Hacienda Esperanza

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San Cristobal, Ecuador via kindly anonymous
Eduardo Simbana
volunteer [at] galapagosesperanza [dot] com

Hacienda Esperanza (¨Ranch of Hope¨) provides visitors with the opportunity to experience the Galapagos islands as an invested participant, and not just another foreigner.  Here, volunteers give back to the community through conservation work atop of the beautiful highlands of San Cristobal.  The Hacienda aims to restore the natural habitat to allow the reintorduction of animal species while also introducing sustainable activities to reduce the impact of tourism in the Galapagos.

Because of the nature of the work, volunteers are not required to have a specific skillset; however, they should be willing to perform manual labor and have an interest in learning about conservation and sustainability. Having a basic understanding of Spanish will make it easier to communicate. The local staff have a small understanding of English and are intersted in learning more. Most of the time, tasks are communicated through writing on the white-board and though demonstration or usage of volunteers that can translate. When working at the Hacienda or traveling in general, it is suggested that volunteers have traveler's insurance for emergencies. Volunteers are not covered by the Hacienda if injury occurs.
Volunteers should stay between 1 week and 3 months.
The Hacienda is specifically looking for people with knowledge in sustainable practices that are available for longer term to help assist in implementing new technologies.
Volunters will spend the majority of the time conserving the natural habitat (working with machettes to remove introduced plants, growing and transporting plants fromthe nursery). Also, there are projects to introduce sustainable technologies.
Volunteers pay $200/week (less if longer commitment or special skill) which is used to cover room and board, taxis and introducing new technology).

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Soledad, San Cristobal, Ecuador

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