YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.
Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
This project started with a dream: a dream to provide a place on San Cristobal where the land is restored in its most natural habitat after having been destroyed by agriculture for the past decades. A place where a realistic utopia can take place … a place where nature and human beings can learn from each other.
The initiator of this project is a local Galapagos family with a great heart for all arts, and a belief that when the people living on the Galapagos Islands have more knowledge and will to learn about their Island, that problems will be solved.
One of the major problems they see in their daily living on the island is that even though people on the islands live in a unique place in the world, unfortunately education is not a great focal point. With this project, they have a dream of restoring nature and connecting the school children with the project as well with educating them in conservation issues.
This project is relatively new and the focus in 2018 is on restoring the natural habitat.
The Galapagos Islands is a unique place in this world, with a fragile eco-system that faces many challenges, among which the quick spreading invasive plant species that destroy the local habitat. The most common ones are blackberry, guava and elder. They cover extensive areas of the islands and represent a real threat to the native and endemic flora and fauna of the Galapagos. They are not only found on privately owned lands, which only constitute a small percentage of the island, but also in the National Park area.
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 programme (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.
LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:
You’ll be based in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of San Cristobel. San Cristobel is the fifth 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 your accommodation. One of the small beaches in the town is reserved exclusively for the sea lions that inhabit the area!
You are also close to El Progresso and here you can shop, relax, get on the internet, or party! 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.
You will take a short bus ride from the town to the highlands on the island where your project is based.
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.
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 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
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.
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.