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

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 Ecuador are addressing their most pressing health challenges. Specifically, the virtual internship in Guayaquil and Puyo offers an emphasis on primary care and determinants of health in the context of urban and rural settings. 

Program components:

  • Competency-informed readings and content 
  • Intercultural training through CFHI partner Aperian Global
  • 30 hours of Spanish instruction
  • Virtual sessions led by CFHI Global Partners, who are experts in local health systems and culture. *Lectures will be given in Spanish with English translation.
  • Facilitated group reflection sessions 
  • Cultural learning/virtual immersion
  • Seminars on health topics
  • Depending on the location, this may include project-based work to deepen understanding of local health realities and support operations and objectives of the host organization/partners

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.

CFHI offers options for students and faculty to fit your interests and schedule. Choose your program duration, or for a comparative experience, choose to participate in multiple programs. CFHI can also often accommodate alternate program dates upon request. For more information see our How to Apply page.


4 Weeks $975
Arrival Dates: 
Sep 04, 2023 Oct 02, 2023 Nov 06, 2023 Jan 08, 2024 Feb 05, 2024 Mar 04, 2024 Apr 01, 2024 May 06, 2024 Jun 03, 2024 Jul 01, 2024 Aug 05, 2024 Sep 02, 2024 Oct 07, 2024 Nov 04, 2024 

Meet the Local Team

Dr. Wilfrido Torres – CFHI Medical Director: The role of the Medical Director is to arrange clinical rotations and public health placements, supervise the participant experience at these sites, and provide instruction on healthcare topics during weekly meetings. Dr. Torres serves in this role during both the Quito and Puyo portion of the program. He has extensive clinical and public health experience with local populations.

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 – CFHI Local Coordinator:  Viviana has served CFHI since 2004. She is a licensed psycohologist, and is the main student contact for cultural and travel matters while in Puyo. Viviana is originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador and holds a 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 a positive energy and is very approachable.

Ruby Centeno – CFHI
 Local Coordinator: 

Ruby Centeno serves as one of the primary contacts for students. She helps with orientation and provides support throughout the program. Ruby is also the point of contact for students with limited Spanish while they are in Puyo. Ruby is originally from Manta, Ecuador. She obtained her BA degree in communication and language at Laica Vicente Rocafuerte University in Guayaquil Ecuador. Since 2010 she runs Time for English and Spanish School, in Guayaquil. She enjoys spending time with her family, being a nature photographer, cycling, and cooking. She is a proactive and communicative person.

Below is a one-week sample schedule. Partcipants should expect 20-25 hours of work/week. Please note that your virtual internship may not look excatly like the sample schedule. It is only meant to give you an idea of what to expect.

This CFHI program is ideal for students who have a foundation in Spanish and have an interest in health and medicine with a focus on women’s health. Non-students are also eligible. To confirm whether you're eligible to apply, please read CFHI's general eligibility requirements.

Minimum Language RequiredBeginner 1 Spanish or Above

Beginner 1 Spanish: “I can speak a little and understand at times if people speak slowly and clearly.”

  • I can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and simple phrases to get across basic needs.
  • I can introduce others and myself. I can ask and answer questions for example where I live, people I know and things I have. 

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. To provide authentic learning experiences translators are not provided. Daily interactions will be in Spanish, but CFHI’s local team is able to support and help you through your experience.

All CFHI participants applying to programs in Latin America will evaluate their Spanish language skills as part of their application. This information will then be shared with the on-site partners. Most important is your general ability to communicate verbally with those around you and to be proactive in speaking Spanish, versus accuracy with grammatical tenses. All CFHI Latin America programs include Spanish language instruction on-site. 

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. 

  • Robust, competency-informed readings and content 
  • Access to and training rooted in intercultural tools through CFHI partner Aperian Global
  • 30 hours of facilitated Spanish language instruction
  • Synchronous and asynchronous virtual sessions led by CFHI Global Partners, all experts in local health systems and culture
  • Facilitated group reflection sessions 
  • Cultural learning/virtual immersion
  • Virtual language classes (for Latin America-focused interns) or supplemental seminars on health topics (for Uganda-focused interns)
  • Depending on the location, this may include project-based work to deepen understanding of local health realities and support operations and objectives of the host organization/partners

The Sustainable Development Goals are a global roadmap set forth by the United Nations General Assembly to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure the well-being of all individuals by the year 2030. This program highlights the following SDG's: