Be more than a mere tourist who travel to the Galapagos
Islands every year only to take some exciting photos! Come to Galapagos to contribute
to the conservation of natural habitats in this fragile ecosystem and help
protect endemic flora and fauna. By volunteering on the Galapagos Islands, you
also get involved in local communities and help with environmental education.
This volunteer project in the Galapagos Islands gives
you the unique opportunity to spend an extended time on these famous islands.
The Galapagos Islands are home to around 500 native plant
species, but over 700 species have been introduced! The island of San Cristobal is located 960 kilometers from the mainland right in the Pacific. The Humboldt, Cromwell
and Panama currents cross here, which means that the Galapagos Islands are
extremely diverse. In recent decades, the Galapagos Islands have seen a higher
birth rate and an increasing number of tourists. This led to a much higher
demand for food and other products. Endemic plants had to give way
to agriculture and livestock farming. The Galapagos Islands, however, could not
produce enough to meet the increasing demand. For this reason, the government
had to allow imports from the mainland, which had fatal consequences. With the
imports of (fresh) food and agricultural products came non-endemic species such
as the blackberry (spreads very quickly) but also many plant pests that threaten the native flora and fauna.
An important part of the volunteer project on the
island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos is to counter the spread of these
species in order to protect the local flora and fauna. The project is pursuing
various approaches for this goal
- Eradicating imported plants
- Reforestation of endemic plants
- Promoting a sustainable lifestyle
- Education of the population
- Community work (construction work, environmental
education, English lessons, etc.)
This volunteer project is your chance to get to know the
Galapagos Islands the way normal tourists are not able to see. Help to preserve
this unique spot on earth and to fight the problems of mass tourism.
San Cristobal is one of the two main islands of the archipelago of the Galapagos Islands. The island has an airport and a harbor, as well as a small town and several small villages. The capital of Galapagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is located on the southwestern tip of the island. Near Puerto Baquerizo Moreno there are tourist sites such as Cerro Tijeretas, a breeding colony for frigates, and a statue of Charles Darwin, which marks the original site where he first landed on the Galapagos Islands during the second voyage of the HMS Beagle.
Also, worth seeing is La Lobería, a colony of sea lions, only about ten minutes by bus from the city. There are also locals who offer boat trips to take visitors to two nearby diving sites. Popular photo motifs on the island are the many sea lions, cliff crabs, seashells, frigate birds, mockingbirds, rays, Bahama ducks, moorhens, Darwin's finches, brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies and last but not least the famous Galapagos giant tortoises. In the hinterland of San Cristobal, small farms grow fruit, vegetables and even organic coffee.
The climate is constant throughout the year and averages 25 °C per day. The rainiest months are from January to May; in the remaining months there is very little rain.
What we expect
Please do not put prejudices of the foreign culture and other people into your luggage. You do not need that during your stay abroad! On the contrary, tolerance is a very important feature if you want to be successful and have fun while volunteering abroad. Respect the foreign culture, the other habits and the different mentality with great respect. While the other way of working may not always make much sense in your eyes, the goal of volunteering abroad is not to criticize or smile at people for acting and doing, but to work with them for a good cause.
On a trip abroad, especially in developing countries, you leave your home comfort zone. It is very important that you are ready to adapt to a different life situation. In Latin America, you certainly will not find the usual standards of home again. Especially volunteer projects in developing countries are often located in very secluded areas in the middle of beautiful nature or you live with a local host family, who belongs to a foreign culture. But that's the exciting thing about volunteering abroad! Immerse yourself in a foreign land, experience culture, traditions and people up close, learn from them, just let go and adapt to the other life circumstances. A unique experience that will mature and grow you as a person!
In a voluntary work, the team idea is always over self-interest. Working in a team is fun and brings good mood and variety! So, for your volunteer work abroad, you should bring along a great deal of team spirit, because you always work together with other people, be it volunteers from other countries or local project staff. However, when so many foreign and diverse cultures meet, teamwork can become a whole new challenge. Even more important, that you have the ability to communicate in a group, work constructively and fairly and do not want to punch through your will at all costs.
- Be helpful and responsible
For most projects, volunteers who "do a good job" are most appreciated. By participating in a voluntary service abroad, you are consciously choosing to work in another country. You are not on a vacation trip. So, you have choosen to offer your help and valuable time to other people, nature protection or animals welfare. What really matters is your helpfulness! A really very important and unavoidable trait is the sense of responsibility. The volunteer project is counting on your support and your cooperation has been tightly scheduled. A high level of responsibility is the alpha and omega. During your volunteer work in Latin America, you are assigned to certain areas of activity that you must do on your own. Please take your role as a volunteer very seriously and carry out your tasks in the project conscientiously and carefully.
Be prepared for the fact that volunteering in Latin America is much different from what you know or are used to at home. The Latin Americans have a completely different order, time and work understanding. Even their logic of approaching certain things may not always make much sense in your eyes. The different language and culture can quickly lead to misunderstandings or communication problems. An important principle for you: always be flexible and spontaneous! You will soon realize that there is a solution for all situations and that you can quickly develop a plan B from a problem.
- Be proactive and take initiative
During your voluntary work abroad, do not expect someone to explain to you in a big way what needs to be done, where and when. Often there is only a brief introduction and then your proactivity and initiative are asked. Get actively involved, offer your help and see where you can best apply your skills and strengths. It is always great when volunteers constructively and friendly affix ideas and suggest their own small projects.