At a glance
- Explore the Galapagos, do conservation volunteer work and help local communities with a group your age.
- You’ll work at the Galapagos National Park and complete light renovation work at schools and care centres in the local community. One week with conservationists and another spent renovating community buildings.
- You’ll be based on the Island of San Cristobal and stay with a local host family. You’ll work with a group and go on an exciting weekend trip together.
Throughout the yearSee Dates
50 or over
Is doing Conservation Work in Ecuador for older adults right for me?
Have you always dreamed of visiting the fascinating Galapagos islands? Are you passionate about conservation and sustainability? Are you over 50? Then our Conservation & Community Work Grown-up Special is perfect for you!
You don’t need any prior experience in either conservation or community work. All you need is enthusiasm, a willingness to work hard, and an adventurous spirit.
This project was designed for volunteers over the age of 50. We have a set itinerary in place and our staff are there every step of the way for guidance and support. At the same time, there will also be enough leisure time to do some exploration on your own, or with the rest of the group.
Use your time as a volunteer in Ecuador to immerse yourself in nature and support the community. It’s sure to leave you feeling connected and rejuvenated!
What will I do on this project?
Conservation work in Ecuador for seniors is divided into two parts. You will spend one week supporting our conservation initiatives in the Galapagos National Park. Another week will be spent doing basic renovation work in the local community. You’ll help with these activities:
- Work with conservationists at the Galapagos National Park
- Run educational workshops in the local community to raise awareness about conservation
- Help with basic renovation work in the local community
- Explore the island and expand your horizons
Your work will focus mainly on the following:
Work in Galapagos National Park
The Galapagos Islands are one of the most species-rich regions on earth. Due to their isolation, they are home to many unique species of flora and fauna. You will work closely with the Galapagos National Park during your conservation work, assisting on various important ongoing research projects.
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 might get involved in removal of alien plant species, reforestation of areas with indigenous plants, and monitoring animal populations.
Run educational workshops for the local community
Another important aspect of your volunteer work is to raise awareness about the importance of conservation in the local community. You can do this through running educational workshops about the projects you’re helping out with in the national park. Alternatively, you can arrange something a little more interactive, such as a beach clean-up.
Help with basic renovation in the local community
Your main role during the community part of your placement in Ecuador will be to take part in basic renovation activities. These activities include renovating and painting classrooms, painting murals, and playground maintenance.
Explore the island and expand your horizons
You will have plenty of free time to spend with the other volunteers. To ensure you make the most of your stay, a few exciting activities have been planned for you. This includes a trip to one or two of the neighbouring islands and a tour of the various sites in the Galapagos.
Living on the island also provides a great opportunity to speak Spanish, if you're interested in improving or picking up some language skills.
Where will I be working?
You’ll be based on the main island of San Cristóbal. It forms part of the Galapagos archipelago located about 1,000km from mainland Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean.
For the conservation part of the project, you will be based in Galapagos National Park. For the part of the project where you’ll be doing community work, your base will be the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
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 impact of this project?
The aim of this project is for adults over 50 to support important conservation efforts and help with basic renovation work in a disadvantaged community.
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 the removal of alien species, monitoring animal populations, and assisting with beach clean-ups. By doing this, you will be helping us promote conservation and sustainability of the Galapagos.
Due to the fact that many of the local communities are disadvantaged, there aren’t always sufficient funds to keep communal areas in tip-top shape. You will be able to help fix up school classrooms, paint murals, and do playground maintenance.
Lastly, this project is also all about giving you the opportunity to travel and do something different with the support of a group of people your age. You’ll also have daily guidance from Projects Abroad staff.
Join us on a Grown-up Special in Ecuador and become part of something positive as you help people and the 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
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food and accommodation
You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns during your stay in San Cristóbal. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together. You can also request to stay with a host family in San Cristóbal.
The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your program 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 the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Ecuador
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