The unique nature of the Galapagos Islands has been well documented throughout history—after all, they are world famous for being the place where Charles Darwin conducted research in support of his Theory of Evolution. This speaks to the importance of the biodiversity of the region, which consists of 21 volcanic islands situated on either side of Ecuador; it is also home to select species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and marine life. Because of its remote location, many of these species are not found elsewhere in the world. Make a new discovery, and work abroad in the Galapagos Islands!
What You Need to Know to Work in the Galapagos Islands
There are various options when it comes to looking for international jobs in the Galapagos Islands, many of which are beneficial to the local population. Galapagos Islands jobs for foreigners can also be short-term, seasonal jobs, or more permanent positions. There are options for paid and voluntary work as well.
Popular Work Fields
Education. As with many other expat work destinations, education is a popular field to explore. Teaching English is a great option to work abroad in the Galapagos Islands, as there are opportunities to work on a short or long-term basis, as a volunteer or paid teacher. Programs may involve studying a TEFL course before being placed in a school with a paid position. However you choose to proceed, becoming an English teacher not only provides you with valuable experience, but also benefits the local community.
Conservation. One of the reasons the Galapagos Islands are so well-known and renowned for their natural beauty is the unique selection of species living there. Unfortunately, various factors have contributed to the degradation of the natural environment and workers (mostly volunteers) are needed for agricultural and horticultural conservation. Galapagos conservation jobs range from cultivating and maintaining plants to helping baby turtles make their way into the ocean. Expats are sure to find fascinating, worthwhile experiences when looking into jobs abroad in the Galapagos Islands.
Short Term/Summer Jobs vs. Long Term Jobs. Taking up a teaching job and/or TEFL course is likely to be a long-term commitment, but will give workers the chance to fully explore the islands and integrate with the community. It will also give aspiring teachers valuable experience, and as with many travel experiences and jobs abroad, will look great on your CV! However, it’s also possible to find short-term or summer work in the Galapagos Islands which could involve a more guided experience of working, volunteering and exploring the archipelago, and other areas of Ecuador.
Paid vs. Unpaid Jobs in the Galapagos Islands. English teaching jobs tend to have a salary similar to that of other Latin American countries, between $500-$700 USD per month. It might not sound like much, but it’s enough to live on and have a little extra for traveling! Volunteer work is generally found through gap year or volunteering companies, and may involve program fees—but those costs will be made up for in memories and experience!
Life in the Galapagos Islands
Living abroad in the Galapagos Islands is likely to be an unrivaled experience. Be prepared to coexist peacefully with the Islands’ wildlife, such as flamingos, turtles and sea lions, which—unlike animals elsewhere in the world—remain blissfully unconcerned by the presence of humans. Some areas of technology (such as Internet and cell phone service) may not be as reliable as you are used to, but all the time you usually waste scrolling through Facebook can be spent exploring every inch of your new home island on foot—local people do not use or need cars. Imagine the tranquility!
The Galapagos Islands are also incredibly safe for both expats and tourists; crime rates are virtually nonexistent and local people are welcoming towards foreign visitors. As well as the abundant nature of the region, the inhabited islands have a range of shops, cafes, bars, and nightlife to keep you entertained—not to mention the other islands of the archipelago, which may have a completely different environment to explore.
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for Expats in the Galapagos Islands
Whether working on a long- or short-term basis, expats can benefit from experiencing a way of life impossible anywhere else in the world. Undertaking a job abroad in the Galapagos Islands, particularly in the field of education or conservation, provides you with assets when it comes to furthering a career or getting that first bit of experience. There are also personal benefits, such as developing independence, confidence, and leadership and/or teamwork. You might even come away speaking Spanish!
It’s important for expats to stay safe and healthy when working in the Galapagos Islands. Be sure to get any necessary vaccinations before traveling and look into health insurance policies. However, medical care in the Galapagos Islands has improved over recent years and is affordable, with major cities in Ecuador a short plane away if more advanced care is needed. Avoid getting sick by drinking bottled water only.
If you’re looking for a job abroad combined with a peaceful getaway, and dozens of opportunities to explore and learn thrown in, the Galapagos Islands could be part of your next adventure. As well as enjoying the tropical climate, some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and laidback waterfront villages, you can contribute to the conservation of the World Heritage Site and assist the local population in doing the same.Take advantage of the chance to see one of the most naturally beautiful and unique regions of the globe, and experience the islands that made history with jobs abroad in the Galapagos Islands!