ECUADOR

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS: CONSERVATION ON BEAUTIFUL SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

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.

Some of your work includes the restoration of habitats in the Galapagos Islands, working with the local community and helping to improve trails and paths.

This diverse project on the stunning Galapagos Islands combines environmental, community and social initiatives to improve the sustainability of the islands. Plus ... it’s loads of fun!

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Hi, I'm Karen, Project Coordinator for Ecuador, and I'll be working with you to arrange your ultimate experience here, so if you've any questions, please contact me:
+44 (0)1903 502595,
or email: info@travellers
worldwide.com
Price: £1,395 (approx. US$1,735) for 1 week
£1,750 (approx. US$2,175) for 2 weeks
£1,920 (approx. US$2,385) for 3 weeks
£2,140 (approx. US$2,670) for 4 weeks
£225 (US$285) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies

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 £425 (approx. US$530) immediately. This flight deposit is already included in the price and is not in addition to the price.

Duration: From 1 week to 12 weeks, or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates: All year round – you choose your start and finish dates, subject to school holidays. You should ideally arrive on a Saturday, between 8.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m.
Requirements: Minimum age 18. No qualifications necessary.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation
Up to 2 nights in Quito for your Induction
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Return flights from Quito to the Galapagos Islands.
Daily transport to and from your project
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, Galapagos National Park Fee (currently $100, about £76), Return transfer to the airport.
Who is this Programme suitable for? SOLO travellers or travelling with friends.
GAP YEAR BREAKS from School or University.
GROWN-UP GAPPERS, career breakers and retired.
ANYONE interested in wildlife conservation, community help.
Also suitable as a summer placement or short break.
Open to all nationalities.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping a local disadvantaged community and knowing that you made a difference.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN ECUADOR info@travellersworldwide.com

ANY QUESTIONS?

Please fill in the form below. If you haven't heard from us within one working day, please check your Junk Mail / Spam folder.

Please tick the 'I'm not a robot' box below. It helps to stop spam. Then don't forget to click the SUBMIT button afterwards. Thank you :-)
Volunteers working on the organic agriculture segment of the conservation project in Galapagos, Ecuador
Volunteers working on the organic agriculture segment of the conservation project.
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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

This is a wonderfully varied and interesting project where you get to experience many different types of work. For example, you'll work to eliminate introduced/invasive plant species and to restore native and endemic species. You’ll help with data collection, identifying plant species and you’ll also assist in community projects.

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 work may include:

  • Reforestation – volunteers help to eliminate introduced/invasive plant species and then restore native and endemic species.
  • Identifying and logging fauna
  • Identifying native and endemic species
  • Recycled Construction Projects
  • Improve trails and paths around the plots of the lands.
  • Working together with a local institution on nearby farms
  • Work in the plant nursery, either on the land or in the Galapagos National Park. Grow and nurture native plants in the nursery and then move them to their permanent locations.
  • Community Work - Painting Schools, beach cleaning, etc.
  • Help to grow and cut down plants used as food for the Galapagos National Park tortoise breeding centres.
  • Working with the national park and the Consejo de Gobierno on water system measurements

You’ll typically work Monday to Friday from 8am – 1pm, leaving the afternoons and evenings (and of course weekends!) free for you to explore your stunning surroundings. As the work is physical and days are hot, you’ll definitely appreciate this rest time!

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Volunteer planting a new tree on the conservation project in Galapagos, Ecuador
Volunteer planting a sapling tree ... very satisfying!
Helping to eradicate non-indigenous plants on the conservation project in Galapagos, Ecuador
This volunteer is helping to eradicate some of the non-indigenous plants, work which is always ongoing!
Planting seedlings for the gardents on the conservation project in Galapagos, Ecuador
Volunteers working with seedlings - it's all part of the organic agriculture segment and also planting endemic species to replace the non-indigenous growth that has to be removed.
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ACCOMMODATION

You'll fly into Quito in Ecuador, where you will be met and have an overnight stop in the city. The next day you’ll be taken back to the airport for your flight to San Cristobel Island.

Once at San Cristobal, you'll be picked up on arrival and taken to your accommodation and settled in before your induction. Your volunteer work will start on Monday.

Your return flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands is included in your project price.

During your time on San Cristobel you'll live in a cosy hostel in the island's capital, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The hostel is basic but comfortable and you'll share a room with other volunteers and backpackers.

Your room has air-conditioning and a private bathroom and the hostel also has a lovely garden where you can sit and watch the sun set. It also has a well equipped kitchen.

Wi-Fi / Internet: Wi-fi facilities are available on in the lobby, so you are able to Skype and Facebook friends and family.

FOOD:
Food is not provided on this project. You can buy provisions at the supermarket (and also take some staple foods, like rice and pasta, with you from Quito) and use the kitchen facilities to cook.

As you are based in the town, there are lots of facilities nearby such as restaurants, bars, supermarkets and ATM machines.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN ECUADOR info@travellersworldwide.com
Accommodation on the Volunteering project in the Galapagos in Ecuador
The outdoor terrace at your accommodation.
The kitchen at the accommodation on the Volunteering project in the Galapagos in Ecuador
View from the project house accommodation.
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN ECUADOR info@travellersworldwide.com DOWNLOAD THIS INFORMATION in .pdf How to Fundraise for your Program

ANY QUESTIONS?

Please with any questions and include your phone number, if possible, to help us give you the best possible response.

We'll get back to you very shortly, but if you haven't heard from us within one working day, please check your Junk Mail / Spam folder. Thank you.

Volunteers working on Reforestation on the conservation project in the Galapagos in Ecuador
Volunteers working on some reforestation aspects of the project.
Volunteers preparing seedlings as part of the organic agriculture component of the project in the Galapagos in Ecuador
Volunteers preparing seedlings as part of the organic agriculture component of the project.
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OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Spanish Lessons Optional Add-On in Ecuador

1-WEEK SPANISH COURSE PRIOR TO STARTING YOUR MAIN PROJECT:
¿Cómo se dice en Español??? There is no better way to learn a language than to live it, eat it, breathe it and speak it in a Spanish-speaking community!! You can learn Spanish as an Optional Add-On to your main Project.
Prices:

  • OPTION 1: One-Week Intensive Spanish GROUP Course:
    20 Hours per Week: £385, includes accommodation for the week
  • OPTION 2: One-Week Intensive Spanish PRIVATE Course:
    20 Hours per Week: £435, includes accommodation for the week
  • OPTION 3: One-Week Super-Intensive Spanish Course: (If you have no Spanish at all and are doing a project in the Galapagos or one of the Conservation projects near Puyo, you'll be required to take this course.):
    20 Hours per Week Group Lessons PLUS 10 Hours per Week Private Lessons, 30 Hours in total:
    £495, includes accommodation for the week

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. The classes are highly focused on the development of communication skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing.) The school 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!

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Learn Spanish in Ecuador, having fun!

SPANISH LESSONS CONCURRENT WITH YOUR MAIN PROJECT:
Price:
10 Hours Private Lessons per Week: £75 per week
20 Hours Group Lessons per Week: £150 per week.

GROUP LESSONS: There are usually a maximum of 6 students per group.
PRIVATE LESSONS: One-to-one tuition. If you prefer to tailor your lessons, you could choose how many hours of lessons you'd like a week - from 2 to 40!

LOCATION:
Quito is a wonderful city, with a population of 2.4 million inhabitants. It is full of exciting history to explore. There is always something to do in Quito, whether you'd like to experience some culture or join in with the cosmopolitan, modern way of life. Cultural highlights include the old town, the cable car and the Equator, museums and monuments. There is also a range of shopping malls, a zoo, an ice skating rink, and plenty of restaurants and bars serving wonderful cocktails and tasty food.

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Spanish class
Spanish class.
An outdoors Spanish class
An outdoors Spanish class.
The entrance to the Spanish School
The entrance to the Spanish School.

Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.

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LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:

LOCATION:
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.

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.

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:

Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.

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A pack of seals chilling on the Galapagos Islands.
Volunteer climbing Cotopaxi, an active volcano in the Andes Mountain about 31 miles south of Quito.
A group of volunteers boating down the river - a fun thing to do while you're there!
One of Ecuador's very colourful markets. In fact, the whole country seems to be colourful!
Cotopaxi, with Quito lying beneath it.
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AIMS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:

The Challenges
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 and 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 mainly in the National Park area.

Our Goals
The Galapagos Preservation Program is a private local initiative that supports the programs of the Galapagos National Park of eradicating invasive species and reforestation with endemic species, both on private and national park lands on the island San Cristobal.

Our Achievements:
Amongst many other things, Volunteers have helped to eliminate invasive plant species and then restore native and endemic species. This is crucial to the success of the project. They have also helped to improve trails and paths around the plots of the lands which means humans and animals don’t stumble on the crops and destroy them or injure themselves.

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Volunteer working on the Conservation Project in the Galapagos
A volunteer hard at work digging a hole to plant a tree.
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PHOTO GALLERY: Galapagos Islands Conservation and Reforestation Project