I can't say enough good things about this foundation as well as my experiences in the Galapagos Islands. Being the only foundation in the islands that works directly with the people, it was a wonderful opportunity to make a large impact in a small place. With this small size advantage, the leaders of the foundation had contacts that spread far and wide and this was a huge advantage for reaching the most people possible as well as using those connections to realize more possibilities and accomplishments. It truly is a wonderful place, but being so far from the mainland and with limited resources, you begin to notice how deeply it affects the population. It is such a paradise, but it takes a certain kind of person to live a lifetime on such a secluded island, thus it is difficult to bring in an ample supply of excellent physicians, health professionals, teachers, and supplies due to the cost of importing. Simple things that are taken for granted here in the states like having clean sheets every time someone steps onto the examination table or language teachers that fluently speak the language and have up to date teaching methods and materials to ensure the highest efficacy in learning, they lack. And you begin to see how this lack of education affects the population in every way. If you are not being educated, then how can you educate your children and on and on? I could talk for ages on the vast levels that this lack of education and healthcare has affected these people, but the important thing is that a little goes a long way there because of the size. They are eager to learn and this foundation provides many avenues for bridging this gap. We saw people's eyes light up with they first learned that rice, pasta, and potato are all made of carbohydrates and how important it is to have a balanced meal. Very simple fixes in diet and lifestyle choices that we never think twice about are huge epiphanies to the people of santa cruz and this foundation has helped thousands of people learn how to prevent illness, ecological problems, and more efficient teaching methods. My favorite aspect of this foundation is that it aims to alleviate the problems at the root and incorporates problem solving methods that are manageable and sustainable. Aside from this, it was a pleasure working with the people who run this foundation. I always feel that leaders of volunteer foundations are generally good hearted, genuine, and humble people, but never have I worked for a foundation with such caring people. They live within this community closely tied to the people and you can feel the close connection that they have with those they are helping. It was truly a beautiful thing and I will always appreciate their fervor for helping their neighbors. Of all the many volunteer works that I have done, never have I felt that my work has made such an impact as this one and I look forward to the opportunity to return some day to be a part of Galapagos ICE and once again witness how they have immersed, connected, and evolved along with the islanders around them.
My experience with Galapagos Ice was amazing. This is the most successful immersion program that I have worked with. Galapagos ICE is the only organization on the islands that deals solely with the people in the community. Their projects are unique and crucial to the growing community. I worked on the health campaign, and was able to represent the organization during clinic hours and the extraordinary Saturday Market services. The organization offers free exercise classes, nutrition clinic hours, and runs some important tests(blood sugar, BMI during Market days); these are all free of charge, and mostly uses volunteer manpower. I am a Nutrition Science student, and was able to tailor a portion of my project to focus on my area of study and interest. Everyday brought to light a different opportunity to help the organization grow, and to connect with the local population. It was absolutely thrilling to have the opportunity to work with Galapagos ICE.
I volunteered with Galapagos ICE for 4-weeks as part of my MBA program. I was working from the office and was in close contact with the Organization's staff. Simply put, I was amazed by what I saw. The work that Galapagos ICE does benefits so many people and the passion I saw from them touched my heart. The people of Galapagos are lucky to have such a great organization close by and I am lucky I was able to work with them.
I spent a month on the Galapagos, working for Galapagos ICE on a team project for my MBA studies. It was an amazing experience as I was able to contribute to the change the organization is going through right now (from a smaller, start up organization to a professional not-for-profit). During our stay, Emily energized all of us with her drive and charisma. Thanks to her enthusiasm I got in touch with the different aspects of the society on the Galapagos (education, health projects, etc).
It was an unforgettable experience
During one month I could be part of the Galapagos Ice Organization and was there most of the time working at the emergency hospital of St.Cruz. This pracitce was part of my practical training during the medical studies. The emergency was a good way to get in contact with the local health system. Besides that some small projects like health check for people, education and so on. A great month on Galapagos!
Review from Guidestar
Galapagos ICE is a very admirable and effective organization in that it not only provides sustainable assistance to the people of Galapagos, but also provides a life-altering experience to the volunteers. I volunteered primarily as an English teacher for ICE in 2007 for 3 months, in Santa Rosa and in Puerto Ayora.
It was in Santa Rosa that I observed ICE volunteers engage with an entire town, making dramatic improvements to the school, and teaching practical English language skills to grades 1-7. As I assisted in new volunteer orientation throughout the later part of my stay, I observed how carefully, the founder and executive director, Emily Pozo, selects and places volunteers. The accommodations she secured for each volunteer (including my own) were safe, comfortable and provided a very accurate taste of what life is like for the average Galapageano. It was an awesome experience. Because of the networking abilities of the director, I was able to have lunch in a different student's home every day. Obviously, I gained a significant exposure to a new, exciting culture and I am certain that I was able to teach Ecuadorians new ideas about "gringos."
I count this as one of the best experiences of my life. Where else could I have gone to teach English and be able to go pig hunting, cattle herding, cliff-diving, and birdwatching? I hope this organization grows exponentially because the work it does is fantastic.
I worked directly with this organization for a month last December. Myself and a colleague spent almost a month on the islands researching the renewable energy portfolio goals for the Galapagos. We attempted to help inform and learn from the people of Galapagos how the potential changes in energy generation would affect them. We studied the existing wind and solar installations as well as the plans for future expansion. We were lucky enough to spend some time with school children as well and teach and learn from them. Galapagos ICE was instrumental in every aspect of the project. There were amazing to work with and made the trip truly something I will never forget.
I was a volunteer with Galapagos ICE last December of 2009 as a part of my graduate school project. We were able to teach the school children of Santa Rosa about renewable energy as a part of some of the island's initiatives to implement more renewable energy. It was an absolutely fantastic experience and I would highly recommend this organization to anyone looking for an enriching opportunity. I hope to return to the Galapagos soon and follow up on some of the work that has been started.
If you would like more information about our work please go to my blog of the project.
About two years ago I went travelling in South America. I had always wanted to go to the Galapagos Islands as well as volunteer with a help organisation which was why Galapagosice was exactly what I was looking for. Unlike many other organisations you only have to pay for accommodation and food. I stayed with an Ecuadorian family and was very happy there, not only because they were lovely and fed me well, but also because I improved my Spanish a lot. Emily who runs Galapagosice was great, really helpful and keen to make sure that you get out what you want from the volunteering experience. The fact that it is such a small organisation run essentially by Emily and her brother means it is very personal. Definitely one of the best things I've done where I not only improved Spanish and got a taste for non profit work but also made close friends I am still in touch with.
Review from Guidestar
I was involved with Galapagos ICE a couple of summers ago when I decided to take the summer off to get involved in a volunteer project. I had come across the website online and contacted Emily to see if she had any projects that I could make a contribution to. Emily was more than helpful in placing me in an environment I was comfortable working in and in finding living quarters that I would be calling home for the next three months. My experience in the islands far exceeded what I set out to do. I had the opportunity to really commit myself to working in the hospital administering basic first aid all while having the chance to perfect my Spanish. I met locals and made friends that I will keep for a long time. The organization really helped me with any concerns that I had throughout my stay. I will always remember the time I spent in the Galapagos and recommend this organization to anyone interested in getting involved in volunteerism.