The Galapagos are under siege from invasive species. Invasives overrun small farms destroying livelihoods, and they choke out the endemic forests which Galapagos tortoises, mockingbirds, and finches depend on for survival.
Our volunteers spend much of their time removing invasives and planting and nurturing native and endemic species in their place.
Volunteers work in a controlled plot of land to eliminate introduced/ invasive plant species and restore native and endemic species, growing the plants first in a greenhouse, and then transplanting them to their permanent locations.
Volunteers also assist in community projects, such as installing a new water pipeline for the local community. One day of labor each week is dedicated to the ongoing replacement of the 8 km water pipe that provides water to the community.
In addition, volunteers mentor children from INNFA, working with them in hippo-therapy, gardening, environmental education, and fieldtrips to the Hacienda. Hacienda team-members are always on-hand for assistance and guidance in volunteer projects.
Children come to the Hacienda to hike, horseback ride or play games with the volunteers. At the same time these kids are enjoying the outdoors, they are being instilled with environmental education.
This should hopefully manifest in more sustainable habits, livelihoods, and ways of thinking as the kid’s mature, local disabled people also come to the Hacienda to receive free therapy using horseback riding (hippo-therapy). We are the only ones certified in hippo-therapy on the Galapagos.
Costs & Benefits
Volunteers usually work from Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 12 and 2:30- 5:00 p.m. Volunteers are free to explore the port town and discover the island’s many tourist attractions on the weekends.
Volunteers live in a house on the Hacienda itself. The jobs you will be involved in are numerous and most of the work is on reforestation and community-based projects.
You will be involved in the restoration of habitats, as well as assisting with the organic agriculture component of the project. Volunteers usually work for five days each week, with weekends off, days are long and hard and volunteers should be prepared for hot, physical yet rewarding work.
Often, the volunteers go into town in the evenings. Evenings not spent in town are quiet and usually spent lounging in hammocks, chatting, listening to music, writing in journals or reading. Sometimes you will find that you are one of only two or three volunteers. At other times however, there will be large groups, so be prepared for variety in the people you will meet and work with.
The house at the Hacienda Tranquila offers a full kitchen, bathroom, and shower with hot water. Volunteers are divided in the bedrooms. Beds are prepared with sheets and mosquito nets and the Hacienda provides cleaning and maintenance supplies for the house; however, volunteers are responsible for toiletries (bath towels) and food/drinks. One advantage of living on the farm is the abundance of fresh fruit, milk, and coffee from the surrounding area, all at the disposal of the volunteers.
1 Week - $150, 2 Weeks - $240, 3 Weeks - $280, 4 Weeks - $320, 10 Weeks - $800, 12 Weeks - $950
Minimum age 18 years, no maximum age. No Spanish necessary.
Via a Playa Man Isla San Cristobal,
Location: Galapagos, Ecuador
Average cost per day: $20
Skills needed: Minimum age 18 years, no maximum age. No Spanish necessary.