Where did you do your internship?
My internship was with a small non-profit organization called Pan de Vida located in Quito, Ecuador. Pan de Vida serves the less fortunate in Quito through education and work training, nutrition and hygiene programs, and a worship and Bible study service.
What did you get to do as part of your internship?
My main role as an intern was to help grow the women’s micro-business sewing program. Myself and the other intern (Carly Strayer ’20) were asked to lead workshops for the women on various topics, such as sales and confidence, goal-setting, product development, and more. We would spend a week preparing for each workshop by creating lesson plans, going out into the city to get supplies, and practicing our Spanish. Our last workshop was particularly special since we were able to reflect with the women on obstacles they have overcome in life and how that has shaped them into the people they are now. Besides assisting this program, we got to have a hand in creating new marketing materials for the office, translating documents from Spanish to English, inputting data into Excel, and getting to know all of Pan de Vida’s beneficiaries.
How did you get connected with this internship opportunity?
I learned about this opportunity through browsing the SPU Study Abroad website where I found Living and Learning International. Living and Learning provides 6-week intern abroad summer programs where you get to live in a house with other college students from around the country who are all doing internships in Quito. After being admitted to Living and Learning, the program director assigned me to an internship based on my education, previous experience, and career interests.
How did your internship impact your future personal and vocational aspirations?
Interning in another country is especially hard due to the language and cultural barriers that exist; however, it allowed me to see the value of learning a second language and how far that can take you in the workplace. This experience affirmed my aspirations to work in a setting where I get to collaborate with people who are living on the margins and make them feel welcomed and worthy, even though the world has told them otherwise. The overwhelming hospitality and care that the Pan de Vida staff offered me and their beneficiaries encourages me to foster that in my own community in Seattle. In other words, this internship impacted me way beyond just my vocational aspirations and I would recommend Living and Learning International to anyone!