Once-in-a-lifetime Experience

Impact: 5
Support: 3
Fun: 5
Value: 4
Safety: 4

Once-in-a-lifetime experience working at the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre on Isabela Island. IOI put us under the care of the Galapagos National Park, and we worked for 6 weeks at the centre. It was a far cry from our usual jobs in the city, and felt a little bit like being a zoo keeper; feeding the tortoises, clearing the enclosures, cleaning the ponds, supporting park staff with daily tasks and more.

What a privilege to contribute to the conservation of these endangered species - every day we felt like our work was valuable, and I loved sharing my newly-acquired tortoise knowledge with visitors to the park.

We were close to nature the whole time, seeing flamingos, marine iguanas and mangroves on our walk to and from work, then working every morning next to the giant tortoises. In the afternoons we were free to enjoy Isabela island, from hiking the volcano to surfing the beaches and snorkelling offshore. Highly recommended.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
Private Note to Provider (optional)
We particularly enjoyed working under the care of the Galapagos National Park, as the work was well-organised and overseen by the National Park. This was not the case for IOI and we would suggest that IOI be more hands-on with the volunteers - there may be a resource-gap here. An improvement for IOI could be more education for the volunteers (currently any education you acquire about the Galapagos wildlife is self-led). I would also suggest the social media volunteers should be given a target / goal (eg. You need to increase the followers by 100 people in your time here / you need to increase the engagement rate by X% in your time here / you need to generate 2 pieces of content per day, etc.).