Visit IOI Galapagos's website to learn more about their programs abroad
Our vision is to help establish an ecologically sustainable and socially stable local economy in the Galapagos by supporting education, conservation and social development for one of its most beautiful islands. We are proud to be the only organization on Isabela that is dedicated to supporting local initiatives now, in order to secure a better tomorrow. We have been lucky enough to have made some incredibly positive and impactful changes to the local community and are able to continue to do so with the help and support of people that want to make a real difference.
IOI is a wonderful organization that works not only in but also with the community to bring change in all aspects. Changing the community for the better as well as...Read more
IOI is a wonderful organization that works not only in but also with the community to bring change in all aspects. Changing the community for the better as well as the volunteers who are exposed to such a different culture and way of life. It teaches volunteers about the beautiful mystery that is Mother Nature and the complexity that is living in a small community in Paradise Island known as Isabela. The volunteer becomes Darwin, a scientist looking for something you don’t even know you are looking for. When you find it that is the experience. That is what you leave behind and what you take with you. Hopefully, returning one day for more research.
Today was my fifth day volunteering at the Galapagos Tortoise Breeding Center. Thursdays are one of the enclosure cleaning days, along with Giant Tortoise egg collection day. The specific details...Read more
Today was my fifth day volunteering at the Galapagos Tortoise Breeding Center. Thursdays are one of the enclosure cleaning days, along with Giant Tortoise egg collection day. The specific details and precise techniques of extracting Giant Tortoise eggs from nests have been explained in the journal entry dated Thursday, September 25, 2014. However, it is important to note that a garden shovel must be used to remove the top later of soil from the nest in order to get to the soft dirt surrounding the clutch of Giant Tortoise eggs. This hard, topsoil is tougher to break through then the dirt surrounding the nest because after the female Giant Tortoise lays her clutch of eggs, she will urinate on the soil to create a protective soil layer. This instinct is shared among all female Galapagos Giant Tortoises in hope of deterring any predators from raiding the clutch of eggs.
Today was a unique day because, once again, the volunteers were allowed to extract Giant Tortoise eggs from various nests in the breeding enclosure with the Tortoise Breeding Center Caretakers. Originally, Fernando, one of the Tortoise Breeding Center Caretakers, explained to the volunteers that a clutch of Giant Tortoise eggs range from five to eight eggs per nest. However, today the clutch Giant Tortoise eggs pulled from the nests ranged from four to nine eggs per nest. Fernando explained that a Giant Tortoise that lays four eggs in a nest is a very lazy mother who is not concerned with reproduction. On the other hand, a Giant Tortoise that lays nine eggs in a nest is a female Giant Tortoise that is a genetically favored due to her high egg per clutch count. In addition, the clutch of four eggs were noticeably smaller then the clutch of nine eggs.