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Galapagos: Preserving Nature's Wonders™

Galapagos: Preserving Nature's Wonders™

Live alongside exotic marine life in one of the last untouched places on earth.

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Highlights

  • Volunteer to restore the habitat of native Galapagos wildlife
  • Live in a world where animals have no fear of humans
  • Snorkel with sea lions, turtles and blue-footed boobies nearby
  • Straddle the northern & southern hemispheres at the actual Equator line
  • Swim, kayak and hike as you explore these untouched islands
  • Wander the cobblestone streets of colonial Quito

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Overview

The Galapagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador, are so unique that UNESCO has designated them a World Heritage Site. These 19 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.

Come and experience one of the most pristine natural environments where conservationists are working to protect this unique ecosystem. Besides volunteering, you will also have the opportunity to explore volcanoes, snorkel with sea lions and hike expansive lava fields.

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Community Service

The native wildlife of the islands is in danger because the animals' natural habitat is under attack by invasive plants, litter and foreign species. On Isabela Island, our project is in partnership with a tortoise breeding center, where you'll see tortoises roaming around as you work to help them. On San Cristobal Island, you'll get your day started with a hike up a beautiful hill where we will clear invasive species on private and national park land to encourage tortoises and endemic birds to reinhabit the land. Of the nine days you spend on the Galapagos Islands, six of those days will consist of animal volunteer work for teenagers like you to get your hands dirty. The other three days will focus on exploring the islands and learning about the biology and geology of the Galapagos archipelago.

Hands-On Learning

Throughout the program, you will be in a “living classroom.” Beyond volunteer opportunities for teens with animals, we will also learn about issues related to the challenges of balancing the needs of humans with the imperative for biological protection and preservation. Current issues, such as the pressure to develop the islands, will be discussed within the context of conservation vs. development. You will also witness firsthand the diversity of species that led Darwin to formulate his thinking on natural selection and adaptation. The entire journey will shed light on the history of these islands, human interaction and habitation, and the struggle to conserve the wildlife and fauna of this area.

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Adventure

This journey through the Galapagos Islands will prove to be the experience of a lifetime. This is not simply because of the rich and varied diversity of animals that you will see or their staggering numbers, but also because of their sublime indifference to you while observing them. Swim with sea lions and observe blue-footed boobies perched on rocks. The skies are filled with wheeling, courting red-throated frigate birds. The lava rocks are piled high with motionless marine iguanas. You will hike to a volcano and explore one of the five largest calderas in the world. You'll swim through lagoons, snorkel off the rugged island coast and see wildlife that you have until now only read about.

Lodging

To start and end our journey, we’ll stay at a local hotel in Quito. While in the Galapagos, we will stay on two islands- Isabela and San Cristobal. On Isabela Island, we stay at a comfortable hotel owned by a local family. On Cristobal, we stay at a family-run rustic volunteer lodge in the highlands.

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Dates & Tuition

Galapagos: Preserving Nature's Wonders™ 14-Day Program
2017 Dates
Aug 4 - Aug 17, 2017
2018 Dates
Jun 11 - Jun 24, 2018
Jun 27 - Jul 10, 2018
Jul 13 - Jul 26, 2018
Jul 29 - Aug 11, 2018
Duration: 14 days
Tuition: $4,599
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 24
Language Hours: N/A
See What's Included
Tuition includes all in-country expenses including:
  • Round trip domestic airfare from Quito to the Galapagos Islands
  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 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
More Information

Interested in Family-Friendly trips? Check out Discover Corps, our volunteer vacations for adults and families, in collaboration with the National Peace Corps Association.

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