• 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
Your personalised internship is $160 a week, for a minimum of 4 weeks.

This includes:
• Support with Travel Logistics
• Dormitory Accommodation (with WiFi)
• Cooked Lunches Monday-Friday
• Weekly Sessions with a Professional Mentor
• In Person Ground Internship Coordination
• Internship Activities Budget (up to $12.50 per week)
• Internship-Related Site Visits
• Free-Time Activity Recommendations
• Cultural Immersion in Rural Community
• Certificate of Completion
• Written Personal Reference

We are a small independent organisation and receive no external funds for our programme and therefore there is a cost to the programme, which is used exclusively to deliver you the best internship programme possible!
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

Jul 10, 2024
Jul 10, 2024
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
• Journalism and Multimedia

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

4.87 Rating
based on 15 reviews
  • 5 rating 86.67%
  • 4 rating 13.33%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 5
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.9
  • Housing 4.55
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 15 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience to learn from and enjoy

After doing an internship of 6 weeks at El Terreno I can say without hesitation that I loved the experience. Joshua is open for the different goals and experiences people strive for, making it easy to create a well suited programme. It allowed me to develop myself in a new environment wherein I could learn new things as well as giving something back. Next to this more practical side, living with Joshua and the other interns was a really pleasant experience. The group activities we organised made the work / travelling experience nicely balanced, while on the other hand it was also possible to decide when to join these activities or not. Lastly the location, Atandahua itself is a rural quiet place which gives it a relaxing atmosphere. In the direct surroundings there is enough to do during the week and the central location allows for easy trips throughout Ecuador during the weekends.

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

Absolutely Loved My Stay in Atandahua

You can feel that this Project comes from the heart and that the main motivation is improving the quality of live for the local community. The love and energy that Joshua and Karina put into the work is omnipresent and create a wonderful atmosphere.

I was nervous to spend such a long time away from home, in a country where I couldn't really communicate with anyone... But from week number two I was hooked and the time went by way to fast. I loved the life in the casa communal with the other volunteers, the interaction with the local community, visiting the market on Sundays, the Spanish lessons, the excursions linked to the internship organized by Joshua, the planning and construction work on Ginas House and the Weekend trips with the other volunteers. I felt very comfortable in my homestay and by the end it was really hard to say goodbye.

After my Bachelor in Architecture, I worked 4 month on an adobe construction site. It was an abandoned building, which we transformed into a tourist accommodation, to serve as an extra income for a local Family (who was super cute and lovely btw). I enjoyed working closely together with the local community - there were 2 Builders that teached and supported me on the construction site (again very lovely people) and an Architekt that helped me with my design and planning work.

Joshua was always there to guide my internship and I had a lot of freedom. I wanted to use this opportunity to both do the planning work and implement my designs on the building site, which worked out amazingly. I learned a lot about my perfession, but also about myself and my place in the world. I would fully recommend an internship with El Terreno - no matter what profession or interests you have.

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

Meaningful, inspiring and motivated

I'm so thankful for my time at El Terreno! I spent my time there as an architecture intern and got to do a very large variety of things, like different scales of designing, planning as well as working hands on with construction. El Terreno is a place where there's always new things to do and new ideas coming around. The work atmosphere is very open, explorative and motivated, and your wishes, needs or thoughts and ideas will surely be taken into account, even encouraged!

El Terreno is a project that in every aspect has people in focus, it's very clear how important it is and I'm in no doubt that it's impact in Atandahua will have a very meaningful and longlasting effect! Speaking of, the people both in the project as well as the village are so incredibly nice, and it feels like a very safe place.

I'm really grateful and inspired by the work of Joshua and Karina, not to mention the amazing volunteers and interns that I met, and all of our good times together! I loved doing trips together during the weekends, and as the project is situated in the middle of Ecuador, you can go pretty much anywhere. (I would recommend leaving at least a week of travel after the project to have more time to explore though!)

All in all it's an experience I'll never forget, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is ready and up for immersing themselves in Ecuadorian culture, learning a ton(!!), working hard, meeting amazing people and create unforgettable memories! If you're thinking about it, do it! All the best! //Elise

45 people found this review helpful.
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.

46 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.

50 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

49 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.

51 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.

50 people found this review helpful.

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