Who? Lotte Jacobs, Master’s student of Applied Communication Science
What? Internship with a national campaign for a healthy diet and thesis on responsible consumption
Where? Quito, Ecuador
‘I’m doing an internship with the national Ecuadorian campaign ¡Qué rico es! Comer sano y de mi tierra – ‘How delicious! Healthy food, and from my own land’. I have to do some travelling to collect data and there are big differences in how people treat me. On my first trip I got an incredibly hearty welcome. I could stay with a family for five nights and the mother took me everywhere I needed to go. At some point I was invited to visit a local radio station. I went along quite unsuspecting. On arrival I was suddenly on the air and being asked to give my views on GMO crops. I did speak a bit of Spanish by then but to do so on the radio without preparation was a bit daunting.
The campaign I am working for aims to prompt Ecuadorians to eat healthily. The biggest cause of death in Ecuador is diabetes and the number of overweight people is growing. Every year Ecuadorians spend 20 trillion dollars on food. The hope is that the campaign will divert this spending on industrially produced food to healthier and more sustainable products. The aim is for five percent of the population, 250,000 families, to participate in the campaign, and start a snowball effect.
My daily life takes place in the capital Quito. Through the week I’m at the office or I work at home. At weekends I like to go running. Ecuadorians are very friendly. They are always using the word ‘tranquilo’ – calm. That makes for a good atmosphere, except when you are in a hurry or want to get something done. Then it can be frustrating.
One thing I find hard to get used to is that the streets are not safe after eight o’clock at night. It is not even always safe to take a taxi. It is best to order a taxi on an app so that everything is recorded. By doing that I do sometimes go out for a meal or a drink with friends, but it is more difficult and more expensive than just getting on your bike and dropping in on someone.
After my internship I’m going to do research for my thesis. That will probably be about responsible consumption and how various campaigns make use of this concept. Luckily I can enjoy Ecuador for a bit longer.