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Review for Galapagos Ice Organization Immerse Connect Evolve, Forest Park, IL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...observing the English speaking abilities of the community grow and improve. I also experienced the results of this organization when I realized how much these small, isolated communities can learn about the world around it through international volunteerism. Furthermore, through education programs, local students gained a new appreciation for their environment, when volunteers taught them how unique their home is.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make more frequent updates on the website regarding ongoing projects. Little can be improved on beyond that.

Role:  Volunteer & Taught English, School Improvent, Volunteer Orientation.