Summer Volunteer Program in the Galapagos (Ecuador)

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About

Come experience one of the most pristine natural environments where conservationists are working to protect this unique ecosystem.

Program Highlights
- Volunteer to restore the habitat of native Galapagos wildlife
- Snorkel with sea lions, turtles and blue-footed boobies nearby
- Wander the cobblestone streets of colonial Quito

Program Highlight!

The ancient Inca Empire is yours to discover while making a difference in the lives of rural families on our Peru: Service in the Sacred Valley™ program.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.59 Rating
based on 22 reviews
  • Growth 9.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.7
  • Program Selection 9.3
  • Pre-departure Help 8.7
  • In-program Support 9.3
  • Impact on Student 8.7
  • Value 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 22
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Pam
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Leadership Adventures

Review part 2
My daughter, traveled to Ecuador, and Galapagos the summer of 2017.
She had an amazing trip and now is taking her second GLA trip this spring break 2018. GLA staff was great. I recommend GLA for teens who are independent, spirited and looking for a way to give back to the world. It was a truly amazing experience that has changed her for the better.
Pam Prast, mother of 15 year old traveler.

What would you improve about this program?
Its awesome!
Default avatar
Pam
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Leadership Adventures

My daughter traveled to Ecuador and Galapagos the summer of 2017.
She had an amazing trip and now is taking her second GLA trip this spring break 2018. GLA staff was great. I recommend GLA for teens who are independent, spirited and looking for a way to give back to the world. Although I am just a parent and didn't get to go myself it was amazing to see the oppuertunity spark her interest.
Pam Prast mother of 15 year old traveler.

Default avatar
Ella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GLA Galapagos

This summer I spent two weeks with amazing staff, students, and guides on the beautiful islands that are the Galapagos. This experience was my first time traveling alone, and i have to say it couldn't have been better. Everyday we would do community service work, with purpose and pride, just like the staff had taught us. We also got to experience the culture and beautify of these islands though many fun activities like hiking, snorkeling, beach walks, spending time in the town, and more. The staff had extensive knowledge and were more than willing to answer questions, goof around, and participate with students. Future participants be aware, you will come back changed. Seeing one of the last places on earth that is virtually untouched will change you, it changed me. To see how elegant nature is without human interaction has made me want to fight even more to protect it. I cam home wondering what more I could do, and swear of the impact my everyday actions have. This trip will change you, and 100% of that is for the better.

What would you improve about this program?
It's far too short. I would love to spend even more time with these amazing people in such an amazing place.
Default avatar
Kate
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Leadership Adventures: Galapagos

I travelled to Ecuador and the Galapagos in 2016 with Global Leadership Adventures, and truly had the most memorable time. I was incredibly nervous to embark on the journey to South America without my family, but ultimately it was the best decision. My group of 20 students immediately clicked, and we became like family within days. The mentors were so knowledgeable, and always willing to help us out in any way we needed. Our in-country experts (tour guides, naturalists etc.) were such genuine people, always eager to answer our many questions and teach us more about their beloved country. Some of my favorite memories from my trip include: summiting the Sierra Negra volcano on a 14 mile hike (8 long, hours), snorkeling right next to baby (and adult) sea lions, cooking authentic Ecuadorian foods and spending long nights sharing stories and playing games in the hammocks at our homebase. I also really enjoyed the fact that I was able to practice my Spanish skills, everyday! I absolutely adore Spanish class in school now, because it always reminds me of the amazing experiences I had while traveling with GLA! I loved my trip so much that I travelled with GLA again to Bali this past summer, on their Land of Discovery program! Don't have enough great things to say about their organization.

What would you improve about this program?
Make it longer! While 2 weeks was perfect for my first trip, I only wished I could have stayed there for more time!
Default avatar
Dawn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

From Fear and Trepidation to Relief and Satisfaction

It was with great anxiety that we sent our daughter last summer (2016) on her Global Leadership Adventures trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for the Preserving Nature's Wonders program. But it was soon apparent that it was the very best decision we could have made for her! Communication was immediate and sufficient throughout the trip. We were able to speak with our daughter on several occasions, most importantly when they first arrived safely in Ecuador. The excitement and pure joy we could hear in her voice was music to our ears and the enjoyment the group was having was evident in the daily updated blogs the program provided. But we still were not prepared for the incredible transformation we witnesses when we picked her up from the airport. The shy, quiet 16 year old we had dropped off just two weeks prior, was now confident and full of self-esteem! And oh how happy she was! The only sadness felt was that she had to say good-bye to the friends she had made and have come to mean so much to her. It has now been nearly a year since she had this incredible experience and she is still in daily contact with many of these new friends. I am so proud of the service work she completed on this trip and how it has changed her into a thoughtful, thinking young person who truly has compassion for the world around her.

What would you improve about this program?
As a parent, the only thing I can think of to improve upon this program would be more frequent communication through the blogs. However I do understand how busy the days and nights are on a trip such as this and realize that the updates can sometimes be difficult. It was exiting to get the new blog updates, but also reasurring that all was well with our daughter!
Default avatar
Maggie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Truly the Experience of a Lifetime

I was fortunate enough to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands though Global Leadership Adventures on the "Preserving Natures Wonders" trip during the summer of 2016. This program was honestly one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was unique in that I was able to surround myself in one of the worlds most special ecosystems as I snorkeled with sea lions, sea turtles and many tropical fish, saw countless crabs and iguanas, and was able to meet the Galapagos tortoises up close. What made these experiences with the animals and nature of the Galapagos even more impactful, was the fact that I was able to volunteer and help the land I was visiting. On this program everyone was very kind and I am still friends with many of the other kids that I met to this day. Our mentors were very helpful and made sure that everyone felt and was kept safe throughout the trip. Post program, I was impacted mostly by the friendships I had made and the knowledge that I now had regarding conservation and the importance of it. Some useful tips that I have are to bring snacks along if you have any dietary restrictions. I am vegan and the program was very accommodating so I didn't miss out on many of the delicious foods that they served, but bringing along snacks was very helpful. Another tip is to bring a camera along and to keep a journal because there are so many memories that will be made on a trip like this, and since many activities are packed into one day, it is easy to lose some of them. I took many pictures and journaled every day so now I have something to look back on.

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly cannot think of many things that I would change about this program. It really was a good experience for me, traveling went smoothly, my group was great, and we all had tons of fun in our two weeks.
Default avatar
Patti
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Parent Review

I sent my two daughters on Global Leadership Adventure's "Preserving Nature's Wonders" trip last summer, and I could not have had a better experience with them. I was a little nervous about the idea of sending my two young girls out of the country without either parent, but GLA eased all my worries. From the very start, we had helpful staff keeping us updated on the necessary preparations for our trip. GLA made the entire process really easy and helped me feel better about the trip. My girls were safe the whole time, and they had incredible mentors with them on the trip. They both came home with a new outlook on the world, and I know GLA has truly changed their lives. I highly recommend this program to any parent and teenager looking to volunteer abroad.

Default avatar
Carolyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Galapagos trip for teens

Two of my daughters went on the Global Leadership Adventure's Galapagos trip last summer. I'm beyond grateful for this program, my kids were completely safe and they enjoyed every minute of it. The stories they came back with still manage to amaze me! The staff made the process easy and stress free. I definitely recommend GLA to any parent who wants to send their child on an eventful volunteer trip abroad.