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Eco-Tourism and Permaculture Internship (Pacific Coast Ecuador)

Learn New Skills by Taking Part in an Ecotourism Internship on a Sustainable Permaculture Farm.
Do you have a passion for the tourist industry? Are you interested in and excited by new sustainable ways of living and of producing food? Do you want to help open up the world to visitors in ways which work with nature, rather than against it? Then why not join us for a long-term internship in ecotourism on a sustainable farm, which offers professionally recognized qualifications and training in tourism and permaculture. You are sure to gain and develop a wealth of new skills, meet a wide variety of people, improve your Spanish, and learn much about this growing section of the tourist industry. We’re awaiting your application!


Internship Description

New knowledge, skills and experience are awaiting you at a sustainable permaculture farm on the coast of Ecuador! This farm is host to several intensive educational workshops and long-term volunteering projects, as well as receiving many tourists and visitors throughout the year. It is looking for interns in ecotourism to start as soon as possible, for a period of up to 7 months, to help in a wide variety of tasks. Your main duties will be the upkeep and maintenance of the public areas of the farm, the arrangement of tours and excursions for the farm’s guests, and acting as the farm guide/host (full a more detailed list see ´Intern Responsibilities‘).

And what will you gain? This internship offers professional training and development in sustainable agriculture and ecotourism, so it will be excellent for your CV. This includes participation in their permaculture course (at least one week). You will be able to improve your Spanish (we reckon you will be close to fluent by the end), and you will learn a great deal about the local culture and permaculture. It is also, of course, a chance to live and work in beautiful Ecuador, and gain a huge insight into life in the jungle, as well as on the coast.

Intern Responsibilities
  • Acting as an interpretive guide for the visitors.
  • Acting as the ‘farm host’ and therefore being attentive and helpful to all visitors and volunteers.
  • Maintaining a record and memory of all the arrivals and departures of tourists, visitors and volunteers on the farm.
  • Booking tours and providing tourist information.
  • Organizing the volunteers’ and tourists’ activities.
  • Selling merchandise, including fair trade goods.
  • Helping maintain the public area.
  • Social networking.
  • Revising, writing and translating promotional documents and information.

In order to successfully carry out these responsibilities, the intern will need acquire thorough knowledge of all the tours sold on the farm, relevant information for tourists (e.g. bus timetables and travel information, places of interest, etc.), the geography and history of the area, and a working knowledge of the farm and its people, plants, and processes. You will also have the opportunity to take part in professional permaculture training (one week minimum).

The exact tasks you will be asked to carry out will depend on the current needs and priorities of the project as determined by the farm manager and NGO Taxi management. The tasks stated here are therefore examples of some of the possible types of activities you will be asked to do.

Work Hours
During the internship, you will join the volunteers on the farm with feeding the animals before breakfast, from around 6.15am-7am (NB: if you are asked to attend to visiting groups during the evening, you don’t have to do the animal feeding). You will work during the mornings from 8.30-12, and then again after lunch, from 1.30pm-4pm. Weekend work is rotated between you, permanent staff and the second intern (if there is one), so be prepared to work at least one weekend a month in exchange for the corresponding number of weekdays free. Also, please be aware that these work hours are approximate, and you may be called upon to work slightly longer days at times, situation dependent. Evenings are free to do with as you wish. Wednesday afternoons are always cultural afternoons, where you can join in with a number of activities, or just enjoy just free time.

Internship Dates

Dates can vary; let us know when you are available!



The farm is located on the coast of Ecuador, its closest city being half an hour away.

The farm itself boasts 9.5 hectares of land. This land is divided into distinct areas: food forests, gardens and orchards, pastures, agroforests and renewable energy areas. More than 60 crops are rotated throughout the year, and the farm is home to a large number of animals of all shapes, sizes, and personalities: horses, cows, ducks, composting worms, cats, dogs, pigs, and guinea pigs among them.


Once in the nearest city, there are frequent onward buses to other major Ecuadorian centers, as well as several other small towns en route. Pickup from the nearest town is included in the project price, although you can be met at the nearest airport for a surcharge.

Accommodation and Food

The farm offers dorm style accommodation, though interns are usually provided with a smaller room which they share with either a fellow intern or a long term volunteer. All accommodation includes either mosquito nets or screens, powerpoints, and either a shared or private bathroom consisting of a compost toilet and, in some, a solar-powered shower. Please be aware that, as you will be staying in the jungle, you may receive the odd insect visitor in your room!

Three meals are served daily to all guests, and shared as a family. Most of the ingredients come fresh from the farm, although a few things are brought in from nearby towns. The majority of meals are vegetarian, although occasionally fish or squid is served, and very occasionally white meat. Red meat, however, is not provided. The farm can usually accommodate any special dietary requirements; please advise them in advance. 

There is filtered water available on the farm, and fresh bottled water is easily available throughout Ecuador.

Things to Bring
  • Towel.
  • Flashlight.
  • Reusable water bottle.
  • Long-sleeved tops and long trousers which you don’t mind getting dirty, preferably of cotton.
  • Lightweight rain jacket, just in case.
  • Swimsuit.
  • Sneakers or hiking boots.
  • Sandals or flip flops.
  • Weekend/evening clothes.
  • Padlock.
  • Biodegradable soap (i.e. glycerin soap).
  • Biodegradable detergent (or you can pay a small fee to have your clothes washed for you).
  • Other toiletries.
  • Sun hat.
  • Suncream.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Bite relief cream.
  • Basic medical kit, along with any specific medicines you need.
  • Some good books.
  • A mosquito net, if you want.
  • Camera with zoom (if you want to catch some moments).
  • Spending money.

NB: the farm has an ongoing project with the local community. Any books that you would like to donate, fiction or nonfiction, English or Spanish, would be greatly appreciated. Second-hand computers which are working and in good condition are also needed for giving classes.


Professional requirements:
This internship is aimed at people who are truly enthusiastic about ecotourism and want to augment their CVs with further professional development, as well as learn about sustainable agriculture and permaculture. Although non-tourism students will be considered, those with previous experience or training in a tourism-related profession are preferred. The intern should have strong people skills and be open and friendly to all. He/she should be highly organized, happy to work independently or as a team, able to multi-task and able to coordinate with efficiency. The intern should be confident and flexible when it comes to dealing with unexpected or unusual situations, as well as a range visitors who will have varying (and at times contradictory) needs and wishes. 

In general, as with any work or travel within South America, you should be ready to respond to changes and deal with the unexpected, and accept that things rarely happen as quickly as in the West, or function as well. Patience and a good sense of humour are therefore essential.

Language requirements:
The farm requires that the intern has at least an intermediate level of Spanish and a good level of English. Never fear though –  a free 20 hour intensive Spanish course is included, and NGO Taxi offers a wide range of additional Spanish courses before the project start; several advanced, professional and university standard courses are also offered. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information!

Additional Information and Specials

Minimum age:
18 years

Start Dates:
1st or 3rd Sunday each month. 
(Individual arrival dates possible, surplus applies). 

Length of stay:
The camps typically last 4 weeks, although extra weeks or months can be added.

What’s Included

  • Accommodation.
  • All meals at the farm, seven days a week (but not on the days when you are not on the farm).
  • Pickup from the nearest town.
  • Pre-arrival information pack.
  • Welcome Dinner.
  • Complimentary t-shirt.
  • Rubber boots and protective gloves.
  • FREE 20 hour intensive Spanish course.
  • Professional training in permaculture and sustainable agriculture.
  • Certification and references upon course completion.
  • 24 hour support.

What’s Excluded

  • Transport when on the farm.
  • Weekend activities and food/drinks when off the farm.
  • International flight.
  • Insurance.

Since you’ll be living in a developing country, it is absolutely necessary that you have current immunizations. This includes, among others: yellow fever (certified), tetanus, typhoid, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, and rabies. You’ll receive exact information pertaining to immunizations needed in Ecuador, as well as your personal preliminary documentation, following your successful application with us.

You can inquire in advance concerning immunization requirements by consulting medical authorities in your country of origin, e.g. in the US, check with the Centers for Disease Control and Protection: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/ecuador.

Please make sure that you have up-to-date vaccinations for all of these diseases. NGO Taxi cannot be held responsible for the provision of vaccinations for their volunteers. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to ensure that they have followed up-to-date medical advice.

The farm is almost mosquito free; however, a greater amount can be found in coastal areas nearby. Both courses are held during the dry season when the risk of mosquito-borne disease is VERY low. However, although the risk is very low, there have been some cases of both dengue and malaria in the wet season, so if you plan to stay longer or travel more around the coast be sure to take precautions such as long clothing, insect repellent, and antimalarials if advised by your doctor. At some points of the year ticks can be found, although these are a nuisance rather than a health risk.


The farm is looking for a long-term bilingual volunteer to assist a single teacher of 35 in a local school. Please contact us if you are interested.

Free Time Activities

Your free weekends are sure to be full during this course! At the farm itself, you are welcome to relax on the grounds, bird watch, hike around the valley, or do the ‘lookout trail’. However, many people choose to venture to the seaside. There, you can take in the rays or enjoy the surf; sip cocktails from a hammock: go horse riding along the sands; enjoy a little bit of town life; or visit nearby islands.  As Ecuador is a fairly small country, one could even head along the coast to Puerto Lopez and Isla de la Plata (the July course coincides with the whale watching season). Quito, the Cotopaxi volcano, and the Quilotoa loop are all further afield but still easily reachable.

Manta, Ecuador

Included Services

  • Accommodation.
  • All meals on the farm.
  • Pickup from nearest town.
  • Pre-arrival welcome pack.
  • Welcome dinner.
  • Complimentary t-shirt.
  • FREE 20 hour intensive Spanish course*.
  • Training in permaculture, sustainable agriculture, and ecotourism.
  • 24 hour support.

*(when participating 3 months+) 


Depending on availability. Ask us for more information and current prices.