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Spring Permaculture Design Course + Internship in the Rainforest of Ecuador

Project: Third Millennium Alliance

Posted by Ryan Lynch over 6 years ago

Join us for our Spring 2014 internship session in the Ecuadorian rainforest, which includes a PDC course!

Third Millennium Alliance (TMA) was founded in 2007 with the purchase of 100 acres and the establishment of the Jama-Coaque Reserve (JCR) in the western province of Manabí, Ecuador, between the cities of Jama and Pedernales, and four kilometers inland. Now encompassing over 1000 acres, the Jama-Coaque Reserve actively protects one of the last remaining fragments of Pacific Equatorial Forest, which is considered to be one of the most threatened tropical forests in the world.

We are now offering a 10-day Permaculture Design Course as part of our spring two-month internship program in coastal Ecuador.  There are two ways you can do this:

  1. You can choose to attend the entire two-month internship program, which includes the PDC course. This cost is $2,000, which includes room and board for two months in the Jama-Coaque Reserve, as well as a PDC certification.
  2. You can choose to only attend the 10-day PDC course. The cost is $1,200 for room and board for 10 days, as well as a PDC certification.

The PDC course is taught by Javier Carrera, from Ecuador’s leading grassroots organic agricultural organization Red de Guardianes de Semillas. Javier has been at the forefront of the permaculture and organic agriculture movement in Ecuador with over a decade of teaching experience and a lifetime of experience as a practitioner of permaculture.

The 2-month internship runs from March 19 – May 14. The PDC course is tentatively scheduled for April 7-17, but is subject to change depending on attendance and other factors.

To see a complete description of the 2-month internship program, please visit our “Internship” page at our website at Here you can download the application form and contact details, as well as other media, such as the photos and videos, and the program FAQ. When filling out the application, please specify whether you are applying for Option 1 (2-month Internship + PDC course) or only the PDC course. But in both cases, please use the same application form, and email to Jordan Trujillo at [email protected] and also copy Katherine Theus at [email protected]

Below is an introduction to the Internship Course:

We are working towards a sustainable future in the rainforest of Ecuador and we need help! In 2007, a few of us—ecology, economics, and business graduates—founded a non-profit organization called Third Millennium Alliance. We raised some money and bought a lot of land in a critically endangered rainforest and established an ecological reserve (Jama-Coaque Reserve). There was a small patch of previously degraded land right in the middle where we have built an innovative and surprisingly comfortable research station out of bamboo by hand. Immediately surrounding the house we are designing/growing/building a living laboratory of sustainable resource management (i.e. permaculture), which also serves as our field headquarters for biological scientific research and forest monitoring.
Internship Opportunities: Interns are encouraged to take on high-impact and dynamic projects; we are a young organization forging our path as we discover it. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done and experience to be gained – for interns and for us. Above all, creativity, innovation, and self-motivation are the fuel of our intern program.
In addition to work managing the agroforestry production zone and organic vegetable garden, each intern is assigned a personal project, which is akin to a “thesis” of sort, but of a much more practical nature. Generally speaking, there are three categories of personal projects: 1) conservation biology research, 2) permaculture/sustainable food production and land management, and 3) appropriate technology.

The following is a list of some of the projects we’re looking to tackle during the upcoming sessions. Some are new projects and others are ongoing and multi-year projects. Projects with stars next to them are of high interest and priority. When applying please prioritize three projects from the list below in the order of most interest.

Flora & Fauna Research:

•*Ethnobotany* (requires strong Spanish-speaking skills)

•*Monkey Troop Survey (Howler & critically endangered White Fronted Capuchin)

•*Investigation of Endangered Avifauna - (Ornithology experience and strong Spanish-speaking skills required for community surveying)


Permaculture/Re-forestation/Food Production:

•Production Zone Intensive – Focused on increasing food production, crop zonification & rotation, plant propagation, care/maintenance, integrated pest management and food preservation (ie, canning)


Appropriate Technology:

•*Working with natural materials *(mainly, native bamboo and mate gourds) to build home appliances (e.g., cutlery, drinking cups, bowls, garden pots, balcony boxes, candle holders, etc.)

•*Design and build a non-electrical refrigerator*

•Design and build a solar food dehydrator


Spring Internship Dates: March 19-May 14, 2014

Spring Application Deadline: Monday, February 10, 2014

We look forward to working with you!
Jordan Trujillo
Internship Coordinator
Third Millennium Alliance
Jama, Ecuador




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