Carlos Páramo 3.jpg

Hands-on, personalised internship helping indigenous Andean communities transition from poverty into prosperity through sustainable business models and practices.

Help identify the opportunities for some of Ecuador's poorest people to build businesses that can meet the triple bottom line and be realistically achieved within a different cultural context. With support from our team, you will design and implement a personalized internship that explores the business opportunities and economic solidarity structures that could improve the lives for many. Your work alongside the local population will help stimulate their enthusiasm and potentially result in your project being realized.

In your internship, you will work with our team to analyze a range of business possibilities and focus on the one with the greatest potential. Then, alongside local stakeholders, you can develop a feasibility study of its implementation and possibly test a minimum viable product.


The Challenge


40% of the rural population around Guaranda live in poverty, living on a small range of commodity crops and minimal livestock. With living and energy expenses rising, these people feel it most - the majority already live on less than half the minimum wage. There are examples in the region of socially- oriented businesses that have brought certain populations out of poverty, but they haven't been successfully replicated elsewhere.

We're looking for interns with a passion for making a difference in the world and the creativity to explore options that will work both in the business world and in the unique cultural context in the province of Bolívar.

DSC_0315 copy.jpg

Your Internship

Salinas Textile Factory Enterprise.JPG

What's Included


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

  • Dedicated programme advisor

  • 24/7 local coordinator

  • Transport & materials budget ($50/month)

  • Accommodation (Private Room)

  • Cooked lunches (Mon - Thu)

  • WiFi & washing machine access


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: $430 / 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

In your internship, you will work with our team to analyze a range of business possibilities and focus on the one with the greatest potential. Then, alongside local stakeholders, you can develop a feasibility study of its implementation and possibly test a minimum viable product. If your research proves compelling, it could be used as a foundation for local communities to begin generating a dignified income and improve the level of education.

You will work directly with community leaders and stakeholders on a project that will benefit your studies and the local population - your insights and findings may prove foundational in future projects.


  • Investigate successful local models

  • Research local resources and opportunities

  • Identify your personalized internship scope

  • Build relationships with local stakeholders

  • Design and perform a feasibility study

  • Build a realistic plan and strategy

  • Create a predicted timeline

  • Develop a budget

  • Present your findings to local stakeholders

  • Support any next steps as required (eg. training, marketing, networking)


¡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.

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!

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.

Cultural Exchange Guaranda Women.jpg

¿Who Are We?

Comunitario Kenzie Grupo 1.jpg

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.