Project: Third Millennium Alliance
Posted by Benjamin Bowman over 7 years ago
Please visit our website for a better formatted version of this job description: http://3malliance.org/index.php?id=527
Job Description: Permaculture Project Manager and Intern/Volunteer Coordinator
Summary: 18-month paid position to manage a small rainforest reserve in coastal Ecuador and coordinate the intern/volunteer program at the research station inside the reserve. The ideal candidate is a versatile and resourceful leader, age 24-32, with field experience and/or food-growing experience, fluent in English and at least proficient in Spanish, with a lot of initiative and passion.
Background: A few years ago a small group of American and Ecuadorian conservationists founded a nonprofit organization, purchased several hundred acres of rainforest and cloudforest in coastal Ecuador, and established an ecological reserve. In the middle of the reserve we built a sustainable research station, which is affectionately called the Bamboo House. Despite the fact that it was all built by hand-tools and from native bamboo sustainably harvested from the site, it is a grand and airy and surprisingly comfortable structure, with 6 bedrooms, a balcony lined with hammocks, and a view overlooking the river valley. The Bamboo House is a center for sustainable systems research, permaculture & agroforestry experimentation, and biological investigation. We work with interns/volunteers from foreign countries and with the nearby rural community. Interns come to design and implement projects either in the reserve itself or in the community, which is 3 km down the road. The three founders of the organization (called Third Millennium Alliance) work as volunteer, part-time directors. We are looking to hire a reserve manager/intern coordinator to handle affairs in the reserve so that we can be most efficient and effective in our broader administrative responsibilities.
Location: In Ecuador, in the coastal province of Manabi, in the cantón of Jama, about 10 km inland from the Pacific Ocean, about 3 km from the small agricultural community of Camarones.
Training: You’ll receive 10 weeks of unpaid training as a participant in our winter intern session, which includes a Permaculture Design Course. During this time you will have ample opportunity to acclimate to the site and learn from the outgoing manager as well as from at least two of the founders/directors.
Support: One or several founders/directors will periodically check-in at the reserve and probably spend an average of 10 days per month in the Bamboo House. Lastly, our local staff will be on-site 3 days per week. In other words, you’ll have a lot of help. But we’d love for you to grow into an efficient and resourceful leader that can handle most affairs on your own.
Both of the two previous site managers were accompanied by their significant others, who are invited to live at the reserve and work on whichever projects they are attracted to, free of charge. As the latter and current of said managers, I can testify that this support and companionship are invaluable. This job is exhilarating, stimulating, exciting, and absolutely exhausting. There is a constant flow of people. Most of the folks who come through are easy to live with and are pleasant company. That said, it is a limited social landscape with few long-term confidants. Inevitably, some people will challenge your patience. Having someone in whom you can intimately confide and with whom you can process your experiences makes a world of difference.
Term: Ideally, this is for an 18-month commitment, although a one-year commitment may be acceptable. What is absolutely critical is that that you stay true to your commitment and don’t ditch-out early. We’ll be making many of our plans (both organizational and personal) under the assumption that we can count on you. You’ll be given a month of half-pay vacation during the middle of your term (probably December), so that you can go home or travel elsewhere and re-charge your batteries. You’ll be expected to be on-site 22 days per month, on average.
Work/Vacation Schedule: Most weeks you will not have days off, although some will be lower-key than others. In an average week, you will spend 1.5 weekdays in Pedernales, doing shopping and administrative computer/internet work. The rest of the week and the weekend you will be at the reserve. Weekends you can usually take it easy and go for a hike, read, work on small personal projects of interest, cook extravagant meals etc. But, you are still the staff on duty, and responsibilities will occasionally assert themselves during this downtime.
In terms of actual time off, the first three weeks of a session are quite draining, but if you orient everyone well, then you’re usually able to take a long weekend away at this point. Otherwise, you are free to travel during the breaks between intern sessions (1.5 – 2 weeks), and have the option of taking the whole month of December off at half-pay.
Dates: The winter training session starts January 8th and runs through March 22nd. Your employment would begin April 1st 2013 and run, ideally, through the end of October, 2014. The most important (i.e. short-handed) months will be June-August and Sept. 15 – October 15th.
Pay: $500 per month, which may not be much by US standards, but you’ll be living large by Ecuadorian standards, especially considering that your lodging and food are already covered. The founders/directors have been living on far-less pay than this for the last few years, so we consider this sum to be more than fair. Minimum wage in Ecuador is $250-280/month and almost all of our neighbors in Camarones live on quite less. All full-time staff, foreign and local, are paid the same amount.
Off-time/Recreation: There are many little beach towns/surf towns within a short bus ride away, where there is a small but thriving community of expats, backpackers, surfers, etc. A lot of people spend their off-days in the well-known beach towns of Canoa and Mompiche, or the quieter seaside village of Cojimies.
Previous Experience Necessary
Conclusion: From someone who has given his heart to this project and has spent most of his days living and working in this reserve and in this region for the last few years, I say this to you with total honesty: this is one of the most dynamic and rewarding and challenging and exciting jobs a young-ish adult could ever ask for. For anyone who wants to be at the forefront of the global sustainability and/or ecological conservation movement, this is it. With the experience you will gain, the contacts you meet, and the glowing recommendation that you will receive from our organization, you will have your choice of eco-related jobs waiting for you after you finish.
How to Apply: First, thoroughly review our website and blog and read through all of the documents on the internship page. If you are gung-ho interested in the position, send an email to [email protected] with the subject heading “RESERVE MANAGER/INTERN COORDINATOR (Your Name)” You can attach your resume if you already have one, but more importantly, we’d like to hear you speak in a more genuine, non-resume-ish voice and touch upon the following questions:
Then, if we think it may be good fit, we’ll set up a few Skype conversations. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis, but hope to make our decision soon. We look forward to meeting you and joining forces with you, and we’re excited to offer you this opportunity.
P.S. When sending your application, please don’t address any of us as Mr. or Ms. or whatever—those titles are reserved for our parents. Our first names will do.
Director, Jama-Coaque Ecological Reserve
Third Millennium Alliance
You must be logged in to comment.
Note: The various badges displayed in people profiles are largely honesty-based self-proclamations by the individuals themselves. There are reporting functions users can use if they know of blatant misrepresentation (for both people and projects). Legitimacy, competency and reputation for all people and projects can be evidenced and/or developed through their providing regular updates on permaculture work they’re involved in, before/after photographs, etc. A spirit of objective nurturing of both people and projects through knowledge/encouragement/inspiration/resource sharing is the aim of the Worldwide Permaculture Network.
A member is a permaculturist who has never taken a PDC course. These cannot become PDC teachers. Members may be novice or highly experienced permaculturists or anywhere in between. Watch their updates for evaluation.
One of these badges will show if you select your gender and the "I'm single, looking for a permaculture partner" option in your profile.
People who claim to have taken a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course somewhere in the world.
People who have entered an email address for the teacher of their PDC course, and have had their PDC status verified by that teacher. Watch their updates for evaluation.
People who’ve taken a Permaculture Research Institute PDC somewhere in the world.
People who claim to teach some version of PDC somewhere in the world.
With the exception of the ‘Member’ who has never taken a PDC, all of the above can apply to become a PRI PDC Teacher. PRI PDC Teachers are those who the PRI recognise, through a vetting board, as determined and competent to teach the full 72-hour course as developed by Permaculture founder Bill Mollison – covering all the topics of The Designers’ Manual as well as possible (i.e. not cherry picking only aspects the teacher feels most interested or competent in). Such teachers also commit to focussing on the design science, and not including subjective spiritual/metaphysical elements. The reason these items are not included in the PDC curriculum is because they are “belief” based. Permaculture Design education concerns itself with teaching good design based on strategies and techniques which are scientifically provable.
PRI PDC Teachers may be given teaching and/or consultancy offerings as they become available as the network grows.
The individual with this badge is indicating they are, have, or would like to be involved in permaculture aid work. As such, the individual may or may not have permaculture aid worker experience. Watch their updates for evaluation.
The individual with this badge is indicating they are, have, or would like to do paid permaculture design consultancy work. As such, the individual may or may not have permaculture consultancy experience. Watch their updates for evaluation.
Community projects are projects that help develop sustainable community interaction and increase localised resiliency.