Galapagos Development Internship in Ecuador


Dive into a transformative journey at the heart of Isabela Island where you will be actively contributing in making a meaningful impact on the island’s community.

Are you a passionate and creative individual with a strong desire to make a positive impact in the lives of the locals residing on Isabela Island? If you are, consider yourself fortunate because there is an exceptional opportunity waiting just for you!

As an intern within the organization, you will embark on a transformative journey, immersing yourself in the heart of the island community. Your mission will be to actively contribute to the betterment of the lives of the islanders through your dedicated work in various areas, including education and social development.

During this experience you will gain a profound sense of fulfillment that comes from fostering educational growth and nurturing social progress within a community that values and treasures your contributions. As an intern, you will have the unique opportunity to be an integral part of this transformative process, leaving an impactful mark on the people of Isabela Island and the island itself.

Learning objectives

  • Learn how a small NGO operates its projects and how they manage logistics.
  • Learn about the organization’s long term sustainability strategy and projects.
  • Learn how to develop global competence and awareness.


Intercultural Outreach Initiative (IOI) works with local authorities in the Galapagos National Park, schools, universities, and other international nonprofits to ensure that all its efforts are consistent with the needs of the local habitats and community. Collaboration and contribution are built into the ethos of the organization and by working together, they are ensuring that the wild and beautiful landscape of the Galapagos remains protected and thriving for centuries to come.

One of the many avenues through which they nurture ecological sustainability and social stability is by offering volunteer opportunities in various fields, offering study abroad programs in which students spend up to three months studying the local environment and learning the local culture, and by developing and implementing outreach projects with local institutions that address pressing conservation, education, and social development needs via fundraising and grants.


Your internship will start with a six weeks period with a focus on onboarding and skill development while working on the projects at the same time. During this period you will be introduced to the organization, their long term sustainability strategy, and projects. You will develop skills in leadership, management, operations, safety and first response. After the initial six weeks period you will work more independently on one of the projects that you are assigned to.


Community English Education:

  • Assisting classroom English teachers with classroom management, lesson planning, and leading activities.
  • Teaching job related language skills to naturalist guides, English teachers, and biodiversity protection officers in their work setting.
  • Helping to design and run continuing education programs for community members to practice conversational English.

Social Media Management:

  • Generating footage (photo and/or film) and text that accurately and meaningfully captures the nature of the main organization or the business and its product(s) if working with local businesses in the community.
  • Helping in designing visual aids.
  • Social media strategy.


  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team.
  • Passion for and/or background in education, teaching or languages.
  • Interest in writing, communications, or digital media
  • Minimal conversational Spanish-speaking skills (to make interacting with community members easier)
  • Good English skills.


Your accommodation in Isabela Island has been thoughtfully arranged with one of the organization’s carefully selected host families. You will share breakfast and dinner with your host family, while lunch will be provided by the organization’s partner restaurants. Also, at your host family’s house you will be provided with a private bedroom and bathroom with a fan, hot water, dresser or closet, and potable water.

Your host family’s warmth and hospitality will be the cornerstone of your experience as they share their traditions, stories, and a genuine connection that bridges cultures. Their insights into the island’s history, customs, and local stories will undoubtedly be one of the best parts of your internship experience!

Safety & Support

Safety & Support

The Galapagos islands are a safe destination, but as always look after your valuables and belongings.

Make sure to visit your doctor and dentist for a check-up before your internship and to get all the recommended vaccines and/or medications necessary to stay healthy. There are no reports of Malaria at Galapagos.



There is a reliable Wifi connect at the project where you can do video calls. It’s recommended to also buy a local SIM card.



Meals are included in the fee. You will have breakfast and dinner with your family. For lunch you are able to choose from a list of 10+ restaurants in town offering meals in partnership with the host organization. You sign for your meal and your host organization will pay for the bill.

Location details

Location details

During your stay, you will find yourself on Isabela Island, the largest of the Galapagos Islands, where every day promises you a new and exciting adventure. This island is located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador and is known for its stunning volcanic landscapes, including the Sierra Negra volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the archipelago. The island’s diverse wildlife, including Galapagos penguins, giant tortoises, and marine iguanas, make it a popular destination for everyone who truly enjoys and values nature.


Fee Breakdown

You can start this internship every first Monday of the month.

What you’ll pay (2024 rates)

8 weeks USD 5,500

9 weeks USD 6,000

10 weeks USD 6,500

11 weeks USD 7,000

12 weeks USD 7,500


  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • An academic internship eligible for university credit. Check with your university to confirm if this internship qualifies for credit or alternatively we can assist you with purchasing transfer credits.
  • Local ferry transport from Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz to Isabela (and return)
  • Work permits and Galapagos visa (waiving the USD 100 National Park Entrance fee)
  • Your own room with a local host family
  • Three meals a day
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement and other preparations
  • Local coordination, course training, and certificates
  • Supervision and support during your stay
  • Regular check-ins during your internship with your supervisor
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship


  • Flights to International airport in Baltra (via Quito/Guayaquil)
  • Transfers from Baltra to Puerto Ayora
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Obligatory USD 20 Galapagos tourist entry fee (cash at airport)
  • Meals, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities


Some of our most commonly asked questions for programs in Ecuador.

What can I expect from an internship in Ecuador?

You can expect to work on your Spanish language skills while gaining hands-on experience in your preferred field. From exploring diverse ecosystems to engaging with local communities, your stay in Ecuador will provide you with insights into the country’s rich biodiversity, while the challenges and accomplishments that you experience will foster your adaptability and global perspective.

Will I have time to explore the country during my internship?

Yes! There is always time to explore the surrounding area. Our nonprofit partners are based around the country (and on the Galapagos Islands) and they can offer recommendations about which places are the best to visit! When you are based on the mainland, some of the highlights of Ecuador are, for example, the city of Cuenca or the Cotopaxi National Park. If you are based on the Galapagos Islands, there are great excursion options on the island(s) including fantastic diving. If you are keen to also explore the mainland of Ecuador, you will need to do so before or after your Galapagos internship because of the distance (and costs of the flight).

Does an internship in Ecuador qualify for university credit?

Yes, but you must ensure with your university that your supervisor approves this. It is also possible to purchase transfer credits that can be added to your internship.

Will I be paid during my internship?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to receive any kind of stipend while interning. As your internship with the nonprofit organization will be unpaid, you can check out ways to fund your internship here. The wealth of knowledge and opportunities for both professional and personal growth throughout your experience are invaluable!


LOCATION: Galapagos, Ecuador
PROGRAM FOCUS: Community Development & Conservation NGO
TASK FOCUS: Education, Social Media, Conservation
LENGTH: Min. 8 Weeks
COST: From USD 5,500


  • Join an effort to increase social development in the Galapagos.
  • Strengthen your community development skills.
  • Enhance your Spanish competency.
  • Make a difference in the lives of local people with a unique culture.
  • Live and work in the Galapagos Islands.


If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us.



We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


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Open for applications

Galapagos Development Internship

  • Min. 8 weeks
  • Galapagos, Ecuador
  • Education, Social Media, Conservation
Dive into a transformative journey at the heart of Isabela Island, actively contributing to making a meaningful impact on the local community.
Find out more


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