Welcome to the GAIAS blog!

This blog was created in December 2011 to help future students get an "inside look" into what it's like to study in this unique place.

On the Home Page you'll find all the blog posts in the order they were saved. Scroll around to see what previous students had to say about their experiences here! Some posts were written specifically for this blog while others are pulled from blogs that students had already been keeping. You can also see posts on specific topics by viewing the labels on the left hand columns.

Also check out the different tabs for more information on studying here!


Interested in Volunteering?

Volunteering is a great way to get involved on the island! These are just a few examples of some longer term places that may need volunteers. There are also often one-day opportunities to get involved too! 

However, please note organizations shift rapidly on the island and the need for volunteers is always changing. Consider this a sample, not a concrete list, of possible organizations to get involved with!

1 – SICGAL – the Galapagos Inspection and Quarantine System.  Works to limit the entry of invasive species and eradicate present invasive species.  Volunteers would work with staff at the piers and airports to inspect baggage and passengers.  They would also assist in eradication projects at various sites around the island. (15-40 hours per week)Spanish level needed: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED

2 – Nueva Era - This organization was originally started by a local to provide English classes for children of fishermen to provide them with more career opportunities.  Volunteers teach English to children, ranging from ages 4 to 16. Volunteers can create curriculum and lead or assist classes.  Adult classes are also offered.  Schedule generally in the afternoons, from roughly 4-8pm.  (up to 3 people) (up to 20 hours per week) Spanish level needed: BEGINNER TO ADVANCED

3 - Hospital Oscar Jandl – This is the island´s main health care center.  Volunteers assist with intake of patients and basic services such as blood pressure, injections, etc.  Hours are flexible, clinic is open regular business hours and emergency room is 24 hours.  (up to 3 people) (15-40 hours per week) Spanish level needed: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED

4 – GAIAS English program - GAIAS has an English program for local university students and community members.  Volunteers can assist in the teaching of these courses and provide one-on-one tutoring for individuals who need more attention. (1-2 people) (5-25 hours per week) Spanish level needed: BEGINNER TO ADVANCED

5 – Charles Darwin Foundation – Garden/Bike Initiative.  Organize the planting of endemic gardens community-wide.  Go door to door informing residents about native gardens and helping them to plant these.  Coordinate “ciclopaseos” – community biking events.  Communicate with schools, tv/radio, etc. to organize.  Volunteer must be able to communicate in Spanish. (15-30 hours per week) Spanish level needed: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED

6 – INNFA - childcare and early learning facility for underprivileged families.  Volunteers work with young children playing, caretaking, and teaching basic lessons on topics/activities of interest.  Volunteers may also paint murals here.  This organization is understaffed and always happy to have volunteers here. If you like young children, this is a great placement. (up to 3 people) (15-40 hours per week) Spanish level needed: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED

7 – Hacienda Tranquila - Hacienda Tranquila is an ecotourism organization. They work with international volunteers to restore endemic plants, teach English to local underserved children, engage the local farmers in organic agricultural practices, and in other local projects.  The volunteer here serves as program assistant, managing the website, helping coordinate volunteers, and working hands on with volunteers. (1-2 people) (20-40 hours per week) Spanish level needed: BEGINNER TO ADVANCED

8 – Casa de Cultura - This is a local community center that offers classes in the arts for children and adolescents.  Volunteers can teach or assist in guitar, singing, drawing, dance, or other subjects that they suggest.  Classes are in the afternoons. (1-2 people) (5-15 hours per week) Spanish level needed: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED

9 – Local schools – IPSL masters** students can be placed in the local schools as their schedule allows them to generally be free in the mornings, when the students are in classes.  Volunteers would assist local English teachers in their classrooms – helping with pronunciation, planning, conversation practice, and class activities. (many positions available) (5-30 hours per week) Spanish  level needed: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED

10 – Scouts/Amigos del Mar – this is a recreational club sponsored by the Navy and the National Park for local children to become more ecologically aware and responsible.  They meet Saturday mornings.  (1-2 people) (4 hours per week) Spanish level needed: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED

11 – Renewable Energy group – This group works with local youth to educate the population about their energy waste and how to cut back on energy use.  This work involves going door to door in the community and interacting with local families.  Volunteer must be able to communicate in Spanish.  10-20 hours per week. (1-2 people) Spanish level needed: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED