• Ecuador
4 to 24 weeks

Program Details

Academic Year Fall J-Term Maymester Spring Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Apartment Host Family
Weekly Hours
Age Min.


Starting Price
Price Details
Our programme costs $145 per week (4 weeks minimum) that includes:

Free Internship Discovery Call
Free Personalised Internship Plan
Documentation Support for Education Provider
Help to Acquire Academic Funding & Credits
Pre-Arrival Support
Shared Accommodation with WiFi
Cooked Lunches Monday-Thursday
Weekly Mentoring with a Professional Mentor
In Person Internship Coordination
Help Engaging with the Local Community
Internship Activities Budget
Site Visits
Open Use of Property for Pilot Projects
Free-Time Activity Recommendations​
Cultural Immersion in Indigenous Communities
Certificate of Completion
Written Personal Reference

Additional Services:
Family Homestay
Airport Transfer
Spanish Classes (before or during)
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Some Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Some Activities Airfare Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers Some Meals SIM cards Transportation Travel Insurance Visa
What's Not Included (Extra)

Additional Services:
Private Room within a Local Family Homestay
Group or 1:1 Spanish Classes
Private Transfer from Quito / Airport
Additional Professional Mentoring Sessions

Aug 16, 2023
Sep 20, 2023
3 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Travel the world, gain valuable work experience and make a difference in low-income indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Andes. We offer a range of hands-on, personalised internships for students and graduates who are looking to further their career while creating a positive impact.

- Architecture & Sustainable Construction
- Medicine & Public Health
- Culture, Anthropology & Development
- Ecology & Sustainable Agriculture
- Community Water Projects
- Education & Teaching English
- Community & Eco Tourism
- Murals & Community Arts

We will help you to design and deliver a unique internship based on your career goals and local needs. You will work directly with the local community and build friendships with other interns/volunteers. You will receive regular, experienced guidance to complete a successful internship. Living with a local family you will be immersed in another culture, learn new skills, make memories make a difference.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Engage in a hands-on internship within low-income communities in rural Ecuador
  • Design a personal programme based on your own skills and interests
  • Receive 1:1 support form our team and get connected with key local stakeholders in the community
  • Live with a host family in a rural community: practice your Spanish and learn about a different way of life
  • Go on adventures with other interns/volunteers within less than an hour - hike in the mountains, bird watch in the jungle, and explore colonial villages

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Program Reviews

4.83 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • 5 rating 83.33%
  • 4 rating 16.67%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 5
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.85
  • Housing 4.5
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 12 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience!

I had the privilege of interning at El Terreno for 6 weeks, where I worked on a water project and was able to learn so much and make a difference in the community.

I worked with a great team, did a lot of hiking to water sources, talked to community members, learned a lot from our mentors Sebastian and Cristian, researched solutions to improve water quality, and was even able to collect water samples and conduct experiments at the local university. Joshua was very helpful in providing support and giving me the freedom to decide the direction of my internship.

Working on the water project gave me the experience I needed to secure an internship for a global engineering company, and I am forever grateful to Joshua and El Terreno for helping me achieve my goals.

5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful cultural exchange experience from beginning to end!

One of the best parts of this experience was having the best of both worlds culturally: on one hand, you’re able to live in a less-touristy part of Ecuador and immerse yourself in Ecuadorian culture, but on the other hand, you don’t feel completely like a fish out of water. I enjoyed my time in the homestay practicing my Spanish and learning about Ecuadorian culture. I came as a sustainable agriculture intern and was able to implement a school garden.

This was a fantastic introduction to locally-led sustainable development work. My internship involved interacting and collaborating with various stakeholders, from the teachers to the parents. I even got to teach one of the example lesson plans I created.

By the end of internship, I felt that I had made a meaningful contribution. That said, six weeks was too short for me—I recommend coming here for a summer internship if you can. Joshua is very thoughtful of the volunteer's needs and able to personalize your experience to what you're looking to get out of this experience. The community of volunteers and interns has also found a special place in my heart.

The people who end up coming to El Terreno have a mutual interest in reconnecting with nature or promoting cultural exchange and social transformation. Being here is a really good way to meet people from all ages who are on a somewhat similar wavelength. Additionally, the whole experience is enriched with visits to the local farms and entrepreneurial cooperatives that are off-the-beaten path.

Whatever your reason for looking into El Terreno—everyone comes for different reasons—it turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. I'm very grateful the universe had led me there.

10 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I Learnt So Much

From the airport pickup to the program, I was taken directly to the location and the coordinator helped me settle into my accommodation in the middle of the night. The coordinator planned out my activities a few weeks in advance. With the assigned mentor I learnt the fundamentals of organic agriculture. This included the creation of an organic garden/farm from scratch, analysis of the soil, creation of organic fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides.

In addition to this many other addition trips and site visits were organized to truly get a grasp of the the agricultural traditions of the Andes. The homestay accommodations were comfortable and had a great view of Chimborazo. Overall, this internship was an amazing experience and would recommend it to anyone looking for an authentic Andean experience to explore their passion for agriculture

14 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


I wanted to pursue a project that addressed the high adolescent pregnancy rate in this area and encourage people to start having conversations about sex, relationships, etc to make sure the next generation is better informed/can feel more prepared in making decisions in their lives.

I have nothing negative to say about my experience at El Terreno. The medicine and public health internship allowed me to get a close up look at how a healthcare system runs in rural Ecuador and I was able to make meaningful connections with the community members we served. I most enjoyed meeting so many different people in the community and getting to take weekend trips with the other volunteers.

12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Water Security project in Atandahua

After my first attempt at volunteering in Peru didn't work out, I found this opportunity which felt like a close fit and had great reviews. Leaving my family for 4 weeks sounded like long time, but it takes a while to make an impact. I'm so glad that I decided to go to Atandahua and help with their community water projects. Joshua was very supportive in helping me construct a plan for my internship and setting me up with top notch professionals to help me accomplish meaningful results along the way. I stayed in a family homestay and was guided by Cristian, an engineer whose family grew up around the area. I learned so much about the water, projects, farming, and culture. Having not been out of the US for an extended period of time, there was an adjustment, but the people in the local community are so warm, hard-working, and friendly, I felt like I was in a family community away from home. I ended up helping map out the water system and meters in the town, helping with a gray water project, planting native trees, and helping make organic fertilizer. I was also able to help out with the school children in English classes which helped solidify my Spanish. In the end, I was able help the community to have a much better understanding of their water system and I laid the groundwork for others who are coming in during the following months to continue to make an impact. I hope to come back, maybe with students, to continue to help out these great people to have better access to water, a right which we all should be able to have.

13 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Brilliant Experience interning on a water project and Anthropological Study.

I spent 3 months interning at El Terreno, learnt so much and genuinely felt I made an impact.

I worked alongside the local potable and irrigation water committees on strategically planning improvements regarding water quality, quantity and infrastructure through regional organisation. I was part of a team that successfully led a proposal for the legal formation of a regional water committee (2nd degree organisation) compromising 7 communities as a platform to pool resources, knowledge and facilitate legal collaboration over protecting water supplies in the area.

I also worked on a solo project. This was an anthropological, qualitative study to better help inform strategies of community development, foster collaboration between key community leaders and identify and plan for key Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the community.

I had so much fun on this internship but more importantly, for my personal goals, I learnt a huge amount about development in real-life contexts. What I loved most was the balance between the freedom to design and implement my own project with a team of like minded interns while also having constant access to field experts Sebastian and Cristian - their support was invaluable.

Among other things, key activities included community site visits, attending conferences and field research. Furthermore, having the weekends free allowed time to travel Ecuador and visit other areas of Ecuador - something i was very grateful for!

Overall, I really enjoyed my internship and feel it has been a key part of my journey in the field of international development.

  • Excellent support from field experts
  • Good accomodation
  • Great opportunities to travel
  • Slightly isolated from main city but very good taxi service
15 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience

I spent two months at El Terreno working on a water project. The mission was very interesting and truly interdisciplinary. I got the chance to engage in many different activities (interviews, community meetings, site visites, classes with the local school…), work with a multidisciplinary team, discover a complete new environment, and contribute into the well-being of the community.
I would definitely recommend this internship to anyone willing to help local people, or to apply their skills into concrete projects.
On top of that, I met incredible people, saw amazing landscapes and made memories that I’ll never forget.

  • Responsive and attentive mentors willing to help you make the most of this experience
  • A great community of volunteers and interns
  • The amazing nature
  • The rudimental comfort of the habitation
14 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A very valuable and fun experience!

Working on the water project has really given me valuable experience. Having recently graduated from university, I wanted to gain experience in the field and really put my skills into practice and I feel like this internship fulfilled that. There was a mixture of physical work including site visits as well as some desktop work, and this balance of work really worked for me. There is opportunity to work and talk to members of the local community and really get involved in the project. Also, the internship mentors taught me so much during my time there and are genuinely amazing mentors. Joshua is also a great leader who you can can seek help regarding a work/internship issues but also your personal well-being too, which I really appreciated. Finally, I stayed with a local host family who were so accommodating and great hosts to live with. This experience is a great opportunity to meet people and and it was an experience I will never forget and will value forever.

15 people found this review helpful.

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