Galapagos

  • Volunteer in Galapagos doing hands on conservation in the most incredible setting
  • Volunteer to teach English in primary and secondary schools
  • Work with young children in a kindergarten
  • Sports coaching project ideal for a gap year student
  • A unique experience awaits on these remarkable islands

Volunteer in Galapagos.

Volunteering in Galapagos allows you to get close to nature while living in a small welcoming island community.

The Galapagos is an amazing archipelago of 13 main islands 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador.  Some 25,000 people inhabit five islands (San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Floreana and Baltra) and 97% of the islands’ total area is designated as National Park. It has UNESCO world heritage status for the unique species of birds and animals that have adapted to life on the islands.

Our volunteer opportunities in the Galapagos are in three islands of San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz.

Sadly income generated from tourism does not trickle down to the majority of island residents. According to the 2010 census, just over half the population of Galapagos (52%) is in poverty. Breaking the cycle of poverty is a priority. Volunteers can help teach English, help coach sport in the secondary school, or volunteers can work with young children in the kindergartens.

Galapagos volunteer

For those interested in nature and conservation, volunteering in Galapagos is a dream come true. The conservation projects are reliant on international volunteers to help preserve the unique flora and fauna made famous in Charles Darwin’s the Origin of Species. The animals have no natural predators so close encounters with them are common.

The convergence of three major oceanic currents brings an incredible mix of marine life to Galapagos. They offer some of the most interesting places in the world for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. Visitors can expect to swim with sea lions, turtles, penguins and sharks, walk among nests of frigate birds and blue-footed Boobies, and study both marine and land-based iguanas up close.

Galapagos Islanders live a refreshingly simple life. As a volunteer on Galapagos with Outreach International you will be hosted in a local family stay, live as an islander, get insight into the joys and challenges of island life and contribute to the future of this special location.

Galapagos is a remarkable destination suitable for students, under 18s, gap year volunteers, nature enthusiasts and those wanting to volunteer as part of a holiday.

See all of our Galapagos Volunteer projects that you can participate in.

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    Country
    co-ordinator

    Julio



    Julio is a qualified teacher working in one of the schools Outreach International supports and he coordinates our volunteer activities on a particular island. Julio lived and trained in Guayaquil before moving to Galapagos 10 years ago.

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    Country
    co-ordinator

    Paulina Ratti



    Paulina qualified as special needs teacher and language therapist from the University of Guayaquil. She has lived in San Cristobal on the Galapagos all her life and has been supporting our volunteers since 2006. She is a well known island character, recognised locally for her brightly painted wall murals. She lives with her husband in Baquerizo, the town on San Cristobal.

  • Monika Outreach Coordinator in Ecuador

    Country
    co-ordinator

    Monika Montes



    Monika is superbly connected throughout Ecuador and has been working with Outreach International since 2003. She lives with her two teenage children in central Quito and plays host to many of our volunteers who work in the city. Monika’s passion for volunteering is reflected in her commitment and level of support that she provides. She speaks fluent English and is a qualified Spanish tutor.

Volunteer gallery

Things to see and do

Language

The national language is Spanish. English is not spoken widely, although businesses and tourist areas will have some English speakers. Volunteers benefit from speaking Spanish and we offer intensive language lessons as part of a volunteer placement.

Visa

Volunteers can use a 90 day tourist visa available on entry to Ecuador. For those staying over 90 days, for volunteering or for personal travel, an extended visa will be required in advance of your travel, available from your local consulate. Note that Galapagos has additional entry permit fees that apply.

Currency

The currency for Ecuador is the US dollar. You may see some ‘local’ versions of US dollar coinage locally, but this is all legal currency. Credit cards can be used in major centres on the mainland, but outside of the cities and on Galapagos the use of cards may be very limited.

Be Aware

As a small island community Galapagos is virtually free of crime and offers a welcome respite to the normal concerns of international travel. The major concerns are to take precautions from the sun/heat, and always be aware of your surroundings - with the islands having few distinctive features, it is well known for even veteran travellers to get lost too easily.