Sustainable Economic Development & Social Entrepreneurship

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Program Description

Our SEDSE interns will support sustainable local economic development by taking part in grassroots community income generating projects in the indigenous communities of the Amazon. The work in these projects is focused in the largest alternative income generation initiative in the Amazon: community tourism. The intern’s role in these community-run projects might include:
Supporting the “Cacao Trail,” a community-based chocolate tourism initiative
Engaging in infrastructure support projects for community tourism
Compare ecotourism with other forms of natural resource use in terms of economic and educational values, social costs and benefits, and environmental impacts.
Analyze public, private, and community-based approaches to conservation
Explore tourism as a tool for environmental preservation
Learn Kichwa while examining the social and economic implications of the production of forest products, handicrafts, jewelry, and “consumable culture”
Collaborating with farmers to discover new and potentially marketable, eco-friendly, amazonian products for national or international distribution


In addition to engaging in unique Amazonian activities such as swimming in waterfalls, turning cacao into chocolate, and trekking in the virgin rainforest, our immersion internship program offers the chance to become part of an Ecuadorian family and community, dive deep into language learning (Spanish and Kichwa!), and create your own community-based projects.


* A background in or desire to learn Spanish
* Fluency in English or Spanish
* Ability to develop and implement a project with limited oversight
* Interest in working and living in an indigenous community
* Ability to work, live and adapt in a cross-cultural setting
* Empathy, curiosity and accountability
* Willingness to learn from others and share your knowledge
* Understanding the difference between collaborating and helping
* Excellent organizational skills
* Advanced computer skills a plus (including social media and excel)
* Research experience a plus

Internship Types

What`s Included

Our immersion program has a $235/week fee which includes the following:
Pre-departure orientation
In-country orientation
Host family with three meals
24 hours 7 days per week for medical assistance and emergency response.
Ongoing support from our staff for your professional and personal growth
Re-entry orientation

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Program Locations

tena, Ecuador

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Program Details

Amazon Learning
  • Ecuador: tena
English, Spanish
Throughout the year
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