Travel to the Galapagos Islands, do conservation volunteer work and help local communities with a group your age. You’ll work at the Galapagos National Park and do light renovation work at schools and care centres in the local community. This is a unique opportunity, as we are the only volunteer organisation with an official partnership that allows us to work in the park.
Your two-week trip is divided into two parts. During week one, you’ll work with conservationists at the park, and help protect endangered animals and plants. The other week will be spent fixing up classrooms and playgrounds in the local community. This might include painting murals, planting a vegetable garden, or patching up playground equipment.
You’ll be based on the island of San Cristóbal, and stay with a local host family. Everything is organised for you, and our staff are on hand to guide and advise you throughout the trip. You’ll work with a group and go on an exciting weekend trip together.
When you apply you only pay $495, which comes off the total price.
Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 09 889 0587 to see if we can offer a discount.
Fixed dates throughout the year
Anyone aged over 50 can join
What's included in the price?
Food (three meals a day)
Travel and medical insurance
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival
Transport to and from your work placement
In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff
Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team
Training and workshops from our experienced local staff
Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources
Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns
Access to our local office with internet connection
Certification of project completion
Access to our alumni services and discounts
Visa support and advice
Fundraising support, including your own personalised fundraising website
Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor
A free cultural awareness course
Personalised MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination
Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch
Organised weekend tourism trips
What's not included?
Visa costs (where applicable)
What will I do on this project?
Conservation work in Ecuador for seniors is divided into two parts. You will spend one week supporting our conservation initiatives in the Galapagos National Park. Another week will be spent doing basic renovation work in the local community. You’ll help with these activities:
- Work with conservationists at the Galapagos National Park
- Run educational workshops in the local community to raise awareness about conservation
- Help with basic renovation work in the local community
- Explore the island and expand your horizons
Your work will focus mainly on the following:
Work in Galapagos National Park
The Galapagos Islands are one of the most species-rich regions on earth. Due to their isolation, they are home to many unique species of flora and fauna. You will work closely with the Galapagos National Park during your conservation work, assisting on various important ongoing research projects.
The park is understaffed because of a lack of funding. Because of this, it’s difficult for staff to do a lot of the research needed by themselves. As an extra pair of helping hands, you’ll help them with collecting data during surveys. This is important work, as the results are used to advise the Ministry of Environment for policy-making.
You might get involved in removal of alien plant species, reforestation of areas with indigenous plants, and monitoring animal populations.
Run educational workshops for the local community
Another important aspect of your volunteer work is to raise awareness about the importance of conservation in the local community. You can do this through running educational workshops about the projects you’re helping out with in the national park. Alternatively, you can arrange something a little more interactive, such as a beach clean-up.
Help with basic renovation in the local community
Your main role during the community part of your placement in Ecuador will be to take part in basic renovation activities. These activities include renovating and painting classrooms, painting murals, and playground maintenance.
Explore the island and expand your horizons
You will have plenty of free time to spend with the other volunteers. To ensure you make the most of your stay, a few exciting activities have been planned for you. This includes a trip to one or two of the neighbouring islands and a tour of the various sites in the Galapagos.
Living on the island also provides a great opportunity to speak Spanish, if you're interested in improving or picking up some language skills.
Where will I be working?
You’ll be based on the main island of San Cristóbal. It forms part of the Galapagos archipelago located about 1,000km from mainland Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean.
For the conservation part of the project, you will be based in Galapagos National Park. For the part of the project where you’ll be doing community work, your base will be the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
The Galapagos Islands are hugely popular for anyone with an interest in biology, science, and wildlife. These volcanic islands are home to a vast number of species that occur nowhere else in the world. A few examples include the Giant tortoise, marine iguanas, Galapagos fur seals, and Galapagos penguins.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring Our Impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
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