Embark on an volunteering trip to the Galapagos, to preserve a fragile ecosystem and help protect endemic flora and fauna. All volunteer programs in Ecuador here.
Restoring Galapagos endemic flora
Go to the Galapagos to preserve a fragile ecosystem and help protect endemic flora and fauna. Be more than just a tourist visiting the Galapagos Islands to take exciting photos! Get involved in the lives of local communities and contribute to environmental education as an ecovolunteer. This volunteer program offers you the chance to spend a long stay on the famous Galapagos Islands.
More than 500 endemic species on San Cristobal Island
San Cristobal Island is located some 960 kilometers from the South American mainland, in the Pacific Ocean. It is home to around 500 endemic plant species, as well as over 700 introduced species. This biodiversity is the result of the intersection of the Humboldt, Cromwell and Panama currents.
In recent decades, both the birth rate and the number of tourists to the Galapagos Islands have increased rapidly. This has resulted in an increased demand for food and the development of agricultural land to the detriment of endemic flora.
Importation of endemic plants
As the Galapagos Islands were unable to produce enough to meet the growing demand for food, the government had no choice but to authorize fresh food imports from the mainland. This had disastrous consequences. Indeed, the arrival of new agricultural products has brought with it non-endemic species that have spread rapidly, as well as parasites that are destroying the island's native flora and fauna.
Combating the spread of these species is an essential component of the volunteer project on the Galapagos Island to preserve the native flora and fauna. The project uses a variety of strategies to support these efforts.
- Disposal of imported plants
- Restoring endemic flora
- Encouraging sustainable living
- Public education
- Work with the local community (e.g. construction projects, environmental education, English classes, computer training, etc.).
Volunteers stay in an ecological hacienda
Thanks to this ecovolunteer program, you'll have a unique opportunity to discover the Galapagos and help protect these mythical islands' biodiversity. You'll be staying at a hacienda that manages a 30-hectare ecological farm located on Galapagos National Park land.
Your task will be to remove non-endemic plants from the hacienda's land. The introduction of non-native plant species has had a negative impact on the region's flora, and this project aims to mitigate the effects. The results of the previous volunteers' work are significant. Invasive plants have been carefully eliminated and native plants have been grown in greenhouses before being planted outdoors. Environmental education activities will also be offered.
The tasks entrusted to volunteers
Volunteer tasks are varied and mainly focused on reforestation, research and community service. Here are some potential tasks:
- Eradication of imported plants (Mora, Guayaba and Superroza)
- Afforestation with native plants
- Work in the greenhouse and gardens (sowing native plants / planting fruit and vegetables)
- Support for the local community (painting schools, cleaning up beaches and parks, etc.)
- Help with teaching English, computers, sports, etc.
The work is physical. Days start early, with a hearty breakfast at 6:30 a.m. to keep people from working too hard during the hot hours of the day. After the afternoon's work, volunteers are free to explore the island, relax in the hammocks, take a nap or stroll around the harbor. Weekends are free.
nota Bene: tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as the number of volunteers, the weather, the season, current project needs and personal motivation. Each volunteer may not be fully involved in all tasks.
- All year round 2 weeks minimum
- Application fee: €150
- Program cost: €1,295 (for a minimum stay of 2 weeks + 1 day)
- Additional week: €390
Nota Bene: Full weeks are always charged for the Monday to Sunday project. Please always add one night in Quito for the introductory meeting.
Included in fees
- Shared room in the Maison des Volontaires
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Reception at Quito airport and 1 night in Quito
- Presentation meeting in Quito
- Drop-off at Quito airport for flight to the Galapagos Islands
- Welcome at the airport on San Cristobal Island
- Issuance of residence permits for the Galapagos Islands
- Permission to stay in the Galapagos as a volunteer
- Professional advice in English
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer internship in Ecuador
- English-speaking support in the country
- Manual Ecuador
- Intercultural guide
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information on suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Not included in fees
- Airline tickets
- Travel insurance
Volunteers live together in the Hacienda Volunteer House. Full board with 3 meals a day is included. Vegetarian/vegan dishes can be requested.
The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago made up of two main islands, one of which is San Cristobal. The island has a port, an airport, several small villages and a small town. The southwest corner of the island is home to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos.
The average daily temperature is 25°C and remains constant throughout the year.
There are several tourist attractions close to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, including Cerro Tijeretas, home to a frigate breeding colony, and a statue of Charles Darwin, which stands on the spot where the naturalist first set foot on the Galapagos Islands, during the second voyage of the HMS Beagle. Just a ten-minute bus ride from town, you can discover a colony of sea lions. Two nearby diving sites are accessible by boat, thanks to the locals who offer these outings.
During your free time, you can admire the many sea lions, cliff crabs, shellfish, frigate birds, mockingbirds, rays, Bahamian ducks, moorhens, Darwin's finches, brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies and finally the famous giant Galapagos tortoises.
About the partner
Our partner has been a specialist in foreign trips to Latin America since 2003. A multilingual team provides specialized advice and support. Volunteering in the fields of social work, ecovolunteering, wildlife and nature, development, as well as Spanish courses, farm stays and working vacations throughout this extraordinary continent. Over the past 20 years, South America Inside has helped thousands of participants realize their dream of an exciting and rewarding stay abroad.