Frequently Asked Questions

Volunteering is not just good for the soul. It can also put you on track to improve your career.

Whether you are currently studying in work or out of work volunteering is a great way to develop new skills. Volunteering helps to, build you confidence and show future employees you have drive and initiative.

These days employers look for more than just qualifications, they are interested in your personal qualities and transferable skills such as communication and flexibility, it is not only in work that these skills are learned, the skills and experiences developed outside work are just as usefull.

Below are a few frequently asked questions that we asked. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

>> Are the travel costs included in the price?
>> Do I need to have any special skills ?
>> Is it necessary to speak Spanish to apply?
>> Where will I be staying?
>> What about food ?
>> What hours will I be working?
>> Can I apply with someone else?
>> Who are the Volunteers?
>> What do I need to take with me ?
>> Do I need a passport or Visa ?
>> Do I get academic credits ?
>> Can I apply anytime of the year ?
>> What is the minimum length of stay ?
>> How much does it cost and what does it include ?
>> What is the payment and cancellation policy ?

Are the travel costs included in the price?

Volunteer Galapagos provide you with the transport from the mainland Ecuador to your accommodation in the Galapagos Islands however you have to make your own way to Ecuador. Please contact us if you need information on flight prices to Ecuador, we will be more than happy to answer you questions.

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Do I need to have any special skills ?

The only skills required is for you to be flexible, understanding and eager to learn about other cultures. Just send us your resume, the needs are very diverse on the archipelago, and we are sure to find a vacancy to suit you.

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Is it necessary to speak Spanish to apply?

No, a Spanish speaking person will have a wider choice of vacancies but it is not compulsive to be Spanish speaking. In some fields of work, such as: Events organiser, scientific research, and tourist activity, English will be the main language spoken.

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Where will I be staying?

Your accommodation depends of your mission. If you are working for the schools, or if you have an engineering mission, it is most likely that you will live on the Ecuadorian Navy Base, here you will have access to the tennis courts and all other facilities that are available on site. A local family can also be your host. Alternatively, you will be staying in an independent house or in a Bed and Breakfast. Be aware that you might have to share accommodation.

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What about food ?

In the Navy Base, three meals will be served daily, for those staying at the independent house, breakfast and dinner will be served at your local restaurant. Finally, if your accommodation is an Inn, the breakfast will be provided.
The Ecuadorian food is rich and high in calories, totally different from what you have been used to in Europe or in the USA, remain open minded, and try everything before giving your opinion. Vegetarian meals can be pre-arranged with our Partners, however, the Vegetarian culture is not very big in the Galapagos.

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What hours will I be working?

This varies from project to project, but you should be prepared for around 2 to 6 hours a day from Monday to Friday, this is usually in the morning giving you the sunny afternoons to explore the Island.

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Can I apply with someone else?

We encourage Couples to apply. We understand that sharing your moments will benefit both yourselves and the community, it is important that you complete separate forms though.

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Who are the Volunteers?

They tell you

They tell you

They tell you

They tell you

Everyone can be of service. Volunteers Galapagos has no language or professional requirements. Volunteers come from all occupations and backgrounds, from all over the world.
Here are some of the candidates, Volunteer Galapagos has sent to the Archipelago.

Marie Christine, 24, Student, Quebec, Canada.
They tell you
She decided to take a 3 month break before starting her Masters in International Economies. During her stay in the Galapagos Islands, Marie Christine was teaching English for Volunteer Galapagos, and at the same time she was giving private classes to finance her clubbing nights!
Then she decided to come back to validate 3 academic credits ! Ask your university.

Tim, 25, Electrician, New Zealand.
He came to the Islands for 3 months to teach English and Sports. He also contributed to an open-air cinema on the main village’s place. Tim did not speak a word of Spanish before his arrival to the Archipelago. He finally stayed 10 months and he got married to a lovely resident of the Islands. Congratulations !

Jenny, 63, pensioner, former nurse, Ireland.
They tell you
On a tour in South America, Jenny decided to stop by and give her time and experiences to the local hospital. She stayed 2 months.

Marc, Marketing director, 35, London, United Kingdom.
They tell you
Marc decided to take 4 months out of his career. He was working with the Albatross Foundation on an Educational Cd-rom. Marc told us that this experience helped him to see the world in a different perspective, a plus in his career.

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What do I need to take with me ?

We would advise you not to take valuables with you. We do recommend that you have warm and light clothes as well as smart clothes for cultural activities. A sleeping bag is a must. If you plan to snorkel, take your gear with you.
Many things like cosmetics, sunscreen, film, batteries and medication are quite expensive or rare in the archipelago, and it is advised to stock up from the mainland.
Mastercard/ Cirrus is the only card accepted in cash dispensers.

Send us an email and we will send you our packing list.

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Do I need a passport or Visa ?

It is your responsibility to have a valid passport and any appropriate visa. Usually, our Volunteers arrived with a 3 months tourist visa. You can get a tourist visa on arrival at the Airport, frontiers, or embassy. If you plan to stay longer, extensions are usually routinely obtained by period of 30 days.
We strongly recommend that you contact the national Embassy or Consulate of Ecuador for information regarding these requirements.

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Do I get academic credits ?

Some universities give academic credits. You have to enquire with your university.

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Can I apply anytime of the year ?

Yes. The program runs all year long.

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What is the minimum length of stay ?

We accept Volunteers coming for only one month, However, we advise you to go for at least 3 months to get a feeling of full achievement.

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How much does it cost and what does it include ?

Volunteer Galapagos is one of the rare organizations based on a “Participative Volunteering” Scheme.
The cost of the program includes a financial participation in local educational structure.
From January 2003 until December 2003, all the Volunteers sent to the Islands have participated in the creation of a multimedia building equipped with 20 computers linked to the Internet, thus, not only bringing knowledge but creating an interactive link to the outside world.

The cost of the program also includes :

  • Food: all meals are provided. We ask you to be open-minded and not to expect American or European cuisine.
  • Accommodation: Volunteers will stay at the navy base/ in an independent house / or Inns
  • Transportation: Return Air Flight ticket from Guayaquil-Ecuador to San Cristobal or Baltra Islands.
  • Residency document
  • National Park entrance fee
  • Certificate of mission
  • 4 days cruise in the Galapagos Islands (only for Volunteers staying at least 5 months)
  • Administrative fees
  • Airport transfers
  • 2 nights accomodation in Guayaquil
  • Fundraising and ongoing support

    The cost for the first month is: US$39.70 per day
    The cost for any additional month is: US$33.70 per day


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    What is the payment and cancellation policy ?

    Once interviewed and selected, you will be asked to pay a US$ 250 deposit. You will be required to pay the difference before departure, Arrangements can be made however our volunteers usually pay the full cost in about 5 months at no extra fees.
    If for any reason you decide not to go, you may cancel at any time, However, we ask you that you do not apply unless you are totally confident about your decision.
    It is important for you to know that cancellations are costly to Volunteer Galapagos because we make arrangements for you and our partners. Therefore, the deposit is non refundable.
    If you cancel close to the start of the service program, you will receive only a partial refund, cancellations of a service program should made in writing to Volunteer Golapagos.

    Refund Policies Based on Cancellation Dates:

    Over 60 days: US$250 deposit is not refunded. 100 percent of balance is refunded
    60 to 30 days: US$250 deposit is not refunded. 50 percent of balance is refunded
    30 to 15 days: US$250 deposit is not refunded. 25 percent of balance is refunded
    Less than 15 days: No refund will be accepted

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