I realized I haven’t actually given an explanation for why exactly I’m here in Ecuador for the summer. I’m interning with the Social Entrepreneur Corps to consult with and support local businesses that are mostly located in the rural areas of the country. We have 21 interns who are split into four different project teams:
One of our main responsibilities is to be developing distribution and application models for these services and products to ensure that the people who most need them are able to access them. I’m on the wood stoves team, so we’re trying to figure out the best way to get better ventilated and more efficient wood-burning stoves to the people out in the country who need them. In addition to our ongoing 2-month projects, all the interns are engaging in rapid grassroots consulting in the different regions we visit. We’ve been split in 2 for the fieldwork, and my half of the intern group is currently in Loja, in the southern region of Ecuador. This week we’ve been refining an inventory system for a women’s artisan crafts group and developing better hygiene practices with a local cheese factory. We’ll continue to work on short-term regional projects as we move through the country.
It’s been an eye-opening first three weeks. Here’s to five more!