A Unique Internship

By Molly

I have arrived and survived my first 3 weeks in my internship at Fundación Aliados. My daily life here has changed so dramatically from my life at home and my knowledge has grown so much that it’s hard to know where to begin so I made a list:

1.    I made new friends! 

2.    My plantain consumption has exponentially grown!

3.    I’m never not sweaty.

4.    I didn’t know I could see so many different shades of green!

5.    No amount of deet is any match against Amazonian bugs.

So far, I have truly enjoyed my experience here at Fundación Aliados. The first week was filled with new knowledge and new insight on the inner workings of Amazonian life and culture. I truly felt comfortable right from the beginning. After my orientation, I did a homestay in an Indigenous community near Ally Guayusa, one of the ventures Aliados supports. I have truly never had such a unique, special, and tiring experience in my life. My days consisted of gathering data in the indigenous farmers chakras, riding on motorcycles, bathing in rivers, and eating the fruits of the forest. There is never a dull moment in my daily live here. Some days consist of seed collection and reforestation work and others entail putting my GIS skills to the test with my fellow interns. 

Life in the house is incredibly relaxed. The house doubles as an office during the day… so we basically roll out of bed and we  are at work (it’s amazing!) Normally, the interns work outside on the back patio, because why not… we are in the beautiful Amazon! We have a hammock, nursery, little library, and entomology wall! The number of unidentifiable bugs I have squished in the 3 weeks I have been here is shocking! Sometimes, it can get a little crowded but most of the time it Is a very free, comfortable environment!

Looking back on my time here in Tena, I realize how much I have learned about myself. I truly feel like Fundación Aliados has given me the opportunity to define who I am as a leader and environmentalist. This internship is not a typical internship. I have never had to bring anyone coffee or file papers for hours on end. The tasks I have decided to take on have been incredibly challenging, rewarding, and thought provoking. There is nowhere else I would rather spend my summer! In 3 weeks, I already have so many great memories, and I cannot wait to experience the rest of my journey here!