Volunteers work with children and help protect the environment in Ecuador on our project for teenagers

Conservation & Community Work in the Galapagos Islands

Discover the incredible biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands as you learn from and support the local community

At a glance

  • Spend your summer living on a picturesque island, helping people and the environment.
  • Gain exclusive access to the Galapagos National Park, working with conservationists to help protect animals like giant tortoises and sea lions!
  • Run educational activities and help spread environmental awareness throughout the community.
  • Download a sample itinerary for this project.

Start Dates: 

During school holidays

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Two Weeks

Age: 

15-18


Is volunteer work in Ecuador for teenagers right for me?

Do you want to spend your summer living on a unique island, helping people and the environment? Then you’ll love our Conservation & Community High School Special in the Galapagos. It’s for any teenager looking to do something different and be outdoors. 

This project is designed specifically for teenagers. We have a set itinerary in place and our staff are there every step of the way for guidance and support.  

You don’t need any experience. A willingness to help, learn, and explore is all we ask of you. This programme is a great way to get practical experience and learn new skills like teamwork and planning. Use it to give your application or CV an edge for university or a job.


What will I do on this project?

This two-week project is divided into two parts. You spend one week doing conservation volunteer work in the Galapagos National Park. The second week is spent running educational activities at a community centre.

You will:

  • Work with conservationists at the Galapagos National Park.
  • Help children learn through play at a community centre.
  • Expand your own horizons by being immersed in a unique island culture.

Your work during this High School Special will be divided into two main categories:

Work with conservationists

The Galapagos is home to a unique population of bird and animal life. It’s also considered a research hotspot for scientists from around the world. During your first week, you’ll work with conservationists on various research projects in the Galapagos National Park.

The park is understaffed because of a lack of funding. Because of this, it’s difficult for staff to do a lot of the research needed by themselves. As an extra pair of helping hands, you’ll help collect data during surveys. This is important work, as the results are used to advise the Ministry of Environment for policy-making.

You’ll also get involved in the removal of alien plants. These plants are a threat to local species that are only found in the Galapagos. You’ll help plant mangroves to restore the habitats of marine life around the island.

By leading workshops in the local community, you also raise awareness about the importance of protecting the Galapagos’ unique ecosystem.

Help children learn through play

In your second week, you’ll work at a community centre in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

Bring all your energy and creativity to:

  • Leading educational games.
  • Attending Spanish classes.
  • Painting murals in the town.

Expand your horizons

As a volunteer, you'll spend your days immersed in the laid-back island culture of the Galapagos while leaving a positive impact. Since you will be living with a host family, you'll interact with local people on a daily basis, discovering a different way of life.

This is also an excellent way to improve your Spanish or learn a new language.

As part of the itinerary, we'll take you on a weekend trip to one of San Cristobal’s neighbouring islands. This will show you more of the Galapagos Islands, offering a deeper understanding of local life.


Where you will work in the Galapagos?

San Cristobal

The Galapagos Islands are hugely popular for anyone with an interest in biology, science, and wildlife. These volcanic islands are home to a vast number of species that occur nowhere else in the world. A few examples include the giant tortoise, marine iguanas, Galapagos fur seals, and Galapagos penguins.

You’ll be based on the main island of San Cristobal. It forms part of the Galapagos archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean, about 1,000 km from mainland Ecuador.

For the conservation part of the project, you'll be based in the Galapagos National Park. For the other part of the project, you'll work in a local community centre.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Ecuador Arrival Procedures page.


What are the aims and impacts of this project?

The aim of this project for high school students is to assist staff with conservation work and help out in a local community centre.

Due to insufficient funding from the government, the Galapagos National Park is understaffed. This makes it difficult for staff and conservationists to do everything that’s needed. It also means that research projects get delayed.

You’ll play an important role in doing wildlife surveys, collecting valuable scientific data, and doing reforestation work in the park.

During school holidays, most parents aren’t able to take time off work to look after their children. Volunteering with children in Ecuador as a teenager helps teachers and caregivers keep children occupied and stimulated in a safe space.

Lastly, this project is also all about giving you the opportunity to travel safely to a unique destination and make new friends from other parts of the globe. Of course, it’s also an excellent way of being part of something positive for the local community and environment!

Interesting facts about conservation volunteering in Ecuador with projects abroad

Management plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.


Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.


Measuring our impact

Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.


We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.


Food and accommodation

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers during your stay in San Cristóbal. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your time together. You may also stay with a host family.

 

On our High School Specials, we will always try to have you share a room with at least one volunteer or intern of the same gender and approximate age. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.

 

Your programme fees include three meals a day.

 

Find out more about our accommodation.


Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have all the extra support you need as a young person travelling abroad. Our Projects Abroad staff are there for you 24 hours a day during the week and over weekends to provide constant support and guidance. Our staff also make sure you feel comfortable and safe at your placement and accommodation. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.


Find out more about safety and backup.


This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

When you apply you only pay £195, which comes off the total price. Flexible payment options, fundraising advice, and scholarships available.

Looking to do more than one project? Get discounted prices when you combine projects or destinations!

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