Host Organization: EcoSwell
Organization Profile: EcoSwell is a multiple award winning for impact nonprofit (registered in Peru and the UK) which develops vulnerable communities in northern Peru sustainably. Through infrastructure, environmental, socioeconomic and educational initiatives, we have impacted the lives of 3,000 people since 2013. To date we have implemented 17 initiatives aligned with 14 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We work with researchers, professionals and volunteer interns from the world’s best universities to help improve the lives of the vulnerable whilst protecting our natural environment.
City: Lobitos, Talara – Peru
We have three:
- NGO Management Internship
- Renewable Energy, Reforestation
- Nature Conservation
1. NGO Management Internship role work description: This positions is a combination of project based work with organizational management work.
Daily activities will vary depending on our current projects, the students will be able to get involved in a variety of tasks and development initiatives including, but not limited to:
- Project Wilipipe - Tide and swell charts for the local fishermen: This project involves creating and distributing tide and swell charts for the local fishermen each week. These charts provide them with vital, scientific data which improves their productivity and economic wellbeing.
- Finances: An important aspect of managing a non-profit organization is finance. As an NGO management volunteer intern, students will be supporting accounting processes, work with spreadsheets and financial performance metrics and reports.
- Social Media/Website: As a rapidly growing organization, we are always expanding current projects and creating new ones whilst running community events. There’s a lot going on at EcoSwell every week and we need help documenting it all. Students will be supporting by taking photos and making videos of all the ongoing activities as content for our social media platforms and website.
- Project monitoring, data analysis and evaluation: Many of our ongoing projects require monitoring and evaluation of the project’s progress for current and future sponsors. NGO management volunteer interns can get involved in designing and carrying out surveys in the local community, analyzing data and report writing.
- Project maintenance: NGO management volunteer interns are also needed to support other volunteer interns and staff in the maintenance of our reforestation sites, permaculture garden, dry toilet units and more. This provides students a great opportunity to learn about a variety of aspects of sustainability, and to apply their knowledge and skills in the field.
2. Renewable Energy role work description: This is a project based internship.
Lobitos is a semi-rural community that suffers from regular blackouts, power cuts and lack of resources. Moreover, energy costs are the highest monthly expense of families that are struggling to get out of poverty. EcoSwell's renewable energy projects work to combat these issues by providing sustainably sourced energy which is accessible to the more deprived groups within the community. So far we have:
- Installed a 2500W solar panel system at the artisanal Fisherman's Guild Community Hall in 2016 to harness energy from the year-round desert sunshine, thus reducing their operating costs and generating important income for their organization.
- Development of a scalable solar distiller to desalinate sea water and provide clean water for the local community. Lobitos is located in an arid desert landscape, therefore clean water is not readily available naturally and the supply of clean water from the nearby city of Talara fluctuates. This project aims to develop a design and prototype (we are currently working on version 3) which could be replicated in order to provide reliable clean water for even more people in the community.
- We are currently working on a wind turbine for the Lobitos Medical Post. The blackouts mean that the vaccines stored in fridges expire when they are not kept chilled. The strong winds, especially during the winter months, will provide a readily available backup source of energy at the medical post, thus giving the local community consistent access to vital vaccinations.
We are in need of hard-working students with an interest and/or background knowledge/experience in renewables to join us and help us in the implementation of these projects.
As a renewables volunteer intern at EcoSwell, students will be given ownership of the projects, directly co-managing our sustainable energy initiatives. The daily activities will vary depending on the progress and stage we are at each project. This may include but is not limited to:
- Designing renewable energy solutions and implementing any add-ons or improvements to the existing systems.
- Leading research and coming up with relevant mechanical and electrical solutions in the construction of wind turbines, solar distillers and other potential renewable energy devices.
- Students will work directly with the directors to manage the budgets of materials required.
- Getting involved in the actual installation work and upkeep of the projects.
- Carrying out crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds for the implementation of more energy projects.
3. Reforestation & Nature Conservation role work description: This is a project based internship.
Reforestation/afforestation has been categorized, by the Global Climate Agreement signed in Paris, as one of two main calls to action to help fight and mitigate the effects of climate change. Equatorial/Tropical Dry Forest ecosystems are a conservation priority due to their unique and endangered species and due to their intense degradation (they have lost between 90%-98% of their former extent). Our reforestation project, "Lobitos Verde" was one of our first initiatives with the community of Lobitos. Initiated in 2013, we have been planting native seedlings with local women and their families to green the local neighborhoods. We are also doing this in the town of Piedritas, through our "Piedritas Verde" initiative. Not only has this empowered the women as leaders of the project, but it has also raised awareness of environmental issues. It has encouraged people to reuse and save water using permaculture techniques, whilst increasing the extent of habitat for native bird species in danger of extinction. Together, we have planted and are currently caring for thousands of seedlings propagated by EcoSwell in both Lobitos and Piedritas, working with a total of around 90 families. Over the past few years, this project has branched out into community-led ecotourism, local ecosystem restoration, ecological/environmental education campaigns and endangered and endemic bird/wildlife conservation initiatives, receiving funding from various international entities.
We need hard-working students with a strong interest, background knowledge or basic experience in reforestation, conservation, biology/ecology, and the like, to come and support us in these ongoing projects.
As a reforestation volunteer intern at EcoSwell, you will be given ownership of the projects, directly co-managing our conservation and reforestation initiatives. Daily activities will vary depending on the progress and stage we are at of each project. This may include but is not limited to:
- Reforestation sites and permaculture garden maintenance: Volunteer interns carry out general upkeep in our community reforestation sites, the EcoSwell garden, native seedlings and plant nurseries. This is done by planting trees, collecting and germinating native seeds, using drip irrigation and updating important reforestation tracking documents.
- "Lobitos & Piedritas Verde" reforestation projects: We currently work with approx. 60 families in Lobitos and 20 in the small community of Piedritas. Volunteer interns are required to conduct house to house visits in the communities, carrying out family and plant monitoring surveys, as well as planting/maintaining native trees with the local families. Volunteer interns may also have the opportunity to take part in environmental education workshops and communications campaigns, plan, design and undertake big reforestation activities, promote conservation and restoration of local degraded priority sites and get involved with ecological/environmental research projects with associated academic partners.
- Ecotourism project: Our new conservation project in the local Dry Forest of Piedritas aims to provide local people with a sustainable alternative to illegal logging through ecotourism initiatives whilst protecting their native Dry Forest habitat. Volunteer interns may be required to support the development, promotion and improvement of this project, but will also have the opportunity to learn in-depth about the unique biodiversity of the Dry Forest ecosystem and its endangered flora and fauna.
Number of Opening(s): 1 or 2
Work Hours and Internship Start/End Dates: (Monday to Friday, June
22 –August 14, 2020): Full time
Work Attire: Casual. Personal Protective Equipment would be provided by EcoSwell for project fieldwork.
Local Language: Spanish
Not required: Local language is not required, but it is a plus.
Additional desired intern qualifications: Spanish is not a requirement for these positions but it is a plus.
We accept volunteer interns from all disciplines, as long as they have a strong willingness to learn, a positive attitude and a deep interest in sustainability.
We require volunteer interns who can work with interdisciplinary and multicultural teams and who are comfortable in remote locations, away from home.
Please see fee structure
- Applicants must be currently enrolled freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and coterms who are undergraduates in all majors, including undeclared. Coterm students must still have undergraduate status.
- Applicants must be current Stanford students during the internship period. Seniors must postpone graduation paperwork until the internship ends, but may participate in commencement. For summer graduation requirements, including details regarding enrollment requirements and information about participation in the June commencement ceremonies, students should contact their major department's student services office and Registrar's Office for graduation quarter petition.
- Preferably, before beginning their internships, selected candidates should have taken at least one course regarding the internship region. The course can be taken in the spring quarter.
For more internship positions provided by the Stanford Global Studies Internship Program, please see our internship listing.
For more information, please see Eligibility and Stipend.