Career Development

Summer Internship Applications Due

The next summer intern application deadline is November 18th. 

Summer Interns live alongside other young leaders and community members, and are fully integrated into the daily functions of Manna Project’s work on the ground. Weeks are spent collaborating with staff to plan and facilitate programs, while weekends are for exploring. As the days progress, you will develop an understanding of long-term development goals and their implementation.

This unique internship program is designed to create the most impactful experience for you and the communities you’ll serve. Summer Interns are equipped and inspired to continue their work in a variety of career fields, including international development and the greater non-profit sector. Many Summer Interns return to Manna Project as Program Directors in following years.

Summer 2017:

  • Session 1: May - June, 4 Weeks

  • Session 2: June - July, 4 Weeks

  • Both Sessions: May - July, 8 Weeks

Begin your journey here:

Looking for a more in-depth international development experience? MPI's Program Directors spend 5, 7 or 13 months on site.

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My time spent with Manna Project International has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I developed incredible relationships and made memories that I will cherish forever. Part of me will always be involved.
— Javier, MPI Program Director

Program Director Applications Due 8/14


Manna Project International is accepting applications for Program Director positions for in Nicaragua or Ecuador. Applications are due August 14th.

Manna Project International creates communities of young leaders that help break the cycle of poverty in underserved communities around the world. If you are a recent or soon-to-be college grad with a love of travel, culture, and international development, apply to join one of our teams in Latin America. 

During this 11-month position, you will experience life and work alongside other young leaders and community members. At one of our sites in Nicaragua or Ecuador, you will direct a variety of impactful programs designed to meet the specific needs and opportunities of the community. 


Manna Project equips volunteers with leadership development skills for a variety of career fields, including medicine, international development, law, the greater non-profit sector, education and international politics.

Top reasons to become a program director

Do you want to talk to a current Program Director about what it's like to work abroad with MPI?




Watch It Now: the Program Director Info Session

You're Invited!

Did you miss our most recent Program Director Info Session? Never fear! Watch it here:

Want to know more about Manna Project's Program Director positions in Ecuador and Nicaragua? Watch the Info Session to learn if the Program Director position is right for you. Get all the details and hear from current Program Directors about their experience. 

The info session covers: 

  • MPI's Health, Education and Livelihoods programs 
  • The communities we serve
  • Cost of working abroad and fundraising support
  • Program Director process and timeline
  • Benefits of international service
  • Q+A with in-country staff
  • The favorite programs and travel destinations of current Program Directors.

Want to join a future Info Session? Sign up here.

MPI Alum Featured in Forbes

"If you can somehow manage to go to school full time while holding down a job, there is less than a 15% chance that you’ll ever earn your degree. If you need to go to school part-time—as 80% of community college students do—then your odds drop significantly. Nationwide, more than 30 million adults have earned some college credit but have failed to complete their degree."

MPI Program Director alum Hudson Baird is now working to improve these statistics as the Executive Director of PelotonU, an innovative Texas nonprofit with a comprehensive plan to help working adults graduate from college debt-free. 

PelotonU equips students for success by connecting them to high-quality online university courses and one-on-one support. “This is the least expensive and most effective college education option in the state,” said Rex Gore, co-founder and board member, “and one that will get even more affordable and effective as PelotonU grows.”

Read the Forbes article here.

Congratulations to Hudson and the PelotonU team!

Photo ©2015 PelotonU. All rights reserved.

Photo ©2015 PelotonU. All rights reserved.

Gain valuable experience abroad  - work as a Program Director with Manna Project International.

Applications due April 5

MPI Alumna Featured in Forbes

Congratulations to MPI alumna Jackie Weidman, whose work in clean energy leadership was recently featured by Forbes! After her time with Manna Project, Jackie went on to co-found the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI). See the article by Lyndsey Gilpin here or read more below. 

Not long after she graduated from college, Jackie Weidman moved to Ecuador to teach environmental education with Manna Project International, hoping to focus on the impacts of climate change. After studying the subject in school and watching how the US remained in denial that climate change was occurring, she figured she’d be fighting a similar battle in the communities she worked with.

Instead, she experienced quite the opposite. “Everyone was like, ‘oh, duh,’ we obviously believe it.” The community got 80 percent of its water supply from a glacier that was melting at unprecedented rates, and because of that, Ecuador has some of the most progressive water conservation regulations in the world.

The people in Ecuador knew developing countries were at the root of the problem, too, and they couldn’t do much to stop it. So Weidman focused on agricultural and environmental education for the year she spent there, getting to know the stakeholders in the communities and how cliamte change impacted people at the local level.

When she arrived back in the US, ready to begin a career in federal environmental policy, she realized she felt incredibly removed from the politics of climate change. The BP oil spill and the fail of the cap and trade bill to reduce carbon emissions had both occurred the year she was abroad.

So Weidman decided to go straight to the source—to Washington DC to embed herself in the workings of energy and environmental policy, and she hasn’t left the District since.”
                                                                              MPI Ecuador Team, 2009-2010

                                                                              MPI Ecuador Team, 2009-2010

The Benefits of a Bilingual Brain

Cultural immersion is one of the quickest and most successful ways to learn a language. Every year, MPI's new Program Directors develop the arsenal of language skills they need to thrive in an unfamiliar culture; all leave with much higher levels of proficiency than when they arrived. It goes without saying that this verbal acuity is of great value on the ground - but what are the long-term benefits of multilingualism? 

Brain imaging technology has shown that using more than one language increases activity in both hemispheres of the brain. Practicing use of more than one language keeps both hemispheres engaged and active as we age. In addition to these advantages, multilingual brains show higher density of neurons and synapses, more activity in certain regions, and delayed onset of diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia - by up to 5 years. 

While lingual flexibility doesn't happen overnight, the major cognitive benefits of bilingualism last a lifetime. If you woke up this morning and wondered, "What is a dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and what is its role in executive function?" then this video is for you. If the previous sentence made you want to click away...this video is also for you!

Check out the benefits of a bilingual brain TED-Ed talk by Mia Nacamulli:

If you are ready to transform your monolingual brain, consider working with Manna Project International in Ecuador or Nicaragua. The life-long benefits can't be beat! Program Director applications are due October 1st, so hop on over and use your prefrontal cortex to fill out an application:

Learn more about serving abroad for 5, 7 or 13 months at

"Regardless of when you acquire additional languages, being multilingual gives your brain some remarkable advantages. Some of these are even visible, such as higher density of the grey matter that contains most of your brain's neurons and synapses and more activity in certain regions when engaging a second language." - Mia Nacamulli