Enviornmental Protection / Galapagos, Ecuador
(cortesy translation from German)
In April 2022 I spent 4 weeks in the Nature Conservation project on the Galapagos island of San Christobal. In short, everything went just perfect and I had an unforgettable experience.
About the organization: The placement process was set up very quickly, at short notice, uncomplicated and without problems. The communication before, during and after the project was always friendly and easy. My contacts were initially Marion, later Melanie. The project also includes an overnight stay in a homestay in Quito, where you then meet German, the local support, who gives you tips and instructions for the project. Everything was well organized and German was also very nice and helpful. Even when there were problems (the lab where I did the PCR test just didn't send me the result) German kept calling late at night until the problem was finally solved (the only annoying thing was that the PCR test for entry to the Galapagos was probably no longer necessary). During the project, people kept asking if I was okay or if I had problems. Luckily I didn't have any problems, but I knew there was somebody taking care of me, which I think is important to know. So overall I'm really satisfied with the organization and would book there again.
About the project: I lived with my project manager Eduardo, his daughter and other Vonunteers (whenever there were any) right on the hacienda. The room (quadruple) was big, had everything you need and even a private bathroom. There were 3 balanced meals a day, it was always freshly cooked. There was always enough and everything tasted wonderful. Dietary preferences (e.g. vegetarian) were always taken into account. Eduardo was always very helpful and he and his family were all very nice. You felt very welcome and were sometimes taken to birthdays and family celebrations. Experiences that you cannot have as a simple tourist! Eduardo and his daughter speak a bit of English, but you should be able to speak at least a few words of Spanish for better understanding. WLAN is available, but only for WhatsApp.
Work is from about 7/30 am to about 12 pm (varies by work and day). The work is quite diverse, the working atmosphere was always good and about 70% serve directly or indirectly to protect the environment (e.g. planting small endemic plants in the greenhouse, caring for them and later planting them outside, removing invasive plants with a machete, cleaning of roadsides and beaches, feeding giant tortoises) the rest is mainly used for work on the hacienda (e.g. painting), work with cows (e.g. repairing pasture fences, giving water or milking the cows) and community work (when I was there e.g. we paineted a church, and did gardening work for an old woman in the city). Overall, I am satisfied with the work and believe that the environmental protection work in particular is really necessary and useful, even if it does not solve the problem itself, like the population's lack of environmental awareness.
In your free time you can explore the island, go to town or to the beach and on weekends you can go snorkeling, diving or visit other islands. The cab from the hacienda into town is $6-8, and in the afternoons Eduardo can often pick you up. You won't get bored that quickly on this beautiful island.
Overall, I really liked it and can really recommend the project. Eduardo is happy about every helping hand and you can make a small contribution to the protection of this unique place on earth.
I was really satisfied and will also recommend South America Inside. Before I found this organization and the project, I thought that I couldn't find anything anymore, because I had been looking for more than 1 month without success. Because of Corona, overbooking, etc. I got one rejection after the other, if there was any answer at all. That's why I was very happy that everything worked out so well in the end. All the best to you all - and thanks again!
Kind regards, Florian