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 sea turtle nest monitoring volunteer, you will assist the Galapagos National Park staff by taking critically important nesting baseline data. This will include identifying species (hawksbill or green), determining nesting patterns and monitoring nest sizes.
Volunteer schedule is 4 hours/day: 6:00AM-8:00AM (first light) and 8:00PM-10:00PM (dark). Please note, this position can be combined with another of the positions listed above during the day at no extra cost.
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 level of Spanish.
- A genuine passion for animal conservation.
- Ability to work independently as well as in a team.
- A flexible schedule that accounts for the day to day needs of working with a local institution.
- Physical ability to work outdoors with potentially high sun, element, and temperature exposure.
- Ability to independently collect and register data
This project is available during nesting season only, December to May, and volunteers can join for between 2 and 12 weeks.
For more details on how the programme works, dates, costs and how to apply, please visit our detailed project page here.