Ecuador - Conservation and Sustainability on San Cristobal Island
Come experience the beautiful island of San Cristobal, the oldest island in the Galapagos Islands. Contribute to conservation initiatives in the area to restore the island to its natural ecology and promote eco-tourism to the area.
|Location of Project||San Cristobal, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador|
|Project Length||Min 3 weeks - Max 12 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito (UIO)|
|Volunteer Work||Sustainable agriculture, conservation, reforestation|
|Number of Participants||Up to 10 international volunteers|
|Age||17 - 70|
|Food||3 meals per day|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Airport Transfers||Pickup at UIO upon arrival|
|Flights||Round-trip ticket from Quito (mainland Ecuador) to San Cristobal|
|Spanish Courses||2 hours a day for 5 days in Quito|
|Orientation||1 week orientation upon arrival including cultural introductions and Spanish course|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
What's Not Included
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 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 on San Cristobal, the oldest island in the Galapagos, in the highlands of the island amongst the farming communities. Not far from the project site, in the lower part of the island, rests Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos province, which boasts the second largest population of the islands at about 6,000 people.
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 of San Cristobal where they will assist with the ongoing conservation and sustainability initiatives that have begun to develop in the area. The aims of this project are to better equip the region with sustainable agriculture, return the ecology of the island to its native flora, and promote eco-tourism as a way of maintaining the natural beauty of the region while also providing a source of income for the locals.
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
You will be rotating through a variety of duties to support the above mentioned initiatives. Your duties may include:
- Removing introduced and foreign plants (such as blackberries and elephant grass)
- Clearing away paths to viewpoints or popular tourist locations for visitors
- Reforestation with native Galapagos plants
- Assisting on the fruit farm (bananas, plantains, avocados, mandarins, sugar cane, etc.)
- Helping at the tree nursery within the National Park
- Making a database of plants in the area with their importance
Volunteers should be aware that the majority of the work here is very physical in nature.
You will work from about 7:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday through Friday, with the flexibility to change around your days off if needed.
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.
Accommodations: volunteers will live in a volunteer house about 10 minutes from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno by taxi (about $5). They will live in shared rooms with shared bathrooms. Showers have slightly warm water.
Food: 3 meals a day are provided
Internet: available in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
- High beginner level Spanish
- Open-minded to new cultures and experiences
- Good physical fitness
- Ability to work well with others