Aquaponics and Sustainable Living Internship

Internship in Sustainable Agriculture

Our Sustainable Agriculture Internship provides students with the opportunity to to explore their own areas of interest in the sustainable agriculture field. As we are the proud creators of one of the most sophisticated aquaponics growing systms in the Caribbean, its not surprise that many students come to us to learn how to maintain existing aquaponics systems and farming projects and create new systems from the ground up. For anyone who envisions starting their own farm or aquaponics project, this is a unique and invaluable opportunity.

We also offer studies in the areas of permaculture, vermiculture and cultivation of exotic fruits, amongst other things.

digging and planting

 

Program Overview

Participants in Taino Farm’s Aquaponics and Sustainable Living Internship live and work in Los Brazos, Dominican Republic. The lifestyle is a hands on learning experience in how to live sustainably as interns learn a real variety of things from understanding aquaponics systems, to natural building skills, to cooking creative meals based on the daily harvest. We fully immerse you in what it means to live sustainably and to try to be a part of a closed loop, regenerating system.

Taino Organic Farm volunteers as well as permaculture designer Charlie Durrant and farmers Victor and Juan Carlos atop a mountain overlooking Los Brazos, Dominican Republic

The goal for the internship is for Taino Farm to be a place that will inspire and empower passionate individuals to learn skills to live a sustainable life. We want to create a community of  people on the farm who are dedicated to learning creative solutions to make the world a more sustainable place. Interns will grow their own skill base while also contributing helping hands to various farm projects.


Timeline and Fees

The Aquaponics and Sustainable Living Internship is a three month program. When you come into Taino, we set you up with the basics to make your stay fun, comfortable, and educational. The three months are an investment in your education and an incredible opportunity to get hands on practical experience. Our remote location, on the north coast of an island means we simply don’t have access to imported solutions, and have to improvise with natural solutions that are locally available.   Dominican are incredibly ingenuitive, and there is much to learn from our staff.  The cost for the internship decreases with the length of your stay – the 1st month is $1200,  2nd month $1000 and the 3rd month is $800 interns who wish to stay longer than three months pay a base rate of $600/month.

Tuition for the internship covers accommodation, basic internet, basic food staples as well as access to all produce grown on site,  access to our knowledge base, and the opportunity to learn what it takes to create food for a farm to table restaurant.  A portion of the fee goes to the Dominican staff as part of our revenue sharing policy.

There are a variety of ways that interns have raised funds for the internship fee, from crowdsourcing to grants from their universities.

Benefits in the Internship Program are plentiful. As we are partnered with eXtreme Hotel, an eco-hotel located about 25 minutes away, we have connections with kiteboarding, surfing, circus, cross-fit, yoga and many more great opportunities that you can get involved with during your stay.

 

Kite Surfing in Cabarete
Kite Surfing in Cabarete

Learning Outcomes

We take into account your objectives, your skills, and your experience so we can accommodate more specific learning goals for you, or more skill sensitive projects. With many new ideas on how to be sustainable, there are  multiple projects that are still at their inception, and a few that are well developed.

General Topics of the Sustainable Living and Aquaponics Internship

  1. Aquaponics
  2. Organic farming
  3. Produce harvesting, storage, and experimental cooking and recipe development
  4. Permaculture design and implementation
  5. Value added products (food processing and packaging-soaps, food pellets, etc.)
  6. Farm to table program establishment
  7. Intercultural communication
  8. Creative design and problem solving
  9. Blogging to connect sustainable living/farming/aquaponics community to our projects
  10. Eco-tourism and sustainable education

The lifestyle

Permaculture Farmers PlantingLife at the farm can be extremely raw at times with hard work daily and the challenges of community living undoubtedly coming about. The ups and downs of these lessons and obstacles will become part of your personal growth as you face insecurities and weaknesses moving you beyond your comfort zones. All of these experiences provide insight and inspiration while working and living in harmony with nature, finding your inner drive and motivation towards a sustainable experience. Read on about life as an intern/volunteer.


 


Food

Interns have access to farm food which includes eggs, chicken and whichever vegetables and eggs are available. Basic food staples such as rice, beans, flour, sugar, etc. are also provided. Interns are encouraged to cook with IMG_5966what is in season on the farm and to be creative. This means that it is important to arrive with an open mind and be aware that you won’t be eating the food you are used to at home. If you want other food from the grocery store, you are welcome to buy it but it will not be provided.

 

Getting into the swing of planning meals based on what is available and in season is a fun challenge and key to living a sustainable lifestyle. Cooking and cleaning duties rotate so everyone gains farm to table skills and the cooking does not just fall on one person. This set up will vary depending on how many people are at the farm.

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