Top Ten Reasons to Volunteer in the Galapagos

1.  It´s a better way to travel, Be a part of the revolution! 

 My counchsurfing account has over five hundred people who wrote me interested in volunteering from all over the world.  Once you start doing it new opportunities arise no matter where you are!

2.  Be a participant and not a passenger!

Cruises are good but you’re a passenger.  They take you places and you can choose your activities but that´s it.  Volunteering gets you involved with the culture and makes you more aware of the people who live here.

3.  Make a difference and leave only footprints.

The Galapagos are the biggest tour attraction in Ecuador.  This takes it´s tole on the Islands.  A friend of mine who visits yearly as he runs a zoo at home is constantly surprised by the trash, pollution from the boats, and general lack of respect for the Islands themselves.  Volunteering gives you the Islands while you contribute to keeping them healthy.

4.  Break the stereotype of the Imperialist Gringo

Hate to say it but us Gringos have a bad rap.  When touring we miss cultural hints, butcher the language, and generally give the impression that all we care about is money.  Use volunteering to break the habit and work side by side with communities and the people who they are composed of.

5.  Pratice your Spanish.

When volunteering you will be in the perfect place to practice your Spanish.  The people who work at the stations have enough experience with English speakers to be patient and that goes a long way when you are trying to figure out a new language.

6.  Make new friends that you can visit and keep in touch with long after your gone.

Group travel and volunteering brings people together in a different way than touring the islands.  I still keep in touch with people I volunteered with when I first got here and they are all over the world doing any number of things.

7.  Trying new things leads to new horizons.

Stepping out and doing something different starts a new path for travelling here.  Friends met, plans changed, and new destinations are suddenly on the list for the next leg of the trip.

8.  Support Ecuadorian people and places

Volunteer organizations are funded by your money and the people that work there are directly effected by what you do. Reasearch the companies that operate in the Galapagos and you will quickly see that the money they make doesn´t stay on the Islands.

9.  Find an adventure

Volunteering on the Islands puts you closer to the locals that know the landscape.  Make a few friends and end up at someones house or on a private boat rather than in a club or bar on the tourist strip.

10.   More bang for your buck!

Three weeks volunteering costs about as much as a good eight-day cruise.  Nough said!

 resources-

Group volunteer/ travel to the Galapagos

Group Volunteer/travel to the Galapagos

Backpackers Guide to the Galapagos

Volunteering Overseas, avoiding getting scammed

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Comments
3 Responses to “Top Ten Reasons to Volunteer in the Galapagos”
  1. Hi Jon, I just come across your blog and will definitely spend some time going through it as it looks like there is a lot of good information. I totally agree with your above post and would love to be able to do that. Unfortunately i have 2 little children so it makes the type of travel I do a little restrictive. My father is living in Vilcabamba and I plan on visiting at the end of the year if all goes to plan. Can not wait! To me traveling is supposed to be a journey and adventure, immersing ones self in the culture, people and language. All the best!

  2. Krista says:

    I really like this notion of being a participant, not a passenger. While being a tourist is better than staying home, this is even better. 🙂 I love living in a place so much more than dashing through, but if I had to dash it would be great to do something that makes a difference, even a little one.

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