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Community Engineering Projects Internship

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A hands-on, personalised internship to help indigenous Andean communities identify, plan and implement essential infrastructure projects to provide them with basic services

Atandahua only recently had a paved road installed and many people still have to walk along dirt tracks to access it. While a high proportion of Ecuadorians have access to electricity, there are still many other infrastructure projects that cause regular problems.

For your internship, we will help you identify a real-world engineering project to apply your skills and benefit the local communities. Your help has the potential to substantially benefit the lives of rural communities, here in the Ecuadorian Andes


The Challenge


Water and sewage is perhaps the biggest issue. Domestic water is simply captured rainwater from an open air stream, which often carries soil and chemicals from farming uphill. There is no filtration system and limited storage, leading to high rates of gastro-intestinal issues and regular water shut offs during the summer or when a pipe is ruptured.

During the dry summers, irrigation water is important for many famers to be able to gain extra yield throughout the year. However, due to frequent landslides to the open air channels, they are often blocked or damaged, which requires many hours of hard labour to repair. There are limited resources to find and implement solutions to these problems. Solutions could include:

  • Water capture systems (rain, mist, groundwater, native plants)

  • Water storage systems 

  • Bacterials and chemical filtration systems

  • Domestic filtration and storage systems

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Your Internship

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What's Included


  • Support to attain academic credits (through your university/education provider)

  • Dedicated programme coordinator

  • Mentoring from an engineering professional

  • 24/7 local coordinator

  • Transport & materials budget ($50/month)

  • Accommodation (Private Room & WiFi)

  • Cooked lunches (Mon - Thu)


What's Not Included


  • Flights, visas, vaccines or expenses to reach us

  • Travel, health and work insurance

  • Other meals

  • Leisure time activities

  • Spending money


  • Low-intermediate level of Spanish

  • Initiative & a positive mindset


Cost: $480 / month


We're searching for passionate students looking for a unique hands-on internship - to improve your CV and make an impact in the world. You will have a flexible work schedule, personal mentoring and the resources required to reach this goal.

You will live with a local family in a private room in close proximity to other international volunteers. Spend your free time experiencing the rich Ecuadorian culture and leave the project with new skills, friendships & unforgettable memories, as well as a meaningful piece of work that can help disadvantaged communities around the world.

Program of Work

Through your internship, you will research the local challenges and select a project that best matches your skills. You will receive support to dive deep into the problem to understand the underlying causes, impacts and possible solutions. If time and resources permit, you may have the chance to be a part of the implementation of your project design!


  • Research regional challenges

  • Identify a personalized internship

  • Build relationships with local stakeholders

  • Investigate the causes of the problem

  • Quantify the impact and likely trajectory

  • Create a project action plan

  • Research possible alternatives

  • Build a realistic plan and strategy

  • Create a predicted timeline

  • Develop a budget

  • Present your findings to local stakeholders

  • Potentially support implementation


¡Apply Today!



We welcome interns throughout the year and can be flexible about the time of year you arrive. We receive new people on a Sunday, so that you can receive a tour and get fully integrated on the Monday morning. You can stay anywhere from 1 to 6 months, or whatever is required for you to fulfil your internship requirements.


We are equidistant between Ecuador's two largest cities of Guayaquil and Quito, both 4-5 hours by bus. Travel is inexpensive and generally safe, though there are private car options available. We can help you decide where you would like to travel to and share the information of how to arrive. Once you arrive in Guaranda, you can get a taxi (maximum $5) to reach us.

Free Time Activities

On the weekends, go off exploring the rest of Ecuador. Within just an hour, you could be swimming in pristine waterfalls, learning about the surrounding indigenous cultures or hiking above 5,000m at the foot of the point on earth closest to the sun. Alternatively, go a bit further to the outdoor adventure paradise of Baños or visit the beautiful colonial architecture in the capital Quito, UNESCO's first world heritage site.

Application Process


  1. Fill out the online application form

  2. Participate in an online interview

  3. Provide a reference

  4. Upon acceptance, complete required documents for your education provider

  5. Place your deposit

  6. Join us for a memorable experience here in the Ecuadorian Andes!

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¿Who Are We?

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El Terreno is a center of cultural exchange and social innovation in the heart of the Andes. We bring together local Ecuadorians and people from around the world to create a more meaningful, sustainable and prosperous world.


In collaboration with interns, partners, volunteers and the community, we work to regenerate local ecosystems, build pride in indigenous culture, support dignified socio-economic development and offer a wide variety of unique tourism experiences.


Contact Us
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