Updated on: 31/July/09
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Galapagos Experience ECUADOR BRIEF PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Island hop, volunteer and travel! All in one experience! Participants on this program will be working during their first week at the Santa Rosa Reserve in Sta. Cruz Island doing conservation work. During their second week, participants will be in San Cristobal Island working with community, conservation and social projects. You will end your program in the fascinating island of Isabella- visiting the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, Las Tintorera Islet (white-tip sharks) and more! Participants must arrive to Quito on Sundays. Volunteers will be meet at the airport and taken to the hostel in Quito. On Monday, volunteers will be met by Lead Staff and taken to the office. At the office the volunteer will receive a comprehensive orientation about Ecuador and the program itself. On Tuesday morning a transfer will be arranged for the participants to the airport. Volunteers will fly to Baltra airport (north of Sta. Cruz Island). In Sta. Cruz the projectâ€™s staff will meet participants. From here on your experience in the beautiful Galapagos Island will start!
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES For an extra charge and in your free time explore the different activities that the islands have to offer: * Island Hop! Start at Espanola Island and enjoy natural wonder after natural wonder, from the immense blowhole, to the thousands of nesting blue-footed boobies, to the world's largest waved albatross colony. Continue to Floreana Island and see flamingos! Enjoy Black Tortuga Bay on Sta. Cruz and witness a mangrove maze chock full of sharks, rays and sea turtles. * If you are a diving fan, The Galapagos is a unique, world-class diving location. This underwater world is still private, pristine, and relatively unexplored. It is not the coral reefs that are the main attraction, but rather the unique mixture of marine animals and their fearlessness of intruders into their watery world. You will be diving next to sea turtles, manta rays, penguins, sea lions, dolphins, and numerous species of shark, including hammerheads and whale
sharks. There are also hundreds of species of tropical reef fish, many of which are particular to this fantastic underwater sanctuary. * Visit the Charles Darwin Foundation in Sta. Cruz. This is an international non-profit research organization dedicated to providing scientific research, technical assistance and information to ensure conservation success in Galapagos.
THE PROGRAM WEEK Week 1 Week 2
LOCATION/ORGANIZATION Santa Cruz/Galapagos Foundation San Cristobal/SC Ranch
Isabella/ Isabella Tour Operator
ACTIVITIES Conservation projects Environmental, community and social projects Volcan Sierra Negra, Volcan Chico, Las Tintoreras and more!
PROJECT/ORGANIZATION/INSTITUTION DESCRIPTION Organization
San Cristobal Ranch
Location of the Organization Focus Nonprofit/private/public organization Number of employees
Santa Cruz-Santa Rosa Conservation Non-profit
Isabella Tour Operator San Cristobal-La Isabella-Puerto Soledad Villamil Conservation/Community Tourism Non-profit Private
1. DESCRIBE THE POPULATION/COMMUNITY THAT THE INSTITUTION PROVIDES ITS SERVICES TO. IN CASE OF RESCUE CENTERS OR ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDE THE TYPE OF ANIMALS AND ENVIRONMENT IT WORKS WITH. Galapagos Foundation The Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization with no political or religious affiliation that was created in 2001. It works with professionals with an interest in solidarity and social issues, the majority of whom are residents of Galapagos and committed to the future of the islands. The foundation works with the Galapagos community, using alternative and responsible approaches to strive for sustainable development. San Cristobal Ranch The aim of the Ranch is to bring as much benefit as possible to the local people, especially the children. There is widespread international support for protection of the animals and the environment in Galapagos but not quite as much attention has been paid to the human population. Profit that is eventually generated by the Ranch, will be used toward the
maintenance and upgrade of the property. Also a portion will be contributed directly to the community, in ways that are in alignment with the ranchâ€™s goal of benefiting the people, especially the children. Isabella Participants will be performing tourists activities during their time in this Island. 2. SERVICES THAT THE ORGANIZATION/INSTITUTION PROVIDES (DESCRIPTION) Galapagos Foundation Galapagos Foundation focuses on designing, creating and executing projects that focus on conservation and responsible development. It creates an environment for debate and critical thinking for change. It promotes equality, social and environmental ethics as well local participation. San Cristobal Ranch The Ranch offers the following activities for outside visitors: dairy farming, horseback riding, fruit picking, hiking, bird watching, mountain biking and camping. The volunteer program focuses on the following activities: environmental, community, education and hipo-therapy. Isabella Participants will be performing touristsâ€™ activities during their time in this Island. Isabella is one on of the most pristine Islands- full of sights!
VOLUNTEER INFORMATION 3. How many volunteers can the Project employ monthly? Galapagos Foundation, San Cristobal Ranch and Isabella Island 10 volunteers at the same time 4. Has the organization received volunteers in the past? Both organizations (Galapagos Foundation and San Cristobal Ranch) has worked with volunteer in the past. 5. If it has received volunteers in the past, please write since what month and year: The Foundation and the Ranch have worked with volunteers since their early years. 6. Are there any special features to which the volunteers have to pay attention to when working at this project? (Religion, illnesses, extra-vaccination, etc) No. 7. Are there any requirements to attend this program? Great Interest in: conservation, education, the environment and community work. 8. The project receives volunteers all year round? The Foundation and Ranch close for the holidays.
9. Please specify holidays or other dates when the project closes and can not receive volunteers: From December 15 to January 15 due to Christmas and New Yearâ€™s celebrations. 10. Is there a minimum amount of weeks volunteers can work at the project? The program includes a total of three weeks. 11. Is there a maximum amount of weeks volunteers can work at the project? Participants can extend their stay in the islands after the three weeks of their program- they can stay doing tourism if interested. 12. Please give detailed description of tasks and duties of the volunteer: WEEK 1. SANTA CRUZ Arrival: Tuesday (reception at the canal, visit los gemelos and primicias ranch where you can watch Galapagos Giant Tortoise in their wildlife state!) Tuesday afternoon visit the Charles Darwing Station and Breading Center Santa Cruz, night at Pto. Ayora Wednesday morning visit Tortuga Bay Beach, which is one of the most pristine white sanded beach in Galapagos, in the afternoon tour through the Academy Bay. During the trip you can observe the diversity of the underwater world and with a little bit of luck see some of the bigger inhabitants of the ocean, like marine turtles, white tipped reef sharks or manta rays. Thursday morning orientation at the foundation offices in Pto Ayora and starting at the project at the same day. Friday: Project. Saturday leave the project after lunch, spend the night at the town. Departure: Sunday (to San Cristobal) at 2:00pm The activities that participants will be performing are the following: -Production of native and endemic species -Reforestation -Removal of foreign plant species -Organic farming -Production of compost and organic fertilizers -Care of domestic animals -Monitoring of Giant Tortoises depends the season of the year ( 3 months per year and depending on the foundation planning).There is no guarantee that volunteers will work in this subproject. WEEK 2. SAN CRISTOBAL Arrival: Sunday at 4.30pm spend the night at the hostal in Town Monday morning orientation at the office of the ranch at the town and starting at the project at the same day Tuesday Project Wednesday Project Thursday Project
Friday project and spend the night at the hostel. Departure Saturday morning 7:00am to Santa Cruz, spend the night in Santa Cruz (night included with no meals) and Sunday departure to Isabella The activities that participants will be performing are the following: -Reforestation -Restoring native forests and endemic plants -Control and eliminate the introduced plants -Plant nursery -Educate community to plant local vegetation -Help local families to collect fruit in the ranch to provide to a childrenâ€™s dining room -Teach local children how to plant and maintain the gardens -Hipo-therapy: volunteers with physical therapy experience can work with special children WEEK 3. ISABELLA Arrival: Sunday 4.30pm Departure: Saturday back to Santa Cruz to catch flight from Baltra back to Quito *If there are no flights available for return to Quito on Saturday, Lead will arrange them for Friday. Travel to Isabella by speedboat; get to know one of the most pristine Islands in Sunday Galapagos! Check in at a family hostel. Monday Guided visit to the Isabella Giant Tortoise Breeding Center and Wall of Tears Tintoreras Islet Tour. From the Wharf you will board a speedboat that will take Tuesday you for a ride around the bay or the small island of Las Tintoreras (white-fin sharks). From here you will be able to see penguins, sharks, blue-legged piqueros, pelicans, iguanas, and sea lions. There will be some time to snorkel (snorkel gear included) and you will be able to get a great view of the different variety of fish in the area. Volcano tour. In this tour participants can admire the beautiful landscape and Wednesday the different lava formations produced by the most recent eruptions. Free day to enjoy the Island- snorkel with sea lions at Concha Perla, lay on the Thursday beach, watch flamingos and more! Free day to enjoy the Island- snorkel with sea lions at Concha Perla, lay on the Friday beach, watch flamingos and more! Book extra tours Saturday Early departure to Santa Cruz to catch your flight back to Quito. 13. Indicate the times and days the volunteer will be working in the week: Volunteers will be working at the Galapagos Foundation and San Cristobal Ranch from 8:30am to 5:00pm. On the third week most tours will be taking place during the morning.
LOCATION OF THE PROJECT 14. PLEASE INDICATE THE CLOSEST CITY OR TOWN TO THE PROJECT. Galapagos Foundation The program is located in Santa Cruz Island in Santa Rosa- this is approximately 20 minutes away from Puerto Ayora, the capital city of this island.
San Cristobal Ranch The program is located in San Cristobal Island in La Soledad- this is approximately 20 minutes away from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital city of this island or ten minutes away from El Progreso. Isabella Island Participants will stay in a hostel during their time in Isabella Island located in Puerto Villamil. This is on the southeastern part of the island. 15. INDICATE WHAT TYPES OF TRANSPORTATION THERE IS FROM THE CENTER OF THIS CITY TO THE PROJECT, ITS COSTS AND APPROXIMATELY TIME THAT WILL TAKE: TYPE COST Santa Cruz- from Santa Rosa to Puerto Ayora Taxi $10
TIME IT WILL TAKE 20 minutes
San Cristobal- from La Soledad to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno Taxi $4 20 minutes *Most volunteers in Isabella walk from one attraction to another. The island is pretty small and is possible to visit places by foot. There are taxis that are available for the participants but it is not common to use them. 16. DESCRIBE THE SORROUNDINGS OF THE PROJECT (country side, urban, town) Galapagos Foundation The project is located in is the second largest island after Isabela- Santa Cruz. Its capital is Puerto Ayora, the most populated urban centre in the islands. On Santa Cruz there are some small villages such as Santa Rosa where the reserve is located. Santa Rosa is a rural area whose inhabitants work in agriculture and cattle raising. This island is a large dormant volcano. It is estimated that the last eruptions occurred around a million and a half years ago. San Cristobal Ranch The ranch is located at La Soledad lookout point, past El Progreso, the site of the first plantation on the island, bordering National Park land to the east. The ranch shares an independent spring as a water source, crucial in these dry islands, but it also have access to the town water supply as a backup. It is on the electrical power grid. Adjacent land, donated to the community by a previous owner, has a school, a church and the La Soledad lookout restaurant. La Soledad lookout is a location favored by locals who come out especially on Sundays to the church, and to savor the spectacular views of the northern coastline as well as local delicacies. Isabella Island Isabella is the home to wild tortoises, more than any island on the archipelago. Isabela's rich animal, bird, and marine life is beyond compare. Isabela's large size and notable topography
created barriers for the slow moving tortoises; apparently the creatures were unable to cross lava flows and other obstacles, causing several different sub-species of tortoise to develop. Today tortoises roam free in the calderas of Alcedo, Wolf, Cerro Azul, Darwin and Sierra Negra. Puerto Villamil is a small port village located on the southeastern edge of the island. On the southwestern edge of town the park created a boardwalk. It leads through mangrove environments passing along saltwater lagoons filled with flamingos and other animals that come here to sweep the mud in search of brine.
ACCOMODATIONS AND MEALS 17. Type of Accommodation? Santa Cruz Participants will stay at a volunteer house in the reserve in shared rooms. The house has a dining room, bathrooms for men and women, cold water only for showers, a fully equipped kitchen, computer area, reading area, laundry room and medium size sport field. San Cristobal Participants will stay at a volunteer house in the ranch in shared rooms- doubles. The volunteer house has a fully equipped kitchen for volunteers to prepare their meals, electricity, dining room and a bathroom with hot water for showers. Volunteers are welcomed to use the products that the ranch produces such as milk, fruits and more. Isabella In Isabella the accommodation is at a family hostel with double and triple rooms. The hostel has hot water for showers, dining room, electricity and common areas to share with the family and other volunteers. 18. Are meals included? Santa Cruz Three meals San Cristobal No meals included (fully equipped kitchen available for volunteers) Approximately $25 for food shopping for a week Isabella 2 meals (breakfast and dinner)
WHAT IS INCLUDED? Flight from Quito to Sta. Cruz (if purchased through Lead Adventures at an extra cost) Pick up transfer on arrival from the airport at the beginning of your program Two nights in Quito on arrival Comprehensive Orientation in Quito Transfer from hostel in Quito to airport for the Galapagos flight Reception at the airport in Sta. Cruz (Baltra Canal) Accommodation and meals as described above Boat transfers: Santa Cruz-San Cristobal, San Cristobal-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz-Isabella One night accommodation in a hostel in Quito on arrival from Galapagos Transfer from hostel in Quito to airport for international departure
Activities described above
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED? International flights Return transfers from the Islands back to the hostel in Quito Personal travel insurance for the duration of your placement Airfare, or taxes, and National Park entrance fee ($110) to enter the Galapagos All items of a personal nature Soft drinks, beer, wine, spirits Tours to other protected islands Any activities beyond your planned itinerary
PICTURES OF THE PROJECT Santa Cruz