Galapagos Conservation Program on San Cristobal

Hacienda Esperanza is a small farm located in the community of La Soledad on the island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos. It is owned by a family that has been on the island for several generations. The farm provides in the maintenance for most of the family members. The farmland is divided in different lots on different locations and also one lot is dedicated to sustainable tourism where tourists can camp with an amazing view over the coastal line of San Cristobal. The family has a close relationship with the national park and as most of their lands border with the national park they perceive it as their mission to collaborate with the National Park in restoring the land to conserve the Galapagos Islands and to provide a habitat for released Galapagos Giant Tortoises.

The Galapagos Islands is a unique place in this world, with a fragile eco-system that faces many challenges, among which the quick spreading invasive plant species that destroy the local habitat. The most common ones are blackberry, guava and elder and they cover extensive areas of the islands and represent a real threat to the native and endemic flora and fauna of the Galapagos. They are not only found on privately owned lands, which only constitute a small percentage of the island, but mainly in the National Park area.

Volunteer activities

The activities that volunteers carry out are varied and numerous, they include:

  • Reforestation – volunteers help to eliminate introduced/invasive plant species and then restore native and endemic species.
  • Improve trails and paths around the plots of the lands.
  • Work in the plant nursery either on the Hacienda or in the Galapagos National Park. Grow and nurture native plants in the nursery and then move them to their permanent locations.
  • Help to grow and cut down plants used as food for the Galapagos National Park tortoise breeding centers.

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Work schedule

You will live and work at the Hacienda. Working hours are from Monday to Friday from 8.00am till 1.00pm.  You will have your afternoons and weekends free to travel and explore the Galapagos Islands.

Days are long and hard and volunteers should be prepared for hot, physical and yet rewarding work.

Location

The Hacienda is located in the Galapagos Islands, a short flight from the Ecuadorian mainland, to the San Cristobal Island. The Hacienda is located in the highlands of Island in a remote setting, 20 minutes in taxi from the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.