Volunteer in the Galapagos Islands
100% Rating
(6 Reviews)

Volunteer in the Galapagos Islands

IOI stands for Intercultural Outreach Initiative and is located on Isabela Island, in the Galapagos, Ecuador. Founded in 2006, IOI Galapagos’ vision is to help establish an ecologically sustainable and socially stable local economy in the Galapagos by supporting education, conservation and social development. We have made some incredibly positive and impactful contributions to the local community and we are able to continue doing so with the help and support of volunteers that want to make a real difference.

At IOI Galapagos we have 6 different volunteer positions available:

- Attend to the giant tortoises in the tortoise breeding center
- Monitor our beaches to investigate Sea Turtle nesting activity
- Teach English in the local school and our afternoon programs
- Document our work as our social media correspondent and tell the world what we are up to

Highlights
  • Galapagos
  • Tortoises
  • Service Learning
  • Full immersion
  • Cultural knowledge
Locations
South America » Ecuador » Galapagos
Length
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
Language
English
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Guesthouse
Host Family
Starting Price
$1,200.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
What’s Included?
Cost includes full room and board, permits, visas, local coordination and training at respective facility, local transport, full access to our facilities, National Park certificates, etc.—everything minus personal expenses and your airfare to Galapagos.

Where does the money go?
100% of your contribution used to sustain your volunteer project, 0% is used to sustain the organization’s overhead

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    100%
  • Support
    100%
  • Fun
    100%
  • Value
    100%
  • Safety
    100%

Program Reviews (6)

Default avatar
Delaney
Female
20 years old
United States
Rhodes College

IOI

10/10

I was able to volunteer for six weeks through IOI at the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, and it was by far one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. IOI was extremely supportive and helpful leading up to my arrival and made every effort to ensure I had the best experience possible. Transitioning into life on Isabela was a breeze with the help of IOI and the welcoming community, and I was so sad to leave. Working with the giant tortoises was an adventure every single day, and I was able to work alongside the staff in taking care of the tortoises and collecting data for the National Park. The things I learned through this program translated so well into my university classes upon returning home, but the hands on experiences enhanced my education far more than my university lectures ever could. The staff at the breeding center were so knowledgeable and such amazing people to work with every day. Overall, I would highly recommend this program to anyone, and I hope I will have the opportunity to return in the future!

Response from IOI : Intercultural Outreach Initiative

Delaney, thank you for the wonderful review. We're elated to hear you had such a good time, learned a lot, and want to come back. When you do, we got a 20% discount waiting for you (and all other returning volunteers and students) - hopefully soon!

Default avatar
Soumya
Female
24 years old
Miami, Florida
University of Miami

Island Adventures

10/10

Volunteering at the hospital on Isabela Island in the Galapagos was one of the more enriching and rewarding experiences I've had. I was welcomed by the hospital staff and given many opportunities to help and observe the different healthcare procedures within the hospital. I felt fortunate to be trusted with many hospital tasks that I might not have had the opportunity to do back in the States. I gained valuable experiences in healthcare fields abroad and also learned a lot about community health by being immersed in such a small island population. I had an amazing time on Isabela and made livelong friends in the most beautiful and adventurous location possible. The Galapagos Islands gives you a sense of fearlessness that allows you to enjoy each day for what it is and grab all opportunities laid out for you. By volunteering through IOI I was able to enjoy this feeling and gained memories that I hope will stay with me for a lifetime.

Default avatar
Neelam
Female
23 years old
Miami, Florida

Life on Island Time

10/10

I spent 3 weeks on Isabela Island in the Galapagos through this volunteer program, and it was the most rewarding experience I could have asked for. As a tiny community within a community, IOI makes the transition to island life easy, and the staff is very approachable. The locals and the staff at the hospital are also all welcoming, and the volunteer experience I received was invaluable. Because of the location and small scale size, I was given more responsibility than I would have been given in the states or other similar type of program. This allowed me to experience aspects of healthcare and learn skills that I would not have been able to anywhere else! The other volunteers you meet and local friends you make are long-lasting and the island lets you see/do things you couldn't imagine. I recommend this program to anyone looking for something totally different and I definitely hope to go back again one day!

Default avatar
Neelam
Female
23 years old
Orlando, Florida
University of Miami

Life on Island Time

10/10

I spent 3 weeks on Isabela Island in the Galapagos through this volunteer program, and it was the most rewarding experience I could have asked for. As a tiny community within a community, IOI makes the transition to island life easy, and the staff is very approachable. The locals and the staff at the hospital are also all welcoming, and the volunteer experience I received was invaluable. Because of the location and small scale size, I was given more responsibility than I would have been given in the states or other similar type of program. This allowed me to experience aspects of healthcare and learn skills that I would not have been able to anywhere else! The other volunteers you meet and local friends you make are long-lasting and the island lets you see/do things you couldn't imagine. I recommend this program to anyone looking for something totally different and I definitely hope to go back again one day!

Default avatar
Maria
Female
21 years old
Miami, FL
George Washington University

The Future Darwins

10/10

I worked as a yoga and art teacher giving classes to the students at Jacinto and the host mothers of IOI and I worked with Arteducarte at Jacinto as well. A regular day for me would be going to Jacinto in the morning the earliest being 8:20. I would alternate between teaching art with Arteducarte and yoga until 12:30ish. On Tuesday, I would teach the mommy’s class at 5. IOI is a wonderful organization that works not only in but also with the community to bring change in all aspects. Changing the community for the better as well as the volunteers who are exposed to such a different culture and way of life. It teaches volunteers about the beautiful mystery that is Mother Nature and the complexity that is living in a small community in Paradise Island known as Isabela. The volunteer becomes Darwin, a scientist looking for something you don’t even know you are looking for. When you find it that is the experience. That is what you leave behind and what you take with you. Hopefully, returning one day for more research.

How can this program be improved?

The website was a little vague but after all it is just a website. The emails were extremely helpful and IOI made sure I had everything ready before my trip. Amanda, the International Coordinator, gave me information about my family, how to get to Isabela, and what I would be working on. She even gave me the opportunity to work with Arteducarte.

Default avatar
Braden
Male
Cleves, Ohio
Wittenberg University

Adventure on the Horizon

10/10

The hospital on the island is an amazing place to work. It does not have all of the amenities that other countries have, but this is what allows you to be more involved in the overall healthcare process. You have the ability to gain hands-on experience with patients, even as an undergraduate. Not only is there plenty to have fun with in the work environment, the social scene also has lots to offer. The locals are friendly and are always willing to hang out and show you the ropes of the island. They help get you immersed in the culture and introduced to as many people on the island as possible.

About The Provider

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Mission: To provide international education programs that support the education, conservation, and social development of isolated communities by assisting local institutions in sustainably handling the human-environmental intersection.

The location
Join us, on a once in a lifetime opportunity to practice conservation through education and social

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