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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS CONSERVATION, REFORESTATION & COMMUNITY PROJECT IN ECUADOR

ECUADOR

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS CONSERVATION, REFORESTATION & COMMUNITY PROJECT IN ECUADOR

Work to preserve the native and endemic forests on the beautiful island of San Cristobal. There are numerous elements to the project that you'll be involved in and most of the work is on reforestation, research and community based projects.

This is the only project in the Galapagos Islands that combines environmental, community and social initiatives to improve the sustainability of the islands. Plus ... it’s loads of fun!

List of ALL PROJECTS in Ecuador BOOK THIS PROJECT  

SUMMARY FACTFILE
Start Dates

Availability all year round – you choose your start and finish dates.
You should ideally arrive at the weekend, between 8.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m.

Duration From 1 week to 12 weeks subject to visa requirements
Requirements Minimum age 18, no qualifications necessary (just a good dose of enthusiasm!). You'll need a little Spanish to do this project, but if you have no knowledge of Spanish at all, you can combine your project with a 1-week intensive Spanish Course in Quito prior to starting your project in the Galapagos.
Price Full Price List

Please note for projects in the Galapagos Islands: As flights from Quito to the Galapagos have to be booked upon receipt of your booking (because flights get fully booked very early), you will need to pay an additional non-refundable deposit of $650 immediately.
This flight deposit is already included in the price and is not in addition to it.
What's included Arranging your Program,
Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance
Course fees and some materials

Accommodation

Up to 2 nights in Quito for your induction
Return flights from Quito to the Galapagos Islands

Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support.
Certificate of Completion
What's not included Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Food, Return transfer to airport, Galapagos National Park Fee ($110)
Who can do this Project? All projects are open to all nationalities and all ages over 18.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:

  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into South/Central America and the Galapagos Islands

  • The enormous satisfaction of knowing that you're contributing to a worthwhile and necessary conservation project aimed at protecting and preserving our world for future generations

  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.

  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market

  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

WORK CONTENT:

This is a wonderfully varied and interesting project where you get to experience many different types of work. For example, you'll work on a controlled plot to eliminate introduced (non-indigenous) and invasive plant species and to restore native and endemic species. You'll grow the plants first in a greenhouse and then transplant them to their permanent locations.

You'll also assist in community projects, and work with local school children.

Volunteering activities vary from day to day and season to season, but there is always lots of work to be done and huge variation in the types of activities. Typical jobs may include:

  • Field reforestation work – planting endemic species and clearing non-indigenous species
  • Visiting areas and monitoring growth of plants
  • Cleaning the farm house and areas of work
  • Helping out at the very small local school
  • Informal opportunities to teach English, Sports, Music, Art, etc.
  • Socialising and entertaining
  • Feeding the turtles and working in the national park
  • Various other odd jobs that always crop up
  • Enjoying the company of the many giant tortoises, iguanas, lizards, birds and farm animals strolling around!

If you have a special interest, please do not hesitate to inform us. We will do our best to arrange that your project is focused on your interests!

SPANISH LESSONS:
If you have no previous knowledge of Spanish, you can include 2 weeks of Spanish lessons at a well-established Spanish school in Quito. If you choose this option...

  • You'll have 4 hours of group Spanish classes in the morning during the first week of your placement, and will work at the project in the afternoon.

  • For the second week of your project you will have 2 hours of private Spanish lessons.

If you'd like to, we can arrange for you to continue taking Spanish classes once your two weeks of lessons have been completed (please see the prices page for the supplemental cost for this).

All the teachers at the school have taught Spanish for 8 or more years and between them they have developed a great many resources to make the lessons lively and fun. They also periodically organise interesting and enjoyable activities in order to introduce the Ecuadorian and Latin culture to their students - most recently they've been cooking Ecuadorian dishes in classes! It's a great, fun way to learn!

Got any questions? Please email us:
info@travelersworldwide.org

Voluntary Conservation Work on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador with Travellers Worldwide

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS CONSERVATION, REFORESTATION & COMMUNITY PROJECT IN ECUADOR

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS CONSERVATION, REFORESTATION & COMMUNITY PROJECT IN ECUADOR

ACCOMMODATION:

Getting there:
You will most likely fly into Quito in Ecuador where you will be met by Travellers staff and have an induction and an overnight stop-off here. Your volunteer work will start on Monday; however, you will fly from Quito to San Cristobal during the weekend. Your return flight from Quito – Galapagos Islands is included in your project price! You will be met at the airport by our project director and taken to the accommodation and settled in before your induction.

Accommodation
You will stay at the project house at the Hacienda. There is no phone or internet at the project house (other than for a phone for emergency use), however you can find numerous internet cafés and international phone booths in the nearby town of El Progreso, along with places to eat, drink, shop and socialise.

There are usually at least 3 or 4 volunteers from all over the world living at the Hacienda at any one time, and often there are many more! The atmosphere is very calm and communal here, although a shared taxi into the local town is cheap and plenty more fun can be had there.

Food:
Food is not provided at the accommodation. However, you will be able to eat much of the locally grown farm fruit & veg produce and you can buy your other food in the local village to cook at yourself at home.

Teaching Children and Adults in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Got any questions? Please email us: info@travelersworldwide.org

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The project is run by Giovanni, who, although native to the island, spent many years in the States and married an American lady. With a PhD in Biology, this farmer really knows what he is talking about and he has set up an excellent structure for a volunteer program and great support.

The Biological Station opened in San Cristobal in 2005. The Foundation has worked towards the development of reforestation, habitat re-composition and agro forestry activities during its 5 years on the island. In virtue of this, one of the objectives of this station is to develop methodological practices for natural system reconstruction that will serve as a model for similar projects in other reserves.

Volunteers have begun reforestation with Hacienda San Cristobal staff, replacing exotic, invasive plants with other species. Furthermore, volunteers collaborate with organizations such as the Instituto Nacional del Nino y la Familia (INFA) in Hippo-therapy to promote environmental conservation among young children from the island, as well as motivate community members to plant local, rather than introduced vegetation. Plans include the construction of a native plant corridor from dry forest portion of the low land reserve to the moist forest above. Reforestation with native plants will be emphasized as a plant production center is developed.

The Bio station is located in the highlands of the island on a 50 hectare site where there is still native vegetation. One of the objectives of this new station will be to develop the new technology to reconstruct native habitat in the highlands of San Cristobal, and to serve as a center for similar projects in the highlands of other populated areas in the Galapagos chain. The remaining native highland forests on the populated islands are quite limited due to farming activities in general, and the introduction of useful, but very invasive species from the mainland. Volunteers work to reserve the native and endemic forests of San Cristobal. They collaborate with institutions such as the Instituto Nacional del Nino y la Familia (INFA) to promote environmental conservation among young children from the island as well as motivate community to plant local, rather than introduced vegetation.

PROJECT LIFE DAY-TO-DAY:
You'll live and work on the station itself. Nature takes over when working in a place such as this, so you'll get up early each morning to start work, and usually have a break in the middle of the day to relax and recuperate, before continuing with the work in the afternoon.

The jobs you will be involved in are numerous and most of the work is on reforestation, research and community based projects. You will be involved in restoration of habitats, as well as assisting with the organic agriculture component of the project. Volunteers usually work for five days each week, with weekends off. Days are long and hard and you should be prepared for hot, physical and yet rewarding work. Evenings are quiet and usually spent lounging in hammocks, chatting, listening to music, writing in your journal or reading.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind.    Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity! 

 

OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

While on your placements, you can also book some Optional Add-Ons to make the most of your Travel Experience. Very popular choice is booking a one-week Spanish Course in Quito before moving across to the Islands to complete your placement.

Spanish Lessons and Courses

This project can also be combined with any of our other projects in Argentina, or you could even do a second project in a different region of the country, thus doubling your adventure and enjoyment!


LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:

LOCATION:
The local town of El Progreso is a 30-minute walk or 10 minutes taxi ride from San Cristobal or a speedy ride down the mountain on the bikes that are provided for your use (not so speedy getting home perhaps). You can shop, relax, get on the internet, or party here!

From El Progreso you can catch a bus or taxi (20 minutes) to the port and either take a plane or a small speed boat to neighbouring islands from this port town.

GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS:
The Galápagos islands lie some 600 miles from the coastline of Ecuador. Formed by volcanic eruptions into the sea, they contain species found nowhere else on the planet and are one of the most significant sites in the world; most notably because this is where Charles Darwin's theories of evolution were inspired and shaped. This rocky and at first glance inhospitable terrain is home to giant tortoise, swimming iguanas and fearless blue footed boobies.

The marine reserve here is equally impressive, boasting encounters for divers and snorkellers with penguins, marine turtles, manta rays and sea lions, amongst others. Around 90% of the islands are protected areas, with visitor numbers restricted and some sites off limits altogether to ensure conservation.  

You’ll be based on the island of San Cristobal, which is about a 2 hour flight from the Ecuadorian mainland. It is the 5th largest of the Galapagos Islands and its’ primary industries are fishing, tourism and arable farming. The town has restaurants, shops and hotels. It is also fast-becoming a surfing hotspot, with a good beach just a short walk from the volunteer accommodation.

QUITO:
Ecuador's capital, Quito, lies in the north of the country, some 15 miles from the equator and with the Andean Mountains and valleys as a backdrop. It's 10,000ft altitude keeps it cool, with spring like temperatures year round. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in the 1970's for its preserved historic Latin quarter.

The city also contains a thriving 'new town' popular with younger generations for its restaurants, shopping and nightlife. There are lots of restaurants and "Patio de Comidas" where you can pick up an excellent value lunch or dinner. 

THE AMAZON:
The Amazon is the worlds largest remaining tropical rainforest, occupying about one third of Ecuador. To get some idea of its scale, first you need to know that Ecuador's share of the Amazon represents just 2% of the whole rainforest; most of it belonging to Brazil (60%) followed by Peru (13%). Important nevertheless as the Amazon in Ecuador remains relatively untouched, has good infrastructure to make for easy visitation and is home to numerous indigenous settlements which welcome outsiders.

THE ANDES:
One of the greatest mountain ranges in the world, they split Ecuador in two running from the north of the country down. Indigenous communities have cultivated the land in the Andean Highlands for thousands of years, selling their produce in bustling market towns. Catch a glimpse of the abundantly colourful markets, showcasing traditions of ancient civilizations and Inca descendants.

Mountaineers will love the peaks of the 'Avenue of Volcanoes' an area in the central highlands with a number of active volcanoes. Whilst each climb is different and most are incredibly challenging, the rewards along the way are numerous. Dense forest, waterfalls and spectacular views across the valleys below await the intrepid few. Other hot pursuits in this region include walking, rafting, biking or camping.

PACIFIC COASTLINE:
This 2000km coast is fringed with pristine sand beaches, sweeping bays, mangrove forests, crashing waves and tranquil fishing villages. The ports and fishing villages are an important part of Ecuador's economy, delivering fresh sea food and imported goods. At certain times of the year you can see Humpback whales arriving from Antarctic waters to mate; splashing their fins and exhaling gushes of water. Marine birds are also in abundance along the pacific coastline, with sightings of the albatross, one of natures largest birds, being common.

TRAVEL:
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your program, please click here...






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