IOI Galapagos

Isabela Island Galapagos, Ecuador Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, 00000 Ecuador

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About IOI Galapagos

Year Founded: 2006

Program Opportunities

Ecuador

Medical Intern in the Galapagos Islands

IOI Galapagos offers internship and volunteering opportunities in the fields of Medicine and Public Health in Ecuador. The organization always welcomes pre medical or medical...

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Ecuador

Social Media - Communication Volunteer in the Galapagos

Work as a Social Media Intern in the Galapagos. Help monitor and actively market IOI Galapagos donation and fundraising functions, and continue to build their presence on...

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Ecuador

Galapagos Turtle Center - Conservation Volunteer

Volunteer at the Galápagos National Park, and get the chance to provide assistance at the tortoise breeding center. You will be a member of the research and zoo keeping

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Ecuador

English Teacher - Education Volunteer in the Galapagos

Volunteer as a teacher at a preschool in Galapagos. You will be working with children ages 3, 4, and 5, and will provide assistance to classroom teachers. You will be responsible...

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Ecuador

Turtle Nest Monitor

Help build a better habitat for turtles in Galapagos! Volunteers will become a part of a team protecting and studying the nesting patterns of turtles. He or She will be paired...

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Ecuador

Summer Camp Counselor

Be surrounded by wonderful kids of 8-12 in Isla Isabela! Intercultural Outreach Initiative designs and delivers a school-vacation environmental program for about 50 children,...

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Ecuador

Environmental Education in the Galapagos

Design and deliver a school-vacation environmental program in the Galapagos. During their school vacation, about 50 children ages 10-14 of Isla Isabela participate in a day...

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Participant Reviews

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Volunteering in the Galapagos

I spent 5 weeks volunteering at IOI in the Galapagos Islands working on the social media team. IOI’s strong local involvement allowed me to really become a part of the tight-knit community here, where I got to hear amazing stories and become friends with many of the locals. Through volunteering with the social media team I got to photograph and participate in many local events including parties, beach clean-ups, and health seminars. I was able to spend time with other volunteers to learn about what they were doing to help the community, from teaching English in schools to volunteering at the tortoise breeding center. IOI allowed me to showcase my marketing, web design, and social media skills on a variety of online platforms. The best part is that the volunteer schedule is flexible and not overly-demanding allowing me to get out and explore the natural beauty of the Galapagos!

Program: Social Media - Communication Volunteer in the Galapagos

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

Tortoise Center Amazing Community and Island Volunteer experience

I can't even begin to describe the amazingness of this island Isabela in the Galapagos and my experience with IOI. The first thing that comes to mind when I look back on my time there is not only the constant surrounding natural beauty of the island, but also the beautiful people who helped to make the experience possible and fun. I loved how accepting and community oriented the people of Galapagos and IOI are! They welcome you in, help you learn Spanish, learn the town layout, learn about the best spots to see, show you how to travel around the islands, invite you to new experiences with the locals, and feed you new foods that became a staple in my every day life now and forever. The lifestyle on the Galapagos is enough to pull you back again, I know it did for me as I left the first time and couldn't help but return the following weeks! My family was so accepting and helpful; the living situation is definitely comfortable enough and it's nice to feel lazy and get breakfast, lunch and dinner every day made for you. Plus I thought it was usually delicious!

The activities on the island keep you moving, out and about, in the sunshine, and connected to the people and wildlife most importantly :)

The wildlife is indescribable! How close they come to you and how much you see there it's just like no other place you've ever been before. They're so calm and the community is very respectful to the wildlife in every way. If you love animals this is the number one place for you to go!

Working in the tortoise center on top of that is like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. It was so nice to be outside in the corrals feeding the tortoises and cleaning them up. I was lucky enough to work with another local for the first two weeks, who taught me a lot of Spanish while feeding tortoises.

I had a very nice host family brother who showed me all the snorkeling and surfing areas in the island and took me to get food at local restaurants on the island. This is definitely the way to become friends with the community easier.. through having a host family.

The IOI facilities are very nice, I was surprised. They have one of the more structured and modern buildings on Isabela Island. I often spent time sitting in hammocks on the patio there and using wifi to connect my laptop for Skype, movies, or whatever. But there's much more to do there than sit in front of a laptop. They also have a grand open space in the back with plenty of social room and room for activities like dance, classes, yoga, hanging out, etc.

The most common things to do on the island would be exploring nature, snorkeling, sitting on the beautiful beaches for sunset, surfing, swimming in the warm water :), being with family, going to soccer games, eating along the strip of restaurants, and dancing at night with locals!

Days are joyful, work is rewarding, food is good, and the people are friendly, warm, and lively.
IOI is extremely helpful every step of the way, well organized, on top of everything and furthermore will help you with any problem you come to them with. Like wanting to come back! haha
I clearly had a great experience there and can't wait to go back and try volunteering with other programs as well as teach English some day!

Program: Galapagos Turtle Center - Conservation Volunteer

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life on Island Time

I spent 3 weeks on Isabela Island in the Galapagos through this volunteer program, and it was the most rewarding experience I could have asked for. As a tiny community within a community, IOI makes the transition to island life easy, and the staff is very approachable. The locals and the staff at the hospital are also all welcoming, and the volunteer experience I received was invaluable. Because of the location and small scale size, I was given more responsibility than I would have been given in the states or other similar type of program. This allowed me to experience aspects of healthcare and learn skills that I would not have been able to anywhere else! The other volunteers you meet and local friends you make are long-lasting and the island lets you see/do things you couldn't imagine. I recommend this program to anyone looking for something totally different and I definitely hope to go back again one day!

Program: Medical Intern in the Galapagos Islands

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The Future Darwins

IOI is a wonderful organization that works not only in but also with the community to bring change in all aspects. Changing the community for the better as well as the volunteers who are exposed to such a different culture and way of life. It teaches volunteers about the beautiful mystery that is Mother Nature and the complexity that is living in a small community in Paradise Island known as Isabela. The volunteer becomes Darwin, a scientist looking for something you don’t even know you are looking for. When you find it that is the experience. That is what you leave behind and what you take with you. Hopefully, returning one day for more research.

Program: English Teacher - Education Volunteer in the Galapagos

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Adventures on the Horizon

The Galapagos was an amazing adventure that anyone who has the opportunity should jump on the chance provided by IOI. Not only was the IOI staff helpful and fun to hang out with, but the staff in the hospital and all of the people I met on the island were making sure I had the time of my life. You meet friends for a lifetime and have experiences that you cannot have anywhere else. I loved my experience in the Galapagos. It is an adventure that will not only let you improve your language skills and teach you about the island's culture, but also give you a chance at healthcare opportunities that you cannot get anywhere else in the United States/Europe.

Program: Medical Intern in the Galapagos Islands

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