Your work during this High School Special will be divided into two main categories:
Help protect local wildlife and plant
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 them with collecting 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 also help plant mangroves to restore the habitats of marine life around the island.
By leading workshops to the local community, you also play a role in raising awareness about the importance of protecting Galapagos’ unique environment.
Help children learn through play
During your second week, you’ll help run a summer camp for children in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Bring all your energy and creativity to:
- Teach basic English
- Play educational games
- Lead art and crafts and sports activities
As a volunteer, you make a huge difference in keeping local children engaged and active during their holidays. This is also a huge help to parents who are unable to take time off work and might be worried about keeping their children safe during the day.
Expand your horizons
While helping the local community and environment, you will also get a chance to expand your own horizons. Since you will be living with a host family, you will get to interact with locals on a daily basis and learn more about the unique culture of Galapagos.
It’s also an excellent way to improve your Spanish or learn a new language.
As part of the itinerary, we will take you on a weekend trip to one of San Cristobal’s neighbouring islands. This will give you a chance to see more of the Galapagos Islands and gain a greater understanding of local life.
Where you will work in the Galapagos
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.
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 run a summer camp for disadvantaged children.
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 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!
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.
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.
Meet the team in Ecuador
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