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The Galapagos Giant Tortoise is an iconic animal, native to the region. It often grows to over 6 feet long and can weigh up to 800 pounds, and therefore stands as one of the biggest tortoises and reptiles on the planet.
 
This project has been instrumental in the conservation of these ancient animals that were very close to extinction. At one time a quarter  million of these giants roamed the islands, but over time that number diminished to around 3000. Several factors were responsible for the decline, beginning with sailors and settlers hunting them for food.

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Location of the Project:  Galapagos, Isabela Island
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Project length:  Min 4 weeks - Max 12 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Baltra Airport (GPS)
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Volunteer Work:  Feeding and caring for tortoises
Age:  18 - 60
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 12 international volunteers
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Important Note:  Most flights will require an overnight stay in Quito or Guayaquil before connecting flights to Baltra

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Private room in a volunteer house or homestay
Food:  Three meals a day
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Airport Transfers:  Boat ticket to Isabela Island is included
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Insurance:  Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
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Support:  Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support

What's not Included

Flights, Optional island hopper plane to project base on Isabela island (at an additonal cost of approximately $200 one way) personal expenses, visa (if required), transfer to and from the airport

The Galápagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean and is considered one of the world's leading locations for  wildlife viewing. Its isolated landscape is home to a wide range of animal and plant species, many that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Charles Darwin visited the islands in 1835, and his observation of Galápagos' species later inspired his theory of evolution.

During your time at the tortoise center you will be a full time member of the center’s staff aiding in the conservation and care of these fascinating ancient creatures.

Examples of daily tasks at the center may include:

  • Feeding and caring for the tortoises
  • Cleaning and maintaining enclosures
  • Explaining the rules and regulations of the center to tourists.
  • Additional zoo keeping assignments as needed
A typical day: Your schedule is based on 20 hrs/week and can be extended to a regular 40 hr work week.You will work from Monday - Friday, from 7.30AM - 11.30AM. This may change depending on the tasks at hand.

Accommodations
Accommodations:  You will stay in a private room, either in a shared volunteer house or nearby B&B. Both accommodations have western - style flush toilets and shared common areas, including a kitchen and dining room. For an additional $10 per day you can choose to stay with a host family. At your homestay you will also stay in a private room with western - style flush toilets.
Food:  At the volunteer house: Lunch and dinner is provided at your choice of various restaurants in town. Breakfast is not included, but you have the use of an equipped kitchen for cooking. Homestay: You will have breakfast and dinner with your host family. Lunch is provided at your choice of various restaurants in town.
Internet
Internet:  WiFi is available.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry facilities are available.

Please take note of the project's minimum requirements:

  • Basic level of Spanish
  • A genuine 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
  • Flexibility in work schedules and tasks to accommodate day-to-day needs of a local institution
  • Physical ability to work outdoors with potentially high allergen, sun and temperature exposure

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