Come and experience one of the most pristine natural environments where conservationists are working to protect this unique ecosystem. Besides volunteering, you will also have the opportunity to hike lava fields, snorkel with seals and explore islands, volcanoes and reefs.
The native wildlife of the islands is in danger because the animals’ natural habitat is under attack by invasive plants, litter, and foreign species. Students work to restore the natural habitat of the animals so that they can reproduce and grow. Our projects are in partnership with tortoise breeding centers on the islands of San Cristobal and Isabela. In all programs, students will have the unique opportunity to work on service projects on these two distinct islands.
Throughout the program, you will be in a “living classroom.” We will learn about issues related to the challenges of balancing the needs of humans with the imperative for biological protection and preservation. You will also witness firsthand the diversity of species that led Darwin to formulate his thinking on natural selection and adaptation. The entire journey will shed light into the history of these islands, human interaction and habitation, and the struggle to conserve the wildlife and fauna of this area.
This journey through the Galapagos Islands will prove to be the experience of a lifetime. This is not simply because of the rich and varied diversity of animals that you will see or their staggering numbers, but also because of their sublime indifference to you while observing them. Swim with sea lions and observe blue-footed boobies perched on rocks. The skies are filled with wheeling, courting, red-throated frigate birds. The lava rocks are piled high with motionless marine iguanas. A mind-boggling array of creatures lives in a paradise of crystal blue waters, white beaches and cool mangrove stands. Students will hike up to a volcano and explore the second largest crater in the entire world. We will swim through lagoons, snorkel off the coast, and see wildlife that you have until now only read or dreamed about.
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Last summer I went on GLA's Galapagos summer program. It was a life-changing experience! During the two weeks that I was there, I met many new friends, discovered new hobbies and interests, and gained incredible knowledge on the importance of conservation! The beautiful scenery of the Galapagos blew me away, and to know that all the community service we were doing was benefitting the endemic species of the islands motivated and encouraged me to persevere. I am so glad I chose to go on this incredible program and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for an informative and fun way to make a difference in the environment!
For the past two summers I have volunteered with Global Leadership Adventures. Two summers ago I went on the Galapagos: Preserving Natures Wonders program, and this past summer went on the Tanzania: Heart and Soul of Africa program. Though the programs were vastly different, I had amazing experiences on them both and would recommend them to any high-school student looking for a life-altering summer experience. The beauty of the Galapagos blew me away. The people are friendly, the animals inquisitive, and the adventures exhilarating. I volunteered pulling invasive species that are choking out the land tortoises natural food, as well as painting a local primary school. Adventures included hiking a volcano, snorkelling with amazing wildlife ( sea lions, penguins, sea turtles, fish, stingrays, and sharks!), playing soccer on the beach, and venturing to isolated beaches. If you love nature and have a passion for volunteer and the outdoors, this program is for you.