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Ecuador - Agriculture and Eco-tourism on Isabela Island

Come visit the exquisite Galapagos Islands to volunteer for this family-run ecological center aimed at providing their community with the education and means to live a more sustainable life! Contribute to agricultural, conservation, and educational initiatives, all while getting to know the natural beauty and diversity of the Galapagos Islands, home to Darwin's "Origin of Species."



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectIsabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Project LengthMin 3 weeks - Max 12 weeks
Arrival AirportMariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito (UIO)
Volunteer WorkAgriculture, conservation, eco-tourism
Number of ParticipantsUp to 3 international volunteers
Age17 - 80

What's Included

AccommodationSmall family-run hostel
Food3 meals a day (except Sunday)
SupportLocal in-country team and 24 hour emergency support
Airport TransfersPickup in Quito upon arrival
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration
Orientation Cultural orientation and 5-day Spanish class in Quito upon arrival
Flights Round-trip flights between mainland Ecuador and Baltra Island
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage

What's Not Included

Flights to and from Quito, personal expenses, visa, transportation (excluding flight from Quito to Baltra Island) and entrance fees to Isabela Island (about $230 total), $15.50 airport fee in Baltra Island


The Galápagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago (cluster of islands) that lies on the equator off the coast of Ecuador in South America. The islands, designated as national parks, marine reserves, as well a World Heritage Site, are most well-known for the vast amount of animal species that are unique to the region and that inspired Charles Darwin to write "The Origin of Species" about the theory of evolution.  The animals are notoriously fearless - giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins, marine iguanas, and different bird species can all be seen and approached by humans. 

This project takes place outside the small, coastal village of Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island, the largest and youngest island in the Galapagos. Isla Isabela is home to 6 volcanoes, 5 of which are active.


About the Project

Before volunteering at the project, participants will stay in the capital city of Quito for 6 days for an orientation and five-day Spanish course.

Following orientation, volunteers will be transported to the island Isabela where they will begin their volunteer placement working within a local, family-run ecological center which aims to spread awareness about how we can best use and appreciate the earth’s natural resources. They have a few different initiatives from working with sustainable agriculture, tortoise conservation, and eco-tourism promotion which reaches out into the community and tourists passing through. 



Orientation and Spanish Course

Participants should plan to arrive in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, on Saturday. Sunday morning there will be an orientation that will help volunteers get acquainted with Ecuadorian culture and customs. Starting Monday there is a five-day private Spanish course that runs two hours per day. The courses are offered at all levels of Spanish from beginner through to advanced. During this week participants will stay with a local family in Quito and will have ample time to explore the city and culture before heading out to the Galápagos for their volunteer work.


Volunteer Work and Contribution

Your volunteer duties will change around amongst the different initiatives. Your responsibilities may include:

  • Showing tourists around the project site and explaining what the project is about
  • Maintenance of the grounds – cutting the grass, cleaning paths for visitors, and making informational signs
  • Reforestation/planting new plants when needed
  • Maintaining the habitats of the tortoises
  • Collecting fruits and vegetables on the farm
  • Helping to build a database on the island's flora and fauna

Independence and taking initiative on new ideas for this project is highly encouraged and necessary to get the most out of the project!

You will be working from about 7:00 am to 3:00 pm from Monday through Friday. These hours may vary depending on the specific work you will be doing that day. 

It is important to remember that the needs of projects are constantly changing so your duties may vary. It is important to keep an open and flexible mind regarding your volunteer duties and remember that your contributions, no matter the nature, are always valued.  


Living Arrangements

Accommodations: volunteers will stay with a local couple who runs their home like a small hostel in Puerto Villamil, located right along the beach. There will be shared rooms/bathrooms. The home will be located about 20 minutes from the project location; transportation cost to/from the project site is the volunteer's responsibility (about $1 each way). 

Food: 3 meals a day are provided, except Sunday where only 1 meal is provided. 


Minimum Requirements

  • High beginner level Spanish
  • High level of independence
  • Interest to work with nature
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Flexible attitude
  • Good physical fitness
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