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Virtual Global & Public Health Internship – Ecuador (Guayaquil & Puyo)

Program overview

The Virtual Global & Public Health Internship offers undergraduate, pre-health, and graduate-level participants the unique opportunity to learn foundational, industry-specific skills for careers in Global Health, Public Health, and related fields. Through virtual seminars and meetings, interns will explore how communities in coastal Guayaquil and tropical Puyo, Ecuador are addressing their most pressing health challenges. Specifically, the virtual internship in Guayaquil and Puyo offers an emphasis on primary healthcare and determinants of health in the context of urban and rural settings. Lectures will be given in Spanish with English translation.

In addition, participants will join weekly Global Health seminars and bimonthly Roundtables, where they can engage with CFHI’s Medical Directors and gain a comparative perspective on Global Health. Upon request, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate of completion.

Areas of focus could include:

  • The Ecuadorian health system
  • Infectious diseases
  • Vector-borne diseases and vector control
  • Social, economic, and cultural determinants of health


General information
Ecuador Virtual Internships
Planetary Health Primary health care Public Health Traditional & Indigenous Medicine Urban/Rural Comparative
Advanced Spanish Intermediate Spanish
Fees and Duration
4 Weeks - $975
Start Dates
August 5th, 2024 September 2nd, 2024 October 7th, 2024 November 4th, 2024 January 6th, 2025 February 3rd, 2025 March 3rd, 2025 April 7th, 2025 May 5th, 2025 June 2nd, 2025 July 7th, 2025 August 4th, 2025 September 1st, 2025 October 6th, 2025 November 3rd, 2025

About this program

Who can apply?

CFHI virtual internships are ideal for undergraduates, pre-health students, graduate students, and non-students who have a demonstrated interest in Global Health, Public Health, and related fields. This virtual internship is a good fit for students who have a foundation in Spanish and have an interest in health and medicine and would like to learn about comparisons between urban and rural settings.

Minimum Language RequiredIntermediate 1 Spanish or Above

Leading this program on-site are our on-site partners (see Local Team tab), all of whom share Spanish as their native language, but may speak English as well. Most meetings led by the local team will be in Spanish, but CFHI’s local team is able to support and help you through your experience. To provide authentic learning experiences translators are not provided.

Not sure about your Spanish level? View a full list of CFHI’s language levels for all Latin America programs on our Spanish Level Guidelines page.

The Virtual Global & Public Health Internship is an unpaid experience. Student fees will be used to compensate CFHI’s Global Partners– in line with our Fair Trade commitment.

Program Components
  • Robust competency-informed readings and content 
  • Country-specific seminars and activities 
  • Access to Pillars of Global Health: Building Competencies for Global Health Engagement modules
  • Access to and training rooted in intercultural tools through CFHI partner Aperian
  • Access to the CFHI Global Health Professional Development Hub events and materials
  • Bi-weekly roundtables featuring global health experts from 3-5 countries
  • 20 hours of Medical Spanish instruction
  • Synchronous and asynchronous virtual sessions led by CFHI Global Partners, all experts in local health systems and culture
  • Training module: Self Care & Wellness for your Virtual Program
  • Facilitated group reflection sessions 
  • Orientation and debrief sessions lead by CFHI Virtual Programs Coordinator    
  • Support from CFHI’s Virtual Programs Coordinator
Schedule Overview

The program requires participants to dedicate 8-12 hours per week to live Zoom sessions. During this time, students participate in lectures, seminars, roundtables and Medical Spanish language classes. Additionally, students may be assigned independent tasks by the local Medical Director and the Spanish instructors team to successfully complete the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get credit for this program? 

Yes, many participants do. To find out what is required at your school, talk to your advisor or global health faculty. CFHI assists with program enrollment, confirmation letters, evaluations, and other documentation you may need.

Are there scholarships available for virtual programs?

CFHI offers many scholarships for both place-based and virtual programs. Visit the scholarships page to find out more about requirements, deadlines, and more information on how to apply. New scholarships are posted every few months, so be sure to check the page frequently.

How do I access course materials and the schedule once I am enrolled?

Once you are enrolled in a CFHI virtual program and have completed the necessary application steps, you will be sent a welcome email with information on how to access course materials and the course schedule via Google Classroom. You will also be invited to a virtual orientation that will introduce you to CFHI and help you prepare for the start of the program.

When is the program fee due?

The program fee is due 3 weeks before the start date of the program.

Can I get a certificate of completion once I finish the program? 

Yes! All students who complete a CFHI virtual program may request a certificate of completion by emailing students@cfhi.org.

Meet the Local Team

Dr. Wilfrido Torres
Dr. Wilfrido Torres
Ecuador Medical Director

Dr. Wilfrido Torres – CFHI Medical Director

Dr. Torres has worked with CFHI since 1999 in the Amazon region of Ecuador. He completed his degree in Medicine and General Surgery at the State University of Guayaquil, where he also completed his Master’s in Clinical Investigation and Epidemiology. Currently, he is the Program Coordinator of the Vector Control Program with the Ministry of Public Health. He previously served as a primary care provider and ran a CFHI training program for health promoters in Indigenous villages outside of Puyo. He enjoys guiding CFHI students as they learn about global health and taking part in experiences that shape their future careers. His hobbies include listening to music (especially songs his kids play on the keyboard), as well as traveling to nearby mountains and beaches.

Psic. Viviana Torres
Psic. Viviana Torres
Local Coordinator

Psic. Viviana Torres – CFHI Local Coordinator

Viviana has served CFHI since 2004. She is the main student contact for cultural and travel matters while in Puyo. Viviana is originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, and holds her degree in Psychology and Human Resources from the University of San Francisco. She enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, cooking, and since moving to Puyo, she has gained a big appreciation for nature and spending time outdoors. She has positive energy and is very approachable.

Jennifer Torres
Jennifer Torres
CFHI Local Assistant

Jennifer Torres – CFHI Local Assistant

Jennifer has grown up in the company of students; she is a great resource for students who prefer to communicate with someone of their contemporary age and/or in the English language. Jennifer helps with the logisticsof the program and participates in meetings to make sure all students understand the plans and recommendations; she is always taking care of details and updating information so that all things run as smoothly as possible. She is a political science student and loves pets, especially her dog “Oveja”; she also enjoys fashion and trendy music.

How to Apply

Create profile

Submit application

Hear back from CFHI team

Complete requirements and access the virtual platform

What alumni say about this program

Lanie Program's Alumni

It was great to hear from medical practitioners based all across the world, because it provides insight into the real life experiences of others within the healthcare profession, and how different countries operate. It also helps you to draw comparisons between countries, such as differences in the use of traditional medicines, which provides new perspective and gives you opportunity to learn and develop new understanding of certain issues.

Maria D.
Maria D. Program's Alumni

I never thought virtual experience can be this enriching until I participated in the internship program by CFHI. They made sure to make this virtual space the most engaging and interacting one…This experience had definitely added value to my professional and academic journey by allowing me to explore different health care systems in an innovative manner. I had the opportunity to: virtually engage with different countries and health care systems added value to my existing knowledge and experience, self paced learning and activities provided the time of self reflection and evaluation and helped me design my own pathway towards work in domain of public and global health issues, and more time to interact with fellows and colleagues from different demographic regions created opportunities for more networking and socializing.


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