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Eco-farms in Galapagos - Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Ecotourism

Internship and Volunteering Possible
Internships and Volunteering are possible on two farms in the Galápagos Islands: In La Soledad (San Cristobal) there are internships in the field of Agriculture, Biology and Eco-tourism/Community-Tourism Development; in La Envidia (Santa Cruz), Organic Agriculture. In both farms, we organize volunteering assignments in Gardening and Farm work with focus on environmental aspects.

Project Details


Finca in La Soledad (San Cristobal)

On the grounds of a farm at the tiny village of Soledad on the highland of the island of San Cristobal (15 km from the port), non-sustainable farming was carried out in the past. The 50 hectares of land was given by the National Park administration to an NGO, whose members are the 15 families of the village. They are currently reforesting the area with the help of foreign volunteers; and at the same time they are involved in farming and ecotourism/community tourism. 7 hectares of reforested land is used as an area where Galapagos giant tortoises roam; another 5 hectares, where previously blackberries and guava, which are invasive species were grown, are currently being reforested.

In the area of “Cerro Verde”, farming is done, which is important to provide occupation and income to the local population, and to guarantee the supply of food, as importing all produce from mainland Ecuador would be of worse ecologic impact. When it comes to farming, it has to be taken into consideration that no introduced species can spread into the islands’ nature. The green houses of the National Park administration, where native species are grown, are also located at Cerro Verde.
The Finca offers tourist accommodation of simple standard (dormitories with 4-6 beds; a total capacity of 21 beds), where also interns and volunteers stay. The project is financed through the rent.
Several tourist activities are offered, including a guided excursion to the sea lion colonies of “La Lobería” and other sites where animals can be observed, and outdoor sports such as surfing, kayaking, snorkeling and mountain biking.

Organic-Farm La Envidia (Santa Cruz)

On the island Santa Cruz at the community of Los Guayabillos, family Larrea does organic farming on their 24 hectares farm “La Envidia”. Mr. Jorge Larrea has been working for more than 40 years as a farmer and is familiar with the challenges of farming on the Galapagos Islands and its potential negative impact on the islands’ fragile ecosystem.

Internships at the Farms

The NGO in La Soledad (Island San Cristobal) provides internships for students of subject areas related to Sustainable Farming, Biology and Eco-tourism/Community-Tourism Development. The duration should be 1-6 months.

The organic farm on the island of Santa Cruz offers tutored internships related to organic farming with a duration of 1-6 months.

Volunteering at the Farms

Volunteer work at the NGO in La Soledad (Island San Cristobal) includes the removal of introduced species of plants such as guava and blackberry, and to breed and plant original, local plans instead. Around 1900 trees were planted so far; the NGO has its own tree nursery. The 15 families of the village are supported in eco-farming to make them less depending on the import of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables to cater for the guests are also cultivated on the land, using techniques of eco-farming. Volunteers also build paths for hiking in the area and develop further ecotourism activities.

The farm makes use of renewable energies and avoids, recycles and composts waste.

Participants don’t need any previous experiences, but they need to be prepared to do physical work such as making use of a machete and having to carry loads such as watering cans and garden tools.
The working hours are typically from 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. During the remaining hours of the day volunteers can go hiking in the area, relax, do sports (football, volleyball) or do excursions. There is internet. The duration of stay is 3 weeks to 3 months.
Twice a week, mentally and physically impaired children come to the Finca and get riding therapy. Here volunteers can participate.

At the organic farm La Envidia en Santa Cruz, interns and volunteer try to stop the expansion of invasive species such as blackberry and Tupi Rosa. They plant short-cycle crops in small scale; they plant organic coffee (the crops of this produce are segmented, this means that while an area is ready for harvesting twice a year, the other area is in process of growing; nevertheless, it needs to be maintained and cleaned along the year), and breed and take care of farm animals (cows, chicken, ducks, pigs).
Volunteers and interns live on the farm with the farmer’s family. The working hours depend on the tasks to be performed, but are generally Monday to Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Afternoons and weekends are usually off and you will have time to explore the island.
Info Box
Location: San Cristobal or Santa Cruz-Island, Galapagos
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: Internship 1 Month; Volunteering 3 Weeks
Maximum Duration: Internship 6 Months; Volunteering 12 Weeks
Language Requirements: Basic Spanish
Accommodation at the Farm
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Farmers
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Relevant studies or experience
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

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