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LACS Global Summer Internships

Ecuador Crossroads

Application Deadline: January 15, 2023

Global summer internships from Latin American and Caribbean Studies broaden your academic studies by giving you real-world experience and a chance to learn from and conduct research with experts and organizations based in Ecuador.

Join us in summer 2023 for an in-person experience in Ecuador! Ranging from six to eight weeks, these opportunities connect you with LACS nonprofit partners across the country.

Eligibility

To apply, you must be:

  • A rising sophomore, junior, or senior at Cornell.
  • In good standing academically with a cumulative 3.0 GPA minimum and have no unresolved disciplinary charges or sanctions.
  • Enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at the time of the internship.

Global Development Summer Experience Grant (SEG) awardees are eligible and encouraged to apply for LACS summer internships. Please note: Global Development Fellows must do an eight-week internship. 


Meet Sammi Lin '24, LACS Winter 2021 Virtual Intern


Ecuador Internships

Women holding a plant

Host Organization: K'allam'p Inc.

K’allam’p Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to regenerative agriculture, social ecology, and comprehensive resource management. The word "k'allam'p" has been used for thousands of years by the Kichwa peoples of the Andes to describe the relationship between social knowledge and the land.

Regenerative Landscape Restoration

As an intern with the Regenerative Landscape Restoration project, you will work with K'allam'p to respond to oppressing changes in Andes' agroecosystems, agriculture methods, and land stewardship. You will be located in either Cotacachi or Imbabura, Ecuador. 

Interns will:

  • Assist in co-generating a comprehensive carbon farming plan mapping the various restoration areas that discuss the Indigenous economic approach to land stewardship (carbon credits and marketplaces).
  • Contribute to documenting the social science research of health sovereignty drafting LID health practitioners' sociocultural history for social media publications and writing a book.
  • Complete a literature review on these topics.
  • Present a summary and database of their literature work. 
  • Prepare methodologies and procedures to collaborate with participants, collect and process samples, gather and analyze data, and generate digital maps using ArcGIS, QGIS, or Google Earth Pro. 

Before the in-person internship starts, you and fellow interns will participate in virtual meetings, literature reviews, and methodology development, committing about 5 hours per week. At the site, students spent about 5-8 hours in the field learning with the LID participants, collecting samples, and carrying out monitoring surveys. Students are expected to work on the internship tasks Monday to Friday. Also, students are encouraged to take Kichwa language classes at the organization or other institution.

Preferred Interests and Skills

Intermediary to advanced Spanish (speaking and listening fluency). All written materials will be done in English. Technical skills (i.e., Office Suite, Google Suite, Adobe Suite, Asana, Slack, mapmaking software, photography, data analysis, and interpretation) and transferable skills (i.e., personal, and interpersonal conflict resolution, attention to detail, adaptability, and others).

Students should demonstrate an interest in natural resources management, landscape restoration, agroforestry, regenerative agriculture, ecology, environmental science, soil & plant science, carbon sequestration & credits, social ecology, and e-commerce, circular (indigenous) economy, and/or green business.

Health Sovereignty

Interns on the health sovereignty project build upon the work of previous LACS interns by using collected ethnobotany and ethnomedicine data to develop a new narrative on the healthcare sovereignty of the northern Ecuadorian Andes. This new narrative aims to empower traditional medicine practices by establishing the role of LID healthcare providers like midwives, sobadoras, and herbalists in the healthcare system and emphasize the socioeconomic importance of Indigenous communities' experience before, during, and after COVID-19 in local and regional hospitals.

Interns will:

  • Co-generate crucial digital graphics and content, research potential grants, and help build the physical and digital herbarium.
  • Assist in continuing social science questionnaires and conducting literary reviews related to ethnomedicine, ethnobotany, midwives, and "weeders."
  • Contribute to the transcription of audio interview recordings that elevate the voices of LID healthcare providers like midwives, sobadoras, and herbalists.
  • Support in the preparation of audiovisual material for educational and social communication purposes.

Preferred Interests and Skills

Intermediary to advanced Spanish (speaking and listening fluency). All written materials will be done in English. Technical skills (i.e., Office Suite, Google Suite, Adobe Suite, Asana, Slack, and photography). Transferable skills (i.e., strong written and oral communication, personal and interpersonal conflict resolution, attention to detail, adaptability, and others). Experience working with BIPOC or LID.

Students interested in anthropology, archeology, history of science, philosophy, sociology, and related field are encouraged to apply. 


Students jumping

Host Organization: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador is a private nonprofit higher education institution in Ecuador. The university participates in a variety of international exchange programs between students and academic staff. The main campus of the university is in Quito, but there are other campuses across Ecuador.

Law Research Assistant: Indigenous Social Movements' Influence in Law-making and Law Implementation

Become a research assistant to professor David Cordero-Heredia, a Cornell Law School alumnus, and gain hands-on experience in Quito, Ecuador. This project studies how the shape of national racial policy, the existence of a strong/weak Indigenous social movement, the characteristics of the legal system, and opportunities for international law to influence the domestic state of affairs have shaped the domestic implementation of Indigenous peoples' rights. 

Last summer, Cornell students worked on reports on six countries using bibliography and archival research regarding racial policies and social movements. As an intern, you'll continue this project by: 

  • Initiating communication with key stakeholders, such as Indigenous leaders, activists, scholars, and public officials
  • Assisting in conducting in-depth interviews
  • Systematizing contents and analyzing findings

Preferred Interests and Skills

Knowledge of Spanish will be helpful but not indispensable.

Law Research Assistant: Ancestral Knowledge Contribution on Rights of Nature Development in the Americas

Become a research assistant to professor David Cordero-Heredia, a Cornell Law School alumnus, and gain hands-on experience in Quito, Ecuador, and the Amazon region. The project aims to understand why in countries like Ecuador, Colombia, and the United States, the RON are being used by environmental activists while Indigenous peoples are not participating in the jurisprudential conversation.

Last summer, Cornell students worked on bibliographical research on cases worldwide that address RON, read legal materials, and helped to create a background of the cases. As an intern, you'll continue this work by writing reports on selected cases and assisting in conducting in-depth interviews, systematizing contents, and analyzing findings.

This project offers the opportunity to explore a new interdisciplinary area (rights of nature), to engage in qualitative inquiry, and multicultural setting. 

Preferred Interests and Skills

Knowledge of Spanish will be helpful but not indispensable.


Woman receiving a certificate

Host Organization: Fundación Futuro Familia, Inclusión, y Desarollo (FUFFID)

Fundación Futuro is a nonprofit that specializes in the implementation of programs and projects that promote the eradication of poverty among the vulnerable populations. The organization's focus includes participatory community development, the environment and climate change, migratory populations, and more.

Research Assistant

There are two open research assistant internships for FUFFID that will give you experience in humanitarian work. You'll be directly engaged with communities of migrant women and survivors of domestic abuse in Montúfar and Tulcán. By the end of the internship, you will be able to generate a report on the interviews and documentary material collected throughout the summer that informs nonprofits and other organizations as they continue to support vulnerable populations.  

Preferred Knowledge and Skills

Knowledge of Spanish is useful but not mandatory. You should be proficient in research and writing and be proactive and willing to work with vulnerable populations (migrant women/women victims of violence).

Use of KOBO for information collection is valuable, but not required.

English Language Training for Young Leaders from the Cayambe Municipality

Teach English to young people in the Cayambe municipality of Ecuador, a diverse territory with a strong Indigenous population. As an intern, your work complements the high school learning of students to improve their English-language skills and vocabulary. Interns will:

  • Create a structured schedule covering all internship time.

  • Conduct an English level diagnostic test.

  • Create a basic English language comprehension study plan.

  • Create a final assessment test for students to demonstrate English language learning progress. 

Preferred Interests and Skills

Knowledge of the Spanish language (intermediate or high level) and a dynamic aptitude for teaching young people, including knowledge of teaching strategies and dealing with young people in the rural sector. Communication or related skills and good empathy to work with people from other cultures.

English Language Training for Young Leaders from the Montúfar Municipality

Teach English to young people in the Montúfar municipality of Ecuador, where mestizo population and Colombian and Venezuelan migrants converge. As an intern, your work complements the high school learning of students to improve their English-language skills and vocabulary. Interns will:

  • Create a structured schedule covering all internship time.

  • Conduct an English level diagnostic test.

  • Create a basic English language comprehension study plan.

  • Create a final assessment test for students to demonstrate English language learning progress. 

Preferred Interests and Skills

Knowledge of the Spanish language (intermediate or high level) and a dynamic aptitude for teaching young people, including knowledge of teaching strategies and dealing with young people in the rural sector. Communication or related skills and good empathy to work with people from other cultures.

English Language Training for Young Leaders from the Tulcán Municipality

Teach English to young people in the Tulcán municipality of Ecuador, where mestizo population and Colombian and Venezuelan migrants converge. As an intern, your work complements the high school learning of students to improve their English-language skills and vocabulary. Interns will:

  • Create a structured schedule covering all internship time.

  • Conduct an English level diagnostic test.

  • Create a basic English language comprehension study plan.

  • Create a final assessment test for students to demonstrate English language learning progress. 

Preferred Interests and Skills

Knowledge of the Spanish language (intermediate or high level) and a dynamic aptitude for teaching young people, including knowledge of teaching strategies and dealing with young people in the rural sector. Communication or related skills and good empathy to work with people from other cultures.

English Language Training for Young Leaders from the Provincial Government of Sucumbíos

Teach English to young people in the provincial government of Sucumbíos of Ecuador. As an intern, your work complements the high school learning of students to improve their English-language skills and vocabulary. Interns will:

  • Create a structured schedule covering all internship time.

  • Conduct an English level diagnostic test.

  • Create a basic English language comprehension study plan.

  • Create a final assessment test for students to demonstrate English language learning progress. 

Preferred Interests and Skills

Knowledge of the Spanish language (intermediate or high level) and a dynamic aptitude for teaching young people, including knowledge of teaching strategies and dealing with young people in the rural sector. Communication or related skills and good empathy to work with people from other cultures.


Groups of people having a discussion

Host Organization: Pa'Arriba Foundation

Pa’Arriba Foundation is a nonprofit whose primary purpose is to identify and implement innovative prevention and treatment methodologies, community-based support interventions, and networked solutions that reduce violence in the home, school, and society at large that can be replicated at a large scale and across geographical boundaries.

Communications Intern

This internship will focus on generating a communication plan and relevant content for the English-language social networks of Pa'Arriba Foundation to show its work in Ecuador on issues of gender-based violence and human rights.

  • As an intern, you will develop a medium-term communication plan and communication material. The final product will be a dissemination and awareness campaign on the importance of community-based tools for stopping the pandemic of violence battering the country. It will support broader communication and fundraising campaigns to be implemented in Spanish by the foundation in the first half of the year.

Preferred Interests and Skills

Graphic design and excellent communication skills in both oral and written English and Spanish are needed. Experience in content development, digital marketing management, and awareness-raising and fundraising campaigns is valuable.

Interest and/or knowledge in human rights, cultural transformation, violence against women and other vulnerable groups.


Portrait

Host Organization: The Yakum Foundation

Yakum is an Amazonian NGO working in 20 Cofan, Siekopai, Shuar, and Kichwa communities across the Amazonian region of Ecuador. This unique region has an extremely high bio and cultural diversity that Yakum is focused on protecting while restoring food sovereignty, regenerating lost forests, and strengthening Indigenous culture.

Research Intern: Nutritional Benefits of 237 Species

Yakum is working with Kichwa, Shuar, Siekopai, and Cofan communities to reintroduce 150 species of native trees for fruit, walnuts, palm oil, palm fruit, and wood for construction, as well as trees and plants that provide natural medicines.

Last summer's interns developed a guide for each of these species that includes information like plant height, elevation range, uses, nutritional value, and benefits to wildlife. You'll build upon this work as an intern this summer by adding more species to the list and preparing educational materials about them. This helps to establish species-rich "food forests" and benefit forest diversity in the Amazon. Interns will be invited to participate in reforestation work and possibly travel to the Siekopai community of Remolino.

Preferred Interests and Skills

Knowledge of agroforestry, forestry, or ecology in general. Interest in the Ecuadorian Amazon and its people. 

A medium to high level of Spanish is required.

Mapping Training with Youth in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Collaborate with Yakum's institutional development team while working in the Ecuadorian Amazon this summer! As an intern, you will:

  • Review existing sets of maps and assist in improving the format of the maps, including standard legends, colors, orientation, and more.
  • Train a select group of Siekopai ethnic group youths who are helping with mapping the community’s territory.
  • Post on the website and various social media about work results. 
  • Create a set of mappings for Yakum and its communities to use in the future. 

Preferred Interests and Skills

Knowledge of GPS, experience with developing maps from GPS coordinates, skills in the use of mapping programs (ArcGIS, MapInfo Pro, or other GIS mapping software) is preferred. You should also have an interest in or experience with training others in mapping techniques, an interest in international development career;

An intermediate to high level of oral and written Spanish is needed.


Group of students having discussions

Host Organization: Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)

The Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is a private liberal arts university located in Quito, Ecuador, and one of Cornell's Global Hubs partner institutions. In addition to the main campus located in Cumbayá/Quito, USFQ has a satellite campus and research station in the Galapagos Islands and a biological field station, “Tiputini Biodiversity Station” in the Amazon basin. USFQ offers international students the opportunity to study in Ecuador for a semester, year, or summer. 

Curatorial Assistant at the Terrestrial Zoology Lab

The Terrestrial Zoology Lab has dozens of ongoing projects in biodiversity, with new specimens being added frequently offering great opportunities for research. As a curatorial assistant intern, you will work hands-on with scientific specimens, helping the curators with organizing, identifying, and researching the animals in the collection. Upon completion of the internship, you'll be able to add research, museum management, and taxonomy to your résumé.

Preferred Interests and Skills

The right person for this job should be in the field of natural sciences or have a strong interest in the field. You should be comfortable working with preserved or fresh animal specimens.

Camera Traps Project

This project aims to estimate the patterns and levels of activity of medium and large mammals in the eastern foothills of Ecuador. In this way, highlighting the importance of ecological interactions on a landscape scale and that in the future allow understanding of prey-predator relationships. Learn more about the project.

Citizen Science/Connection

The Institute for Tropical Biodiversity (iBIOTRP) at USFQ has several projects that aim to promote the link between the scientific community and the community at large. You will promote citizen science activities as an intern by working with other members of our team in the development and management of events that help bridge the gap between science and the community.

Preferred Interests and Skills

The right person for this position should have good communication skills, be able to work independently and with people of different backgrounds and ages. It would be preferable but not necessary to speak Spanish.

Requirements

Students must be able to commit to working full time for the duration of the internship. Interns are not permitted to hold other full-time jobs. Selected interns must participate fully in April pre-departure trainings and post-internship sessions, as well as complete any required reflections and evaluations.

    Funding

    All Einaudi Center summer interns receive a stipend of at least $3,000 for airfare, transportation, and living expenses. A portion of the stipend may be paid directly to the local host to support living arrangements.

    LACS internships are partly funded by an Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) grant from the U.S. Department of Education, with additional support from the Einhorn Center, Jeffery & Martha Kohn International Study Fund, and alumni donors.

    How to Apply

    Submit your application by January 15, 2023, and select one or more of the LACS internships as your top three choices.


    View the full list of Einaudi Global Summer Internships offered this year.

    Additional Information

    Funding Type

    • Internship

    Role

    • Student

    Program