Sustainable Summer: Ecuador & The Galapagos
100% Rating
(2 Reviews)

Sustainable Summer: Ecuador & The Galapagos

Travel with us from the shimmering Pacific to the majestic Andes on an exploration of the global food system. You’ll learn practical skills, like how to plant a garden and compost food waste at home; consider political challenges to agricultural sustainability; and examine first-hand the ecological impacts of Ecuador’s export economy, which supplies the rest of the world with low-cost bananas, shrimp, coffee, and cacao, but at great expense to the local people and environment.

This program can be extended with a 8-day visit to the Galapagos. See four different islands on a guided exploration of this remarkable archipelago, enjoying many of the classic Galapagos experiences along the way.

Learning the principles of permaculture and the politics of seed saving in an organic farming course
Snorkeling, sea kayaking, and swimming in the Galapagos
Riding horseback through the jungle and learning to surf in Canoa, Ecuador's most easy going beach town

South America » Ecuador » Galapagos
South America » Ecuador
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1-3 Months
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Program Reviews (2)

Default avatar
19 years old

Unreal Experiences and Adventures


The experience was unlike anything I could have imagined. In the Galapagos, I got to swim with a penguin and a sea turtle, made friends with a sea lion, touched a white-tip shark (by accident), and saw dozens of marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies. On the mainland, I had a wild monkey jump on my back, a millipede crawl on my face, and of course hiking with the interspersed sheer rock cliff. Not to mention having a Tribe Leader of the indigenous Kichwa people tour me around a small part of the forest and feed me natural remedies.
Yet, my perspective shifted during my adventures in the Amazon. While the experiences were unforgettable, they weren't the focus of the trip. I got to see firsthand what is being threatened by modern needs.
I saw the conservation efforts in the Galapagos with the fight to keep it as natural as possible, yet still keep it open to humans. I learned the land and forest in Ecuador must be protected; yet one of the major financial resources is the boil beneath the Amazon.
It's very easy to sit at home and say, "Oh, I love the rainforest and I support the movement to protect it!" Meanwhile, global environmental threats and concerns only continue to grow. What Sustainable Summer has taught me is that there is no reason why I should wait until someone else takes charge of these issues to work on and resolve them.
Everything from planting gardens, to composting, or even bans against plastic bags makes a huge difference. Returning from my trip to the Amazon, I am going to bring the skills and knowledge with me so I can spread awareness about the threatened rainforest, and help create meaningful change in my own urban wilderness.

How can this program be improved?

I think the trip to the cacao farm could be cut. It was hot out, getting there was difficult, and no one was really in the mood for natural chocolate and its extreme bitterness... That's really the only thing I would change!

Default avatar
19 years old
Santa Barbara, California

Very worthwhile trip


I did not expect much when signing up for this program. I was so wrong. I cannot put into words how grateful I was for the four weeks. I am so thrilled that I ended up going, I would do it again in a heartbeat. My interest in travel and environmentalism sparked. I think this program effected how I am going to live my life in the future and the types of people I plan to surround myself with. I really enjoyed the outdoor activities- hiking, farming, snorkeling, horseback-riding, etc. (that we participated in almost everyday)- but what shocked me is the relationships I made with other students. The type of students when enroll in Sustainable Summer programs have a sort of independence, free spirit, and excitement about life that is difficult to find anywhere else.

About The Provider


Sustainable Summer is a unique learning experience designed to prepare today's high school students to become tomorrow's environmental leaders. Our programs combine environmental education in remarkable places - such as an organic farm in Costa Rica or Ecuador's Amazon rainforest - with leadership development and