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El Terreno

Why choose El Terreno?

As a centre of cultural exchange and social innovation, we bring together local Ecuadorians and others from around the world through sustainable tourism, culture, education and ecology – to create a more meaningful, sustainable and prosperous world.

We are working towards the regeneration local ecosystems, the building of pride in indigenous culture, providing dignified employment opportunities, offering a wide variety of unique eco & community tourism experiences, and ensuring visitors like you learn valuable skills, meet extraordinary people and leave with unforgettable memories.

We offer a variety of programmes social programmes and personalised internships in the local community and ecosystems, so you can channel your passion towards a meaningful impact in the world while building your own skills and experience.

So come and find out more about our mission and apply to visit us today!

Reviews

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Elise
5/5
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.

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Elise
5/5
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

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Kimi
5/5
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.

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Isabela
4/5
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.

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Sameer
4/5
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

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