Galapagos: Preserving Nature's Wonders™
Live alongside exotic marine life in one of the last untouched places on earth.
- Restore the habitat of native Galápagos wildlife
- Snorkel with sea lions, turtles and blue-footed boobies nearby
- Straddle the Northern & Southern hemispheres at the Equator line
- Swim, kayak and hike as you explore untouched islands
- Wander the cobblestone streets of colonial Quito
The Galápagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador, are so unique that UNESCO has designated them a World Heritage Site. These nineteen islands have been called a “living museum” and “showcase of evolution.” While the archipelago has been the center of attention from conservationists around the world, it is under constant pressure from environmental threats. Experience one of the most pristine natural environments where conservationists are working to protect this unique ecosystem. Besides volunteering, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore volcanoes, snorkel with sea lions and hike expansive lava fields.
Your Adventure is Just Around the Corner!
The native wildlife of the Galápagos faces danger to its habitat from invasive plants, litter and foreign species. On Isabela Island, your project will be in partnership with a tortoise refuge center, digging up invasive species, helping with groundwork, and cleaning up or laying out new lagoons for the tortoises. On San Cristobal Island, you’ll work on national park and private land to similarly protect the natural habitat of the local wildlife. Of the nine days you spend on the Galápagos Islands, six of those days will consist of volunteer work that supports local animals—prepare to get your hands dirty! The other three days will focus on exploring the islands and learning about the biology and geology of the Galápagos archipelago.
The islands are a living classroom! Learn about the challenges of sustainably balancing human needs with biological protection and preservation. Issues such as the pressure to develop the islands for residents and tourism will be key discussion points during your time in the Galápagos. Encounter firsthand the diversity of species that led Darwin to formulate his thinking on natural selection and adaptation. Through community service and workshops, the history of the Galápagos Islands will become clear, and your ideas about the complicated relationship between humans and wildlife will begin to take shape.
Your Adventure is Just Around the Corner!
Darwin's living laboratory is home to an abundance of wildlife, presenting countless opportunities to interact with animals that have no instinctive fear of humans. Go snorkeling and sea kayaking with sea lions, observe blue-footed boobies perched on rocks and spot silent marine iguanas. Go on a wetlands walk where you’ll see a lava tunnel, and wade through mangroves as pelicans fly overhead. Hike to the Sierra Negra volcano on Isabela Island, the second largest crater rim in the world. The Galápagos Islands and their rocky topography were actually formed from a volcanic eruption, so you’ll be standing right at the origin of this magnificent place—and feeling the heat rising from it!
Home Base will change throughout the program as we travel from island to island. On Isabela Island, we stay at a comfortable hotel owned by a local family. On San Cristobal, we stay at a family-run, rustic volunteer lodge in the highlands. Both Home Bases offer shared, gender-segregated rooms and common areas where meals will be served. In Quito, the gateway city to the Galápagos, our group will stay at a local hotel.
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Dates & Tuition
Galapagos: Preserving Nature's Wonders™ 14-Day Program
|Jun 12 - Jun 25, 2018|
|Jun 28 - Jul 11, 2018|
|Jul 7 - Jul 20, 2018|
|Jul 16 - Jul 29, 2018|
|Jul 25 - Aug 7, 2018|
|Aug 3 - Aug 16, 2018|
- Round trip domestic airfare from Quito to the Galapagos Islands
- All educational materials
- 3 meals per day
- All in-country transportation
- Airport pick-up/drop-off
- Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
- 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
- Secondary medical and travel insurance
- All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
- Pre-departure materials and support