Conservation Research and Advocacy

Alianza Jatun Sacha - Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-99 Location: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador Sector: Wildlife and the Environment Category: Conservation Min Duration: 4 weeks Lodging: Host Family / Lodge Language: Basic Placement Fee: 60 USD
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Volunteer Job Description

Alianza Jatun Sacha Biological station is part of a private organization dedicated to the conservation of forest, aquatic and mountain ecosystems through technical training and scientific research with a strong focus on investigation, environmental education, community development and the management of ecologically important habitat.

The organization is very busy in providing service and quality in all of their programs and volunteer help is always needed and appreciated.

The volunteers are offered field experience with activities that are focused in a wide variety of areas: reforestation, environmental education, community service, plant conservation, agroforestry, field data collection, as well as reserve maintenance.

In addition, foundation staff and volunteers conduct various destination hikes to nearby lagoons, native forests, beaches, as well as to local villages to explain the ecology and human dynamics of the Galapagos.

Volunteers carry out their work under the supervision of residential staff, researchers, environmental education instructors and the administrative personnel at the reserve.

A conservation awareness volunteer does not need any specialized education or experience but must have a passion for nature and its habitat. The volunteers must be willing to put a sincere effort into any tasks assigned to them, be able to do physical labour and be able to work outdoors in the climatic conditions of Ecuador.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Habitat Restoration

A conservation awareness volunteer would work with the staff to clean the beaches, the parks and the forests around the island. Volunteers with staff would help to teach the people in the communities about restoration endeavours needed for the habitat.

Seed Collection and Classification

A conservation awareness volunteer would help staff to collect, classify and analysis local varieties of seeds, as well as participate in the experimental cultivation of seeds in order to study their morphological characteristics.

Organic Agriculture

Conservation awareness volunteers may be asked to help in programs for soil management, natural pest control, worm compost, BIOL liquid fertilizers, crop rotations and the investigation of medicinal plants around the island with the possibility of visiting other islands to assist as well.

Basic Construction Activities

Conservation awareness volunteers should be prepared to do physical labour such as: laying bricks, carpentry, painting, laying tile, landscaping and/or gardening. Volunteers are not required to have experience in construction work.

Host Organization Details

Alianza Jatun Sacha

Alianza Jatun Sacha is a non-profit, private Ecuadorian NGO dedicated to the conservation of forest, aquatic, and mountain ecosystems through technical training and scientific research. This organization also has a strong focus on investigation, environmental education, community development and the management of ecologically important habitat.

The principal lines of action of the organization are: biological conservation and cultural diversity through private reserves, environmental education, the development of natural products and research that promotes the improvement of quality of life for the people that live in the zones of influence of the foundation's activities.

Jatun Sacha has an extensive program of courses on various topics: Conservation Biology, Tropical Ecology, Botany, Wildlife, Population Dynamics, Ethology, Natural Resource Management, Natural History and various aspects related to the conservation of biodiversity, for students of colleges and universities. Offering the opportunity to take courses in Conservation Biology, Ecology, Environmental Education, Eco-tourism and the implementation of Bachelor and Master's Thesis.

Jatun Sacha Biological Station was created by the need to maintain a centre of conservation, research, and education to host scientists and students interested in tropical forests.

When They Were Founded

The Jatun Sacha Foundation is an Ecuadorian non governmental non profit, private organization. It was legally established in 1989 by Ministerial Agreement No. 270 from the Ministry of Agriculture, published in the Official Record No. 238 on July 21st 1989. Jatun Sacha Biological station was created by the need to maintain a centre of conservation, research, and education to host scientists and students interested in tropical forests.

Who They Work With

Although the foundation's main goal is to continue protecting and learning more about biological diversity and conservation projects, they in turn serve rural communities, and support Indigenous groups in the region.

How Are They Funded

The Alianza Jatun Sacha Organization, receives funding from USAID, Conservation International, IUCN Netherlands, The British Embassy, The Canadian Fund for Ecuador, as well as, some private funding.

Donation Requests

This foundation would appreciate donations of: first aid kits and supplies, allergy kits, school supplies, and basic lab equipment for biological field research.

Placement Location Information

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador

The Jatun Sacha Biological Station was created in 1986 for field research and education on tropical rainforests. The foundation is a self-sustaining, non-government funded, non profit, private organization with a number of locations throughout Ecuador.

The Galapagos location is working to develop the technology needed to reconstruct the native habitats in the surrounding highlands.

This station is composed of two houses made of mixed materials like native bamboo and cement. Each house has 11 rooms and a sitting area, used for relaxation. Separate from the houses is a kitchen and dinning area. Though the accommodations are rustic, there is enough room for up to 35 people at a time, including researchers and volunteers. The reserve has electricity but no internet or telephone usage.

Transfer From BaseCamp

Take a taxi to the Airport in Quito, to domestic flights (known as Terminal Nacional). The flight from Quito to San Cristobal Island is approximately four hours. At the airport a staff member will be waiting to pick you up and take you to the reserve (one hour by car).

Flights from Quito to either Santa Cruz or San Cristobal are approximately 390 US dollars. Additionally, there is a 100 US dollar park entry fee payable once you arrive on the island for all volunteers on placement for less than 3 months. Please note that both the airfare and park entry fee are to be paid by the volunteer in country.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 1000 kms
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 8:0

Weather in the Area

There are two main climatic periods around the Galápagos. The hot season is from December to May when temperatures are higher and there is occasionally heavy rain fall. The cooler season is from June to November with more cloud cover and misty patches leading to lighter rains. After June however trade winds can be significantly affect ocean temperatures which can dip as low as 15 degrees Celsius.

With the exception of the slightly cooler weather in June and July, the islands are favorable to visit for most of the year due to their latitudinal advantage.

City/Village Description

The Galapagos Islands is a group of volcanic islands that surround the Equator at the Pacific Ocean just west of Ecuador. UNESCO has listed the Galapagos Islands as one of the world heritage sites due to the lush flora and fauna found throughout the islands.

Ecologists from around the world travel to the Galapagos islands to study the different species found on the islands. Since the islands never attached to the coast of Ecuador there are species that still exist that can be found throughout the works of Charles Darwin.

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital city of the Galapagos islands and is located on San Cristobal Island. The conservation reserve is located in the scenic highlands of the island on a spectacular 200 hectare site where native vegetation still grows. The native vegetation consists of Miconias, ferns and the other native herbaceous species.

Approximately, 5400 people live here on the islands, however, according the Galapagos tourism board approximately 60,000 people visit the islands each year.

Residence of the island tend to work in tourism, government or in fisheries (the second largest income source for habitants of the Galápagos).

Nearest Medical Clinic

Hospital Oscar Jand
Asalcio Northia
Antonio Navarro N32-179 y Juan Severino
San Cristobal
TEL 1: 593 5 2520-318

Placement Address

Alianza Jatun Sacha
Highland Region Of San Cristóbal, Galápagos Island
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Ecuador at our BaseCamp Center in Quito. Given that this placement is more than a 1 hour 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers here will be living with a host family after your orientation. Living with a host family is an awesome experience for a person looking to really experience Ecuador and its culture.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Ecuador.

If you think that living with a host family is not for you, then this placement might not be the best fit with what you are looking for. You should try completing our application. It's totally free and will allow our team in Ecuador to come up with a list of exactly which placements they would reccommend for you based on your personal preferences, background, skills and interests.

BaseCamp Ecuador

BaseCamp Ecuador
BaseCamp Ecuador Address

Juan Rodriguez E8 - 72 Y
6 De Diciembre
Quito, Ecuador

BaseCamp Ecuador Contact Details

Tel: 593 2-254-7737 (Guest House Jazmines)
Mobile: 593-0-998-221-438

BaseCamp Ecuador is located in the trendy Mariscal district of Quito. Within easy walking distance of banks, restaurants, internet cafes and more; BaseCamp in Quito is perfectly situated for any need. Whether you are taking advantage of the rich and vibrant night life of La Mariscal or visiting a local market, BaseCamp Ecuador is always just a few minutes away.

There are six dormitory style guest rooms and five wash-rooms. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. There are two common areas on the main floor, including a small resource centre, containing books, magazines, games and other Ecuadorian publications. As well there is a large selection of local movies and documentaries which are available for guest viewing. In addition to the two common areas, BaseCamp Quito has a rooftop terrace, the perfect spot to watch the street come awake with a morning cup of coffee, or spend an afternoon relaxing in the sun.

BaseCamp Quito is also the orientation and training centre for international volunteers visiting Ecuador. In addition to accommodation and meals, BaseCamp Quito also provides volunteers with orientation, Spanish Language training (1 - 8 weeks), placement consultation and work plan seminars, as well as follow up and continued support while volunteers are at their placements. All of these services are available to guests who are interested.

Living With a Host Family in Ecuador

Living with a host family in Ecuador is a fantastic way to gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for the people and customs of the country. Each home-stay will provide a bed and three meals per day for our volunteers. The majority of host families offer private rooms with only one or two volunteers living with the family.

In the case of a volunteer lodge or ranger station (which is often the only option for placements within a National Park), volunteers will be living in dormitory type accommodation and meals will be provided in a mess hall or dining area.

Living with a host family can greatly enhance your performance at your placement. For one, it will have a huge influence on the speed with which you gain familiarity with the local language. This, along with your deeper understanding of cultural practices and beliefs that you are likely to gain in this environment, can go a long way to improving or strengthening your relationships with your team mates at work. Furthermore, a significant percentage of our host families are closely affiliated with the organizations with which our volunteers work. As such, even the evening meal or hanging out around the house can become valuable time during which volunteers can share their ideas and continue their support of their host organization.

All of this being said, living with a host family is not for everyone. It is very important for volunteers to honor the house rules in their host family and to be punctual. Also, depending on how remote your placement location, host families can be very rustic. Our staff in country can give you a better idea of what exactly you can expect from a host family in any particular community. However, in general, if these things sound like they might pose a challenge for you, we strongly suggest that you look at a placement within commuting distance from BaseCamp Ecuador.

How the Program Works

Our program structure and costing is completely flexible which lets our volunteers ensure that they only pay for exactly the degree of support that they want.

Option 1 - Free Services

Some volunteers prefer to coordinate their own accommodation, meals and other support while overseas.

Anyone is welcome to use our volunteer placement search tool to help in finding a placement that is well suited to their interests. Once someone finds a placement that they wish to work with, they are welcome to make all the rest of their arrangmeents on their own.

As well, our team of staff overseas are often able to offer a few helpful pointers for volunteers 'doing it on their own'. Just send us an email with your questions and we will put you in touch with our team abroad. We only ask that you keep your requests fairly general, as this type of advice is exactly how our team earn their living. :)

Option 2 - Placement Support - 250 USD

Other volunteers would like assistance in selecting and confirming their placement, but they plan to manage their own accommodation and other expenses on their own.

These volunteers have the option of choosing to only have our assistance with selecting and confirming their placement. This option also includes ongoing placement support while abroad, so a volunteer would be able to ask our team for help if things at their placement were not working out.

In providing Placement Support, our team works with each volunteer through email, telephone and either Skype or Google Hangouts, to ensure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of their placement options. Our in-country staff will put together a custom list of placement options for each volunteer that they believe are the most appropriate matches with the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Then each volunteer can work with our team both in Canada and abroad to go through each of the options and narrow-down their selection.

Option 3 - Full Program Support

For most volunteers who are volunteering for less than a year, they are looking for an option that includes their accommodation, meals, airport reception, country and program orientation and placement support. This is what our Program Fees are designed for.

We are proud of how over the years we have ensured that our program fees are amoungst the most reasonable of any program in the world while we continue to provide exceptional volunteer support both at home and abroad.

Our Program Fees and listings of what these do and do not include are listed below:

Program Fees

Program Fees - Ecuador

  Registration Fee
  1 Week
  2 Weeks
  3 Weeks
  4 Weeks
  5 Weeks
  6 Weeks
  7 Weeks
  8 Weeks
  Additional Weeks

Ecuador wildlife and conservation placements require an additional $7 USD per day fee to cover park fees and accommodation. All program fees are listed in US Dollars.

What is Included
  • Pre-Departure support
  • Placement consulation
  • Airport reception & transfer
  • 2 Day orientation
  • Accommodation (BaseCamp or host family)
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Emergency & placement support

What is Not Included
    Before Departure
  • International flight
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Visa costs where required
  • Work permits where required
    While Overseas
  • Daily transportation to and from placement
  • Transport to airport on departure
  • Placement fees if requried

Placement Fee Alert

This placement has a placement fee!

In some cases, a placement will have to take on certain expenses in order to host a volunteer. For example, some medical internship placements take time away from paid medical staff to help with educational assistance. This has a cost that is compensated by a placement fee. In other cases, the organization may have to pay for additional equipment, energy consumption or other expense in order to put a volunteer to work.

In such cases, the organizaiton charges a fee. This fee is paid directly to the organization in cash on the ground.

One of the reasons that we keep this fee separate is so that volunteers who do not pay us for accommodation, meals etc (Program Fees), will see that they will still have to make this payment directly to the organizaiton upon their arrival.

The placement fee for this organization is: 60 USD

Program Dates

Our regularly scheduled program start dates are the first Friday of each month, every month of the year. We strongly recommend beginning your program on one of these dates as this will allow you to go through our orientation alongside other international volunteers.

If you would prefer, our application will also allow you to select a custom start date for your program. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for a custom start date which ranges from 50 to 75 USD.

Feb 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022 Apr 01, 2022
May 06, 2022 Jun 03, 2022 Jul 01, 2022
Aug 05, 2022 Sep 02, 2022 Oct 07, 2022
Nov 04, 2022 Dec 02, 2022 Jan 06, 2023
Feb 03, 2023 Mar 03, 2023 Apr 07, 2023
May 05, 2023 Jun 02, 2023 Jul 07, 2023
Aug 04, 2023 Sep 01, 2023 Oct 06, 2023
Nov 03, 2023 Dec 01, 2023 Jan 05, 2024


These dates are the day that volunteers should plan to arrive on the ground in country. We can accommodate arrivals in-country at any time day or night on these dates.

Give us a Call
Canada / USA 866-646-4693 (toll free)
UK 866-646-4693 (toll free)
Australia 866-646-4693 (toll free)
International 613-353-3000
Send us a Message