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Join GoEco in the Galápagos and help care for ancient, giant tortoises and sea turtle hatchlings! The Galápagos Giant Tortoise is an iconic animal, native to the region. It often grows to over six feet long and can weigh up to 800 pounds, and therefore stands as one of the biggest tortoises and reptiles on the planet. As a volunteer on this project, you will be working closely with the Galápagos National Park in their efforts to continue to conserve this indigenous species or sea turtle hatchlings!
 
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Location of the Project:  Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
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Project length:  Min 3 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 6 international volunteers
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Important Note:  Volunteers participating during the months of December to May must choose to work at either the tortoise breeding center or with sea turtles.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Private room in a volunteer house or homestay
Food:  Two meals a day, unless you select the homestay
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Airport Transfers:  Volunteers make their own way. Boat ticket to the island is included
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visa (if required), travel health insurance, transfer to and from the airport, personal expenses Optional island hopper plane from Baltra to project base on the sland (additional cost of approximately $200 each way)
The Galápagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of mainland Ecuador 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.
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 these South American islands, but over time that number diminished to around 3,000. Several factors were responsible for the decline, beginning with sailors and settlers hunting them for food.

As a volunteer on this project, you will be working closely with the Galápagos National Park in their efforts to continue to conserve this indigenous species! 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. Volunteers participating during the months of December to May must choose to work at either the tortoise breeding center (as described above) or with sea turtles. Sea turtle nest monitoring tasks include walking the beach while looking for nests, turtles and hatchlings. Actual sightings may be rare.

Some of your tasks may include:
  • Feeding and caring for the tortoises
  • Cleaning and maintaining enclosures
  • Explaining the rules and regulations of the center to tourists.
  • Additional assignments as needed
  • Searching for sea turtle nests
  • Searching for sea turtle hatchlings
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.

 
Internet
Internet:  WiFi is available.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry facilities are available.
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.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • CV
  • Basic level of Spanish
  • A genuine passion for wildlife 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 allergens, sun and temperature exposure
The Galápagos Islands are one of the world's most popular tourist destinations for wildlife viewing. Made famous by the scientist Charles Darwin, these South American islands are home to species that many people are familiar with, such as the blue-footed booby birds and giant tortoises. There is much to be seen on a trip to these islands, and a few suggestions are listed below.

Darwin Lake
Also located on the island, Darwin Lake is a saltwater lagoon that has twice the amount of salt of the surrounding ocean.

Tagus Cove
From the cliffs surrounding Darwin Lake, volunteers can take a panga ride to Tagus Cove where there is the opportunity to see, and even snorkel with, indigenous marine life such as Galapagos penguins!

Tortuga Bay
For volunteers who wish to island hop, Isla Santa Cruz, to the right of the island, is an excellent choice. Tortuga Bay is one of the most popular and beautiful beach destinations in all of the Galápagos Islands and is located in southern Isla Santa Cruz. There are sharks, marine iguanas and occasionally flamingos in the Bay.
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