from 1,649€

Excellent 4.8rating (34)

Sea Turtle Nest Monitoring & Conservation

location
2 - 12 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Excellent 4.8  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Excellent response rate

Highlights

  • Become part of a small and personal program aimed at turtle protection and conservation.
  • Explore the beautiful coastline of Galapagos while monitoring turtle species and nesting patterns.
  • Join a network of like-minded volunteers and environmental conservation experts.
  • Combine volunteering with cultural exchange while staying with a local host family.
  • Practice your Spanish with locals and your host family.

Especially suitable

Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

About the program

Help the Galapagos National Park by taking important baseline nesting data while patrolling 6 kms of stunning beach. 🐢

Role Overview:

Sea turtles in the Galapagos are at high risk during breeding season for a number of reasons: the adults are near the coast at this time, making them vulnerable to being hit by propellers of passing boats, and hatchlings are vulnerable to introduced predators to the island, such as ...

About the program

Role Overview:

Sea turtles in the Galapagos are at high risk during breeding season for a number of reasons: the adults are near the coast at this time, making them vulnerable to being hit by propellers of passing boats, and hatchlings are vulnerable to introduced predators to the island, such as feral cats and pigs.  Volunteers help protect the turtles and provide data that will add to ongoing research and community education efforts to raise awareness and care for these animals. We collaborate with the Galapagos National Park, an established, local organization, to provide an opportunity for IOI to invest in conservation and social development through a local lens, and to give volunteers like you the opportunity to jump right into the heart of the work.

As a sea turtle nest monitor, you will walk a 6km stretch of beautiful Isabela beach at early light and in the late evening. Depending on the time of the season you arrive, you may be lucky enough (but of course not guaranteed) to observe a turtle nesting (January through mid-March) or in mid-March through May observe turtle hatchlings leave the nest. During your patrol you will collect baseline data for the Galapagos National Park to support the management plan of the local beach. This will include:

  • Determing nesting patters of the Green Sea Turtle, the species that nests on Isabela beaches and marking off laid nests.
  • Observing and taking data on nest sizes.
  • As you walk the beach, picking up rubbish and debris to keep the beach clear for the turtles.
  • Kikuyo removal - you will also be asked to dedicate 3 hours weekly to the removal of kikuyo from the turtle nesting area. Kikuyo is a highly invasive plant to Isabela that chokes out other native plant species and that overgrows into areas along the beach that sea turtles can no longer use to nest. Its removal will be an important part of your role.
  • Beach profiling - if you'll be volunteering on this project around the 15th of each month (during the nesting season), we will need your help to measure beach erosion to determine the current beach profile. This data collection allows us to compare changes in the beach profile over time, ultimately leading to better management of the beach as erosion is a consequence of many factors.

Requirements:

  • Ability to speak and understand Spanish is beneficial as it will increase your ability to communicate and integrate with community members. IOI staff are English speakers but National Park Staff speak basic English thus we highly recommend that you brush up on your Spanish skills to make the most of your experience. If you would like to add a 1 or 2 week long Spanish course to the start of your program, please let us know so we can help you arrange this.
  • A genuine passion for animal conservation.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team.
  • Flexible schedule that accounts for the day to day needs of working with a local institution.
  • Physical ability to work outdoors with potentially high sun, element, and temperature exposure.
  • Ability to independently collect and register data. You will train with team members during your first week and thereafter, may monitor with team members or partner up with another project volunteer and monitor and collect data following your training. This will be explained in further detail during your induction session.

Accommodation 

Accommodation is provided by one of our carefully selected host families or in our volunteer housing. In both types of housing, volunteers have their own room, a fan, bed, desk, dresser, and bathroom, as well as warm water and drinking water.  In our volunteer housing, breakfast is not included, but you have access to our fully equipped kitchen facilities to cover your needs. Lunch and dinner is provided at your choice of various restaurants in town, which are usually open-air seating with local cuisine. You simply sign for your meal and we’ll pick up the bill at the end of the month. 

Our host families have experience with outside culture and international living and provide an amazing immersion experience. All host family houses are nearby the IOI offices and the local schools in the beach town of Puerto Villamil. Homes are fairly simple, clean, and welcoming. You will have breakfast and dinner with your family. Lunch is at the above mentioned restaurants.  

We at IOI pair you with your host family, and we are available at any time to help if any issues arrive with  the restaurants, your host family, the volunteer site, if you get sick and need to visit the doctor, etc.

Participation Fee

The program fee is necessary to cover your cost of living and logistics. Our overhead is covered by other means so 100% of any funds that exceed your direct cost will go towards the project you participated in.

To book you need to pay a Reservation Deposit.
That deposit WILL BE DEDUCTED from your program fee.

What’s Included          

Cost includes food, full room and board, permits, Transient visa, local coordination and training at respective facility, local transport, full access to our facilities, etc.—everything minus personal expenses, travel insurance, and your airfare to Galápagos.


Typical day

Schedule:

4 hours/day: 6am-8am and anywhere from 8pm-1am.

*The night walk does not have a set hour as this will vary and greatly depend on the high tide time when you are in Isabela.

Volunteers will have an atypical work schedule because turtle movement happens at first light or after sunset, so you ...

Typical day

Schedule:

4 hours/day: 6am-8am and anywhere from 8pm-1am.

*The night walk does not have a set hour as this will vary and greatly depend on the high tide time when you are in Isabela.

Volunteers will have an atypical work schedule because turtle movement happens at first light or after sunset, so you will have to rise early to begin work.  Arrive at the beach at 6am and work with park staff and/or other turtle monitors to walk the beach looking for turtles and new nests and study identified nests for size and activity. 

Have the day to explore, adventure, or relax on the beach. Go to lunch in one of the restaurants we partner with - you choose where you want to go, sign in, and at the end of the month, we pick up the tab.  Spend the rest of the afternoon playing volleyball, learning to cook local recipes with your host family (if you choose to stay with one), and watching the sunset from the beach.  Return to work after sunset anywhere between 8pm to 10pm, depending on the high tide time.


Free-time activities

There is a lot to do in your free time!  You can definitely look up tours in Isabela - there are many snorkel tours, scuba, hiking in the volcano, etc. There are also free things to do like snorkeling at the concha de perla, walking to the muro de lagrimas, various wetlands trails, etc.   It is ...

Free-time activities

There is a lot to do in your free time!  You can definitely look up tours in Isabela - there are many snorkel tours, scuba, hiking in the volcano, etc. There are also free things to do like snorkeling at the concha de perla, walking to the muro de lagrimas, various wetlands trails, etc.   It is easy and inexpensive to rent bikes and surfboards. You will quickly and easily make friends here - it is a very community-driven place so people spend a lot of time with others and there is always fun stuff to do. We also have other short volunteer opportunities like environmental education days, helping clear invasive species with the National Park, and more that happen frequently but are just one day/one afternoon activities that we love to have extra help with.


Requirements

Requirements

Minimum Age: 18 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.

Language Skills

You need to speak English (intermediate level) or Spanish (basic level)

Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

- Basic level of Spanish. - A genuine passion for animal conservation. - Ability to work independently or in a team. - Flexible schedule that accounts for the day to day needs of working with a local institution. - Physical ability to work outdoors with potentially high sun, element, and temperature exposure. - Ability to independently collect and register data. You will train with staff during your first week and thereafter, may monitor with staff or partner up with another volunteer.

Time Commitment

Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 06:00 - 08:00

What's Included

What's Included

Services by IOI - Empowering Galapagos

Cost includes: 

  • food, full room and board, permits, Transient visa, local coordination and training at respective facility, local transport, full access to our facilities, etc.—everything minus personal expenses, travel insurance, and your airfare to Galápagos.

The program fee is necessary to cover your cost of living and logistics. Our overhead is covered by other means so 100% of any funds that exceed your direct cost will go towards the project you participated in.

Accommodation

Accommodation is provided by one of our carefully selected host families or in our volunteer housing. In our volunteer housing, breakfast is not included, but you have access to our fully equipped kitchen facilities to cover your needs. Lunch and dinner is provided at your choice of various restaurants in town. You simply sign for your meal and we’ll pick up the bill at the end of the month. 

Our host families have experience with outside culture and international living and provide an amazing immersion experience. You will have breakfast and dinner with your family. Lunch is at the above mentioned restaurants.

Food & Beverages

In our volunteer housing, breakfast is not included, but you have access to our fully equipped kitchen facilities to cover your needs. Lunch and dinner is provided at your choice of various restaurants in town. You simply sign for your meal and we’ll pick up the bill at the end of the month. 

Our host families have experience with outside culture and international living and provide an amazing immersion experience. You will have breakfast and dinner with your family. Lunch is at the above mentioned restaurants.

Internet Access

Good access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Airport Pickup at Baltra Airport

An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Baltra Airport (GPS) in Galapagos Islands. We assist you to find cheap flights to Ecuador. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

Travel Insurance

Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Ecuador provides security and is a plus to have. GET A QUOTE

Vaccines

If you are intending to volunteer in Ecuador you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Ecuador. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

Arrivals are on Mondays and departures are on Saturdays or Sundays. Project staff will pick you up and drop you off on these days. Please ensure this works with your travel plans.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

2 weeks (min. stay) 1,649€
3 weeks 2,134€
4 weeks 2,619€
5 weeks 3,104€
6 weeks 3,589€
7 weeks 4,074€
12 weeks (max. stay) 6,499€
Average fees 683€/week

Program fees

683€ per week 2 - 12 weeks Age 18 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal

NO CREDIT CARD FEES


Duration

2 - 12 weeks

Deposit

The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.


Final Payment

Your final payment will be agreed with IOI - Empowering Galapagos during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.


Meet your organization

IOI - Empowering Galapagos

Excellent 4.8 rating (34 reviews)

Non-profit

Verified by Volunteer World

  Excellent response rate

Coordinated by

Monique

Spoken languages: Spanish, English

About the project

We empower isolated communities to grow in a sustainable way. To that end, we run projects in Conservation, Education, and Social Development.

Meet your organization

Who we are
IOI is a non-profit organization that designs educational adventures to empower isolated communities to grow in a sustainable way. We strive to help establish ecological sustainability and social stability in our host communities. As such, our mission is to provide international education programs that support the education, conservation, and social development of isolated communities by assisting local institutions in sustainably handling the human-environmental intersection. 


What we do

  • We develop and implement our outreach projects with local institutions to ensure their sustainable implementation. Our projects address pressing conservation, education, and social development needs. Our partners include the Galapagos National Park, the Biodiversity Protection Agency, the local school system, and the provincial government.
  • We provide volunteer opportunities in conservation, education, and social development, providing our participants with life changing experiences, and our local partners with funding, expertise, and (wo)man power on site.
  • We immersive study abroad programs in which students spend up to 3 months studying the local environment and learn the local culture. All our programs are based on cultural integration and service learning.

Where we work
We work in the community of Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island in
the Galapagos, Ecuador. Our 5k beach is right across the street and the Volcano Sierra Negra is basically in our backyard. From Marine to Mountain, snorkeling to camping, nature is at our doorstep!

Our history
Since embarking on our journey in 2006, IOI has evolved into a mature and recognized organization with an innovative design of merging educational travel with conservation and community development. We began in Galapagos and, after 10 years of experience, have expanded to Cuba and Costa Rica.

Vision and Mission
We Empower Isolated Communities to Grow in a Sustainable Way. It is our Vision to help establish ecological sustainability and social stability in our host communities.  Our mission is to provide international education programs that support the education, conservation, and social development of isolated communities by assisting local institutions in sustainably handling the human-environmental intersection.

Who are we looking for
We are looking for adventurous volunteers ready to travel to remote parts of the world to make an impact on conservation and education projects. Our volunteers should be flexible, understanding, and respectful of the local cultural context. Depending on the position, we ask that our volunteers are physically able to work outside, sometimes in extreme weather conditions (think the tropics!) and be able to work on a team and individually.

Why choose us..

  • It's a unique opportunity to gain insight and firsthand experience in the the world of hands-on conservation and environmental management
  • All of our locations are unique and have exceptional beauty and biodiversity.
  • Our sites are slow lane kinds of places. If you need a break, this is your ideal escape.
  • You will learn Spanish and immerse yourself in the community--you'll finish your time volunteering feeling like a local!

34 reviews · rating4.8

I would recommend this volunteer experience with Intercultural Outreach Initiative (IOI), because everyone should experience the magic of this island and experience interacting with nature so ...
I would recommend this volunteer experience because this place is like anything else. Not that I've seen the whole world but from me and everyone else I've met here has said this is one of the favorite places that I've ever ...
I would recommend this volunteer experience because this was one of the most memorable months of my life. I think I made some lifelong friends, because people who want to volunteer with animals are my people! I loved the animals and nature here. It's one of the most amazing places I've ever ...
I would recommend this volunteer experience because Isabela and the Galapagos are a beautiful place to be it was magical to see the baby turtles find their way to the ocean. I will not ever forget this ...
I would recommend this volunteer experience because it is a great way to see this amazing island. This experience allowed me to stay for 6 weeks on Isabela where I met people I will never forget and had a once in a lifetime ...
I would recommend this volunteer experience to others because of the amazing staff and volunteers, the impact of the volunteering, the variety of volunteering to do and the magic of Isabela island. My experience with IOI was incredible. It truly felt like the most meaningful, informative, and ...

Location

Americas > South America > Ecuador > Galapagos

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Contact Monique
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Spanish, English

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