Internships FAQ Internship in Argentina

Your internship on a horse ranch in South America

Prior to Arrival

Do I need specific requirements or abilities to apply for this project?

To take part at this internship you need to be at least 18 years of age and feel comfortable speaking and understanding English. Furthermore, we need a valid medical certificate which states your health status: You will participate in long day rides (up to several hours) around the Argentinian Andes, under extreme temperatures. This means you need to be physically fit. You should also be flexible and like to work and live in a team. Last but not least you should be flexible, enthusiastic about nature and ranch life and be willing to work and learn. You may need a VISA for your internship. The NATUCATE team can help you with the VISA application. The application process does include an application form and an interview.

Which services are included?

We will support you prior to your departure, regarding the VISA procedure, flights, and transfers. After your arrival in Argentina you will be picked up in the City of Neuquén and brought to the ranch. At the end of your internship you will be brought back to Neuquén. During your internship, you will stay at a guesthouse. At the ranch, you will receive daily meals. During your stay, you will also participate at a pack trip over a couple of days, where you will sleep in a tent. You and the team will be provided with groceries which you can use to prepare your meals. Flights, visa fees and other transfers are not included in the course fee.

Do I need certain medical precautions or requirements?

A travel health insurance is compulsory for all interns, as well as a tetanus shot. You should make sure you are vaccinated against Hepatitis A, Morbilli, Mumps and Rubella. We would recommend you to talk to your doctor and to get vaccinated against Hepatitis B, Polio, Pneumococcus, Diphtheria, whooping cough, and Influenza. Working under changing temperatures can be physically demanding, which is why our partners need the above-mentioned health certificate. For current information and warnings regarding your destination you should check out the homepage of the foreign department and inform yourself beforehand about possible risks.

What kind of equipment should I take with me?

The weather in the Patagonian Andes can change rapidly, so you should be prepared for all weather conditions. We recommend you to bring clothes which are suitable for “layers”: t-shirts and long-sleeved shirts, but also jackets to be worn above. You should pack long, light trousers, but also a couple of shorts. Your clothes should be durable as you will spend most time outdoors. Also important to bring are sturdy boots, a backpack, a warm sleeping bag and matt, a refillable water bottle and perhaps some tupperware. You should also bring sunscreen, sun glasses, a sun hat, a head lamp, extra batteries, moisturizer and insect repellant. Do not forget to bring your passport, your driver’s license (if you have one), a bank card, an alarm clock, your phone/laptop, or a book.

Arrival

How do I arrive at my destination, do I have to organize it myself?

NATUCATE will support you during your planning and organization process, but you will have to book the flight with destination Buenos Aires International Airport (EZE) on your own. After your arrival, you will take a bus or flight directly to Neuquén. We can help you organizing a transfer. In Neuquén, all you will be picked up and driven to a small village named Buta Mallín. There you will get on a horse and ride to the ranch in the Andes. After your booking, you will receive a detailed plan about your arrival information. If you like we can talk with you about your travel plans before and after the internship.

During the internship

What is my main function? Can I choose my tasks and will I be working independently?

After your arrival at the ranch you can make yourself comfortable and enjoy a relaxed evening. There is no fixed schedule for your internship. The working days and tasks vary depending on the arrival and departure days of the guests and the daily work at the ranch. Interns participate in all aspects of daily life on the ranch: helping with the horses, milking the cow, cooking and cleaning, digging in the garden, and chopping firewood. Most workdays are long. The siesta, a traditional Spanish break over the noon hours, is always considered, so that there is always a break of several hours during the hottest hours of the day. You have one free day per week. Our local partner also always try to give you free time to go horseback riding.

Life on site

What is the accommodation like?

At the ranch are a couple of rustic and cozy buildings. The Casa Grande has a large kitchen, a dining room, a self-made fireplace, and a veranda with a beautiful view over the river and the valley. The guest accommodation is next to the main lodge or spread as huts over the area of the ranch. Staff housing is communal – most rooms are bunkhouse style, with a shared kitchen and bathroom. The buildings are rustic but comfortable. Couples can get a private room, but will still share a bathroom. Hot water for showers is heated in wood-fired hot water heaters. For a shower, wood must be gathered and chopped and a fire started – it takes about 45 minutes to get a full tank of hot water. There is power supplied by small hydroelectric turbines. Small loads like lights, laptops, and speakers work fine, but the system doesn’t support higher draw items like hair dryers. There is a washing machine available at the staff house. The ranch has its own garden, which grows vegetables and fruit to supply the workers and guests.

How is the food provided?

During the days which you will spend at the Ranch a cook is responsible for your daily meals, which can range from typically Californian or traditional Argentinean meals. The home-grown vegetables and fruit are used for the meal preparation as well as self-made dairy products and meat (goat, beef, lamb). Groceries such as potatoes, pasta, flour, fish, onions, special spices, jam, oils and vinegar, sugar, coffee, and tea are bought in the nearest city. One of your tasks will be to assist the cook for preparing the meals.

How are working time and free time divided?

The ranch team does not operate on a fixed schedule; workdays fluctuate with the comings and goings of guest groups and the various happenings around the ranch. The team works long days, but follows the tradition of the siesta, often breaking for several hours during the hottest part of the day. Ranch activities sometimes dictate that you’ll begin your work in the very early morning, or work beyond nightfall. You’ll often put in a long string of workdays and then get several days off. Other times you may have a period of relatively less work. Care is taken to ensure that everyone is getting the time off they need.

How can I spend my free time?

Interns usually have a free day per week for free time activities. You can go for a day ride, a pick nick or enjoy a wine evening at the veranda. You also have the opportunity to go for a swim in the pool or relax at the riverbanks of the close by Trocoman and Picunleo rivers or try your luck with fishing.

Do I have a contact person on site?

Yes, during your internship you will have a contact person. You can also contact NATUCATE in case of questions or problems.

What expenses do I have to expect during the project? Can I withdraw cash on site and do I have to pay in local currency?

The currency in Argentina is the Argentinian Peso. Instead of traveler checks you should change for US-Dollars or Euros. In the cities, it is often possible to pay by card. Compared to changing money at a bank or currency exchange it is simpler to look for an ATM and change money with a credit card. Keep in mind, that in most case this will include a transaction fee (~5$) per transaction. Before your departure you should ask your bank if there is a transaction fee for your credit card. During your course, you basically do not have any costs, as food and accommodation are included in the course fee. But you should consider bringing some money for your time before and after the internship, and if you go for a trip to a close by city. After your arrival, we recommend you, to change 200$ in Pesos for your time till the internship starts and to keep $100 - $200 for emergencies.

How can I contact family and friends at home?

There is internet connection at the ranch. The connection is strong enough to send Mails, if you need to download anything and need a stronger connection you will need to wait till you visit a close by city.

What’s the weather/climate like?

The weather in Patagonia is changing often within a day. Even during the summer months, it can snow from time to time in the higher regions of the Andes. Temperatures during the day range from 10°C (50°F) to 30°C (86°F), and evenings can be chilly, with occasional temperatures below freezing. The climate is very dry. Depending on the year, dry or wet and rainy conditions may prevail. Participants should come prepared for all of these possibilities.Temperatures vary dramatically with elevation, so be sure to pack appropriate clothing layers that are appropriate for this described range of environmental extremes, and that will perform well across a wide range of conditions.

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