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Ceiba’s internships at the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve offer students and young professionals to chance to develop their research, community development, conservation, or environmental education skills, gaining invaluable professional skills while making a tangible contribution to ongoing conservation projects. We offer a variety of projects focusing on habitat conservation, reforestation, environmental education, community development, and scientific research. Interns receive detailed guidance before departure, during which our staff assess your abilities and interest to pair you with the most appropriate internship position. Once in Ecuador, you’ll work under the daily supervision of our on-site internship coordinator, who will ensure your time will be as productive and rewarding as possible.
Participate in the support of a forested biological corridor that spans the equator and connects northern humid to southern dry ecosystems
Ceiba is working on a large-scale reforestation project to connect 100,000 hectares of forest fragments by creating a biological corridor. By working with private landowners, we are reforesting over 5,000 hectares in prioritized areas and planting native species alongside crops such as coffee and cacao, thus creating an “analog forest” which suites the economic needs of the landowner as well as maximizing biodiversity. The goal is to collaborate with landowners to promote sustainable use of natural resources to increase the productivity of their land while improving soil fertility, water quality, and carbon sequestration. Improving habitat in this manner will also provide better habitat for the native flora and fauna.
This is a multi‐faceted project, which can suit interns from many different backgrounds including those interested in agroforestry, wildlife and tree monitoring, reforestation and restoration, and community development. That is why this project can be combined with all other internships.
Collect data on wildlife populations and behavior in threatened coastal dry forests
Ceiba is monitoring wildlife populations and the impacts of human activity on wildlife in the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve and in different areas of the Conservation Corridor. By using various monitoring techniques, we hope to gain knowledge on the status and health of the animal populations in the area and how are they affected by the change in habitat use and the resulting forest fragmentation. Note that not all surveys are running all year long so contact us to get more information on the status of the projects depending on your dates.
Assess the impact of visitors and coastal communities on beach health and habitat quality, using biological indicators
The northern Manabí coast is experiencing a major influx of visitors and residents, and we are seeking interns to help monitor their impact on Pacific beaches. Biotic indicators can be one of the best techniques for assessing the long term impacts of human visits to and use of beaches. Ceiba is particularly keen to gather baseline data on remote beaches that are relatively undisturbed, so we can monitor the effects that growing tourism may have on them, and suggest limits or restrictions on beach usage or access to limit any negative impacts we might detect. Obviously, tourism and a growing population can greatly benefit local communities; however, we also are responsible to working with communities to maintain the health, and beauty, of the coast that is the main visitor attraction. Interns survey plots on a variety of beaches, and assess the density of crab burrows, which has been shown in many areas of the world to be an excellent and sensitive indicator of disturbance. Plots also are scored for the amount of litter found in them, the presence of tire or domestic animal tracks, and other factors that indicate human use. Our aim is to encourage the growth of sustainable tourism in the region, while maintaining the health of important coastal ecosystems. *This is a new internship position, please contact us for more details.
Engage with local communities to monitor drinking water sources and study links between water quality, land use, and public health
The purpose of this project is to work with local communities on long-term water quality monitoring, and to assess human relationships between land use, water quality, and human health. An important aspect of good health is the availability of clean water and the presence of forests in riparian zones has been shown to improve water quality. Land use and land cover largely determine the type and amount of contaminants entering surface and groundwater sources, and, consequently, the health of human communities that rely on this water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Interns will collect and analyze water quality data. A second part of the project involves interviewing patients at the health center in Jama, and developing educational material about health and water.
Create and implement outdoor education programs for local residents, landowners, and rural school groups
Ceiba, in collaboration with partners A Mano Manaba, Hombre de Paz (“Man of Peace” in English) and the Latino Earth Partnership (LEP), focuses on education with a special focus on conservation and the environment. The intern will work in different communities leading environmental education activities, tutoring, and helping with the overall programming that A Mano Manaba and Hombre de Paz provide for the communities. The intern will also lead activities in the local schools in Tabuga and Jama. Activities include leading school visits to the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve, leading environmentally themed activities in classrooms and/or libraries, giving public presentations on environmental themes in local communities, and creation of exhibits or other educational materials for use in the community library, local school, and nature center. Through working with local youth, interns become a part of the community and cultivate respect and love of the reserve and the ecosystems of coastal Ecuador.