are still in progress after programs
  • Communicate with the groups about progress and outcomes of the projects they worked on
  • Follow up with patients from our health care programs to assist them in accessing the care they need
  • Engage in additional community projects as need and interests dictate
  • Serve as a leader for Tandana interns
  • 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
  • The opportunity to learn about planning and leading high-quality, cross-cultural volunteer programs, to practice the necessary skills, and to gain experience in the field
  • 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, and consular fees.
  • Round-trip transportation to Ecuador from the United States
  • Stipend of $100 per month, with the possibility of additional stipends when filling official roles in group program leadership
  • Two weeks of vacation
How to apply:

Interested parties should send a resume and a letter addressing each of the following questions to Aaron DiMartino, Operations Director, at aaron@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 fellowship?
  6. What do you think will be most difficult about this fellowship?
  7. What are your personal and professional goals for this fellowship and how can we help you accomplish them?

8 More opportunities with The Tandana Foundation

About The Tandana Foundation



Mission Statement

To empower individuals of various cultural backgrounds with an increased awareness of the world, other cultures, and themselves, and with an expanded sense of their possibilities;

To promote positive, caring interactions between people of different backgrounds and encourage consideration and lessening of global inequalities;

To promote respect and responsibility toward one's self, all people, and the Earth.


he Tandana Foundation is a non-profit organization that offers cross-cultural volunteer opportunities, scholarships, and support for small community projects in highland Ecuador and Mali's Dogon Country. Tandana coordinates service projects and volunteer vacations that offer visitors to Ecuador or Mali the unique opportunity to be guests rather than tourists, to form cross-cultural friendships, to experience a rich indigenous culture, and to make a difference in the lives of new friends. Its scholarship program allows rural Ecuadorian students to continue their secondary and higher education. Its community projects help villagers in Mali and Ecuador realize their dreams of improving their communities.

The Tandana Foundation is not about "helping the poor unfortunates" or imposing a developmentalist worldview or any particular religion. Rather, our goal is to create and nurture real and responsible relationships among people of different cultures. Giving and receiving are inherent parts of those relationships, and contributing to community projects is a great way to make friends. Any foreigner who has worked in an Ecuadorian minga (community work day) knows how that works on the ground! We come to learn and to share.

Tandana comes from a Kichwa root meaning "to gather together" or "to unite" and represents the spirit of our work.



We'll work with your schedule.


2933 Lower Bellbrook RdOtavalo, 45370Ecuador



  • Problem Solving
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Project Management
  • People Skills
  • CSR / Volunteer Coordination
  • Community Outreach




  • Must be at least 22
  • Orientation or Training
  • 1 year

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