Monday to Friday
Working hours are Monday to Friday from +/- 08:00 till 13:00. You will have your afternoons and weekends free to travel and explore the Galapagos Islands. The activities that volunteers carry out are varied and numerous, and include:
- Reforestation - volunteers help to eliminate introduced/invasive plant species and then restore native and endemic species.
- Identifying and logging fauna
- Identifying native and endemic species
- Recycled construction projects
- Improve trails and paths around the plots of the lands.
- Work in the plant nursery either on the Hacienda or in the Galapagos National Park. Grow and nurture native plants in the nursery and then move them to their permanent locations.
- Community Work - Painting Schools, beach cleaning, etc.
- Help to grow and cut down plants used as food for the Galapagos National Park tortoise breeding centers.
- Working with the national park and the consejo de gobierno on water system measurements
Please take into account that the work at this project is mostly physical, and due to the weather conditions on Galapagos, according to the seasons, it can be hard due to the hot and humid weather. We try to keep the weekly schedule as varied as possible and due to the fact that this is an evolving organic project, activities that might be taking place during your stay might not have been considered in this itinerary. But all work is part of a larger project plan, which is documented and explained to you by your coordinator.
Besides the daily tasks at the conservation center, your own initiative is always highly appreciated. If you want to contribute extra to the project, share your ideas with the volunteer coordinator of the project. In the Ecuadorian culture people might be a bit shy in telling you what to do. Therefore, it will make your volunteer period more worthwhile if you show initiative - both for your own personal growth and the project. The people at this project are always very open to new ways of helping the program: so think about what you are passionate about, use your creativity and go for it! For example, if you have experience with a different way of gardening, you could teach the family how to do this. Perhaps you are a painter and want to create a beautiful painting on the wall of a classroom.
In the evenings and the weekends the volunteers are free. Relax at the volunteer house with other volunteers, discover what the Puerto Baquerizo Moreno around your house has to offer, or enjoy some typical Ecuadorian dishes. In the weekends you have enough time to discover The Galapagos Islands. The islands are a dream for many travellers, and you will be able not only to volunteer at the island, but you can also enjoy its wonderful flora and fauna! So spend your afternoons at the beaches, snorkel with the sea lions, and learn how to dive, visit the different islands or take a cruise around the archipelago.
The climate in the Galapagos is hot most of the year. The weather can change, however, it is often quite hot and sunny. June to December is cool, cloudy and dry season, December to June, warm, sunny and rainy season. Obligatory items are:
- Rubber boots (if you leave your boots at the project after you work they are donated to the local community)
- Insect repellent
- Gardening gloves
Items that we recommend you bring are:
- Comfortable shoes, sandals, T-shirts, short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, shorts, swimwear, bath and beach towel
- Rain gear
- First-aid kit
- Reusable water bottle
- Snorkel equipment
- Sweatshirt/warmer jacket
Your return flights between Quito and the Galapagos are included in the price.
The project is closed on the following public holidays in 2018:
08 Oct: Independence Day Guayaquil
01 Nov: Independence Day Cuenca
02 Nov: Day of the Dead
25 Dec: Christmas Day
31 Dec: New Year´s Eve
Minimum age of 18
Police clearance required
Color copy of passport
All foreigners entering Ecuador are obliged to have a valid health insurance
Basic Spanish is an advantage, but not required
If you have the time, we recommend starting with an Introduction Week in Quito so you will go well prepared to your project. This first week gives you an idea about life in Ecuador, shows highlights of the city and its surroundings, includes 20 hours of Spanish Group lessons, an in-depth volunteer preparation including language specifics, and other fun elements such as a private salsa lesson, a city tour, and visit to the Equator.
Saturday: Airport transfer and accommodation in Student House in Quito
Sunday: Free day
Monday: 4 hours of Spanish Classes. Afternoon homework time. Welcome cocktail in afternoon.
Tuesday: 4 hours of Spanish Classes. Afternoon homework time. 1 hour of private Salsa classes in afternoon.
Wednesday: 4 hours of Spanish Classes. 2 hours of practical volunteer introduction with Spanish terminology according to project chosen.
Thursday: 4 hours of Spanish Classes (eg. Market visit, museum visit, etc.) to use the Spanish language in a practical situation. Afternoon homework time.
Friday: 4 hours of Spanish Classes. 2 hours city tour through the Old Town of Quito with a Spanish teacher.
Saturday: All-day tour to Cotopaxi.
Sunday: Start of volunteer work program.
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.
Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.