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Natural Building Internship

Welcome prospective student interns! 

Thanks for taking the time to investigate this unique internship opportunity. We have partnered with Community Rebuilds to host the Natural Building Internship on the Hopi Reservation. This program is part of a larger effort to promote sustainable building design in partnership with a student education program. Our purpose is to build natural, energy-efficient, passive solar homes. Our goal is to train young dedicated and emerging building professionals within the Hopi community in our Natural Building Internship Program. We hope to inspire participants and our community to build in a more sustainable and culturally harmonious way. Our program is a unique, dynamic, and affordable housing program that can be utilized as a model for other Indigenous Tribal building programs. Our student interns are the backbone of our organization. Without the volunteer efforts of our student interns, we could not reduce the cost of construction, and would not be able to build affordable homes for low-income members of our community. We greatly value your interest in our organization and encourage you to apply for one of our semesters. 
Program Structure

We offer internship semesters in the Hopi Community. Each semester invites up to ten student interns per building project. Under the direction of a licensed building contractor and natural building instructors, student interns build a hybrid sandstone/strawbale/earthen home from foundation to finish. Student interns pour the foundation, frame walls, install straw bales, apply a variety of natural plasters, pour adobe floors, learn about electrical, plumbing, solar photovoltaics  and take part in many other activities necessary to the completion of a home. Semesters are subject to some variability, as the schedule of any build is dependent on many factors, such as weather. However, we assure that you will be an integral part of the current build and will gain an unparalleled amount of natural and conventional construction experience. Additionally, through our internship program primarily consists of onsite, hands-on learning, and the experience is occasionally supplemented with workshops, conferences, and field trips. There are no graded assignments, tests, or readings.


Our program is very team-oriented.  Student interns often get to know our selected Homeowners quite well and get to work with them side by side in the creation of their new home. Student interns have many opportunities to make new friends, perhaps volunteer with other amazing local Hopi organizations, and invest a little piece of themselves into our community. These partnerships are important to our organization which is based on the understanding that we are all neighbors ready to support each other and make our community better. 

Expectations and Qualifications
  • Student Interns must be at least 18 years of age.

  • Student Interns must commit to the full semester. 

  • Student Interns are required to work 40 hours a week onsite. 

  • Student Interns are responsible for their transportation to and from the worksite.

  • Student Interns must be able to lift at least 30 pounds, work outdoors in variable weather, maintain a good attitude and be willing to get dirty!


Fees and Compensation   

We are unique among natural building organizations in that we offer internship programs free of cost to student interns who complete the semester in full. In addition, student interns receive food stipends each month.

 Semester Schedule
Our Program is currently undergoing restructuring, please check back for updates.
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