Help local families generate much-needed income & restore cultural heritage, by transforming abandoned adobe buildings into attractive accommodation.



Design and deliver a unique internship based on your career aspirations and local needs, supported by an experienced international team.

Advance your career, develop your skills, and improve your résumé through a hands-on project with 1:1 mentoring from a professional in the field.

Make a meaningful difference to low-income populations who lack the education, support, and resources to make the changes themselves.

Immerse yourself in another culture and experience a different way of life through family homestays, cultural activities, and life in a small rural community.

Set off on adventures and make lifetime memories with other interns and volunteers – climb mountains, hike through the jungle, and explore indigenous communities.


The Challenge

Before the industrialisation of construction, Andean people built charming and durable houses out of the clay-rich soils available to them. But globalisation has meant that local people now choose to build single-skin, concrete buildings.

Whilst these are quicker to build and considered 'modern', they are less thermally efficient, sustainable, anti-seismic and cost more in materials. In the area, there are hundreds of vernacular adobe buildings that have been left to ruin, and as these traditional techniques are lost, so is the cultural heritage captured in the building's architectural beauty.

Meanwhile, 40% of local people live in poverty.


The Solution

We are restoring these neglected buildings, not only to preserve the cultural heritage, but also to provide much-needed income to families through tourism. With support from our experienced team, you will take on a design and/or build project where you will learn about how these traditional homes are made in the Andes and help us restore buildings that would otherwise fall into ruin.


Find Out More

Interested in developing your career while making a meaningful impact in low-income communities?


What's Included

  • Free Discovery Call & Plan
  • Flexible Start Date & Duration
  • Educational Documentation Support
  • Pre-Arrival & Travel Support
  • Shared Accommodation with WiFi
  • Lunches Monday to Thursday
  • Weekly Professional Learning/Mentoring
  • In-Person Coordination
  • Materials Budget
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Free-Time Recommendations
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Written Reference


Optional Extras

  • Private Room within a Local Family Homestay
  • Spanish/Kichwa Classes (before or during visit)
  • Private Transfer from Airport
  • Additional Professional Mentoring Sessions


What's Not Included

  • Flights, visas, vaccines, or any other expenses to reach us
  • Travel, health, and work insurance
  • Other meals
  • Leisure time activities & Spending money



"A Perfect Internship Opportunity"

"My time and internship at El Terreno provided me with the perfect opportunity to combine my vision and ambitions with my profession. I learned tons by doing an internship in sustainable architecture. Joshua and Karina are very kind and put in a lot of effort to ensure I, and the other people staying there, had a good time and they helped us organising activities on the weekends. Ecuador is a beautiful country and with the right people you're sure of an excellent time. I found those people here and would recommend more people to join their program!"

- Bart from the Netherlands (Architecture & Sustainable Construction, 2023)


Ready to Begin Planning Your Adventure?

Schedule your free discovery call and begin co-creating your personalised internship in the heart of the Ecuadorian Andes.


Start Dates

Flexible - all year round.



$145 per week (when booked before January 2024)

We are a small independent organisation and receive no external funds for our programme and therefore there is a cost to the programme, which is used to exclusively to deliver you the best internship programme possible! 



No specific requirements, though better suited to those with a passion and some experience in building and architecture.