Playa Viva

Organic Farming & Sustainable Food Systems Internship

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Posted On: Friday, 4th January 2019
Location: Juluchuca, Mexico
Juluchuca, Zihuatanejo, Playa Icacos, 40834 Guerrero, Mexico

Job Description:

About Playa Viva:

Playa Viva is a sustainable boutique hotel and ecosystem development project located on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast. The Playa Viva hotel is located just outside the town of Juluchuca, a community of about 400 people, and is currently in the process of revitalizing degraded ecosystems through ecological restoration, organic farming and community development projects. Its property was originally four parcels of land which were previously used for cattle ranching, orchards and monoculture agriculture. Our mission is to revitalize, regenerate and restore the landscape into a vibrant and diverse ecosystem while simultaneously fostering sustainable economic opportunities in our surrounding community.


Position Summary:

We are seeking one dedicated intern to help support our organic farming and garden-related projects. The Playa Viva project is a growing and evolving business in which interns serve as ambassadors in the community for PlayaViva’s work. As such, individuals best suited for this role are "people persons" who want to be part of a movement to promote sustainability in the
area and help Playa Viva achieve its goals. This is an opportunity to live and be a part of a rural community development project via a sustainable tourism operation.

The internship is a unique learning opportunity for the right person. The pace of life in Juluchuca is that of any coastal community and we expect interns to appreciate the opportunity to observe and move slowly. While you may have the opportunity to design a project or two in your time with Playa Viva, you may not see a project come to fruition in your short stay with us. People who thrive in this role tend to be curious and compassionate, and able to recognize opportunities for an equal exchange of information and ideas. While most of your work will be in conjunction with our production and permaculture teams, you will also have the opportunity to engage the local community through service based projects.

Interns need to be able to commit to a minimum of three months and be sufficiently fluent in Spanish to ensure a thorough exchange of ideas and information. Our local staff and surrounding community members do not speak English. Preference is given to candidates who can stay for longer than 3 months.


Position Responsibilities:

The Farm/Food Systems Intern will support the following program goals:

1) support and increase organic agricultural production;
2) engage collaboratively with the production and permaculture teams; and
3) improve knowledge and practice of organic food production locally.

The selected intern will work under the guidance of and report to Playa Viva’s Food and Farm Production (FFP) Manager and coordinate with the Social and Environmental Impact (SEI) Officer. While we hope you engage your creative self during your time at Playa Viva, we kindly ask that you think through holistic practices when engaging the community socially, ecologically and economically.

  • Planting, harvesting, weeding, mulching, tending to chickens, etc.; 
  • Support farm management and organization;
  • Participate in the weekly Saturday farmers’ market in Zihuatanejo (Eco Tianguis Sanka);
  • Strengthen Playa Viva’s and the Eco Tianguis’ relationship with small-scale local producers;
  • Support the link between farm and kitchen;
  • Liaise with farm team and kitchen to communicate what is in demand and currently available at the Eco Tianguis;
  • Liaise with Farm and Food Production (FFP) Manager and Social & Environmental Impact (SEI) Officer to leverage and foster new and existing partnerships with organic/sustainable food production actors locally and internationally;
  • Liaise with SEI Officer to conduct small presentations on organic farming and environmental stewardship in local schools (preschool, elementary, and high school);
    Support FFP Manager to produce annual farm production reports.


Position Qualifications:

  • Strong knowledge of and practical experience in vegetable production, tree nurseries, and/or integrated agricultural systems;
    BS/BA in Agronomy, Horticulture, Sustainable Food Systems (or a related field) and/or equivalent experience working in related fields;
  • Passion and interest in sustainable agriculture, nutrition and community development;
  • Willingness to work in a team environment as well as be a dedicated, proactive self-starter;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to exercise sensitivity among cultural differences;
  • Flexibility and willingness to learn new knowledge, skills and attitudes;
  • Strong resiliency skills (i.e. some life experience showing ability to achieve in difficult circumstances).
  • Willingness and ability to perform physical labor and work in a tropical remote environment;
    B2 or ILR 3 minimum level of fluency in Spanish;
  • Fluency in English (for integration with hotel guests); 
  • 3 month minimum commitment.
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