Join a dynamic team of volunteers and local staff while giving back to the community in the Galapagos Islands. This Galapagos volunteer programme forms part of a wider comprehensive approach to developmental aid in Galapagos. During your free time, you can snorkel with penguins and sea lions, and enjoy living in a town filled with friendly locals and active volcanoes. There is much to learn and discover as a volunteer in Galapagos, where volunteers can explore the natural scenery of the islands and get immersed in the local community while gaining cross-cultural experiences and building valuable skills.
As a Galapagos Tortoise conservation volunteer, you will work with the Galapagos National Park as a member of the staff at the Tortoise Breeding Center. Volunteer tasks will include; Feeding and caring for the tortoises, as well as maintaining their enclosure, Assisting the zookeepers and Working directly with the public to educate tourists by informing them of the rules and regulations designed to keep the tortoises safe and the habitats intact.
Schedules are based on a 25 hr/week commitment, and can voluntarily be extended to a regular 40hr/workweek. Typically Monday-Friday 7:30 AM-12: 30 PM. This may be subject to change depending on the tasks at hand.
The Galápagos Islands are one of the most renowned oceanic archipelagos in the world. Owing to their origins to volcanic activity, the islands are located on the equator 600 miles off the coast in the Pacific Ocean and today are a province of Ecuador. Wildlife abounds above and below the sea surface here, and most of the plants, animals, and other forms of biodiversity are endemic, found nowhere else on the planet. In addition to this biodiversity, the islands host a human population of around 30,000 inhabitants. The archipelago consists of 13 main islands, 6 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets. The islands themselves are the tips of giant, basaltic underwater volcanoes.
Isabela Island is the largest body of land in the archipelago, housing 6 major volcanoes in addition to its human population and distinctive wildlife. Around each of the volcanoes roams an isolated giant tortoise subspecies, the reptile for which the islands are known worldwide. Running parallel to the town is a two-mile stretch of sand-covered beach, complete with palm trees and marine iguanas found nowhere else in the world outside of the Galapagos. You will find the Tortoise Breeding Center a five-minute walk from town, where you can see the giant tortoises themselves, at all stages of life (they start out quite small!). A few minutes down the road you’ll find a lagoon boasting flamingos and long-legged stilts. Isabela island is home to nearly 3,000 residents, the majority of whom reside in the small port town of Puerto Villamil, on the southern coastline.
Accommodation is provided for all volunteers. Volunteers have the choice of either staying in our fully-equipped shared volunteer house or with a carefully selected host family.
In our volunteer housing, breakfast is not included, but you have access to our fully equipped kitchen facilities to cover your needs. Lunch and dinner are provided at your choice of various restaurants in town. You simply sign for your meal and we’ll pick up the bill at the end of the month. All participants will have a private bedroom and private bathroom. Those living in the volunteer house can use one of the many laundry places in town. You will also have wifi access but please bear in mind speeds can be slow.
For our homestay accommodation, you will be placed with families who have experience with outside cultures and international living through cultural exchange with our students and volunteers. As well as providing extra income to the family for housing our volunteers, we train families to be ambassadors in the community in areas such as English, domestic well-being, and nutrition.
- Basic to intermediate level of Spanish
- Aged 18+
- A passion for animal conservation
- An ability to openly communicate rules and regulations to tourists and follow instructions
- Ability to work independently as well as in a team
- Physical ability to work outdoors with the potentially high allergen, sun and temperature exposure
Volunteers can join the project for between 4 and 12 weeks, throughout the year