CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?
CA: Rainforest Partnership is an Austin-based international NGO that works with the local and indigenous communities to protect and regenerate tropical rainforests in Ecuador, Peru, and Mexico. On a global scale, Rainforest Partnership aims to educate and raise awareness on rainforest conservation through partnerships with schools, youth groups, businesses, and individuals to foster changes in everyday practices that impact rainforests. On a local scale, Rainforest Partnership partners and works with rainforest communities in developing environmentally sustainable businesses that will help the communities protect and regenerate their forests. I got to spend much of my internship working in an office setting with Rainforest Partnership’s partner NGO Conservación y Desarrollo, overseeing budgeting proposals, project logistics, and a broad range of project-related activities.
How did you get the opportunity? What resources at BU or elsewhere did you use?
CA: I utilized job searching platforms like Indeed and other sites, but the most useful thing I did was looking up NGOs that worked in areas that interested me and going straight to their websites.
CCD: What was the best thing about the experience? What was the worst?
CA: I did feel as though the Rainforest Partnership is disjointed in many regards. The vague nature of some of the projects and my role in them was sometimes overwhelming. But the most rewarding aspect of my internship was seeing how my contributions to projects tangibly influenced their directions. I felt like I truly mattered to the organization.
What was the most memorable moment of your experience?
CA: The decision I made to take an 8-hour bus ride, followed by a 4-hour canoe ride, to get to Sani Isla to meet with community members and organizations is something I will always cherish and be grateful for.
CCD: What is the biggest takeaway from your internship position?
CA: The experience of being in the Amazon and being able to do meaningful work with community members was life changing, and it made me realize that community-based conservation work is definitely the career direction for me.