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Galápagos Islands

July 16 to 27, 2018

Every description you read of the Galápagos Islands contains superlatives—most amazingthe capital of paradise, cannot be found anywhere else. You will find them all to be true once you embark on this trip. You will encounter all kinds of magnificent creatures such as giant tortoises, marine iguanas and Charles Darwin’s famous finches. They are an inescapable part of everyday life in this magical location. And yes, there are also people living here! Join us and have the pleasure of meeting the teachers and students who cherish this place.

Cost — $2350 plus airfare (for optional day cruise, add $300)

Included —

  • in-country group travel
  • overnight accommodations
  • at least two meals each day
  • trip organizer
  • group interpreter

Grant Opportunity — Grants of up to $300 are available to current and retired school staff and university faculty who are paying full cost out of pocket. In order to be eligible, you must complete the following requirements:

Monday, July 16 — Arrival in Guayaquil

Arriving at the José Joaquín de Olmedo (GYE) airport in Guayaquil, you will make your way to your hotel. The team will gather for dinner and get acquainted with each other and the trip ahead.

Tuesday, July 17 — Guayaquil

Your day begins with breakfast and a morning meeting for the team. Next you’ll be able to savor all that Guayaquil has to offer, from the 400-year-old Las Peñas neighborhood to the modern Malécon riverwalk. Delicious local food and off-the-beaten-path scenery will introduce you to the fabulous Ecuadorean culture.

Wednesday, July 18 — Galápagos Islands

An early flight will take the team to your final destination of Isla Santa Cruz in the Galápagos Islands. Landing at the Baltra (GPS) airport, you’ll travel by bus, ferry and taxi to the town of Puerto Ayora. As time permits, you’ll explore the harbor area and surrounding neighborhoods. You’ll probably encounter a sea lion or two napping on benches in the city center.

Thursday, July 19 — Galápagos Islands

Soaking in the the local flavor is your agenda for today. Starting with the renowned Charles Darwin Research Station, you’ll be fascinated by the biodiversity you discover. The day might include an introductory visit to the school where you’ll be working, Escuela Tomás de Berlanga.

Friday, July 20 — Galápagos Islands

Today you will meet your partner teacher and observe her or his classroom to gain a sense of the students and their learning environment. Once the school day ends, you’ll have a feedback session with your partner to glean more context and to work on a lesson plan that will prepare you to co-teach on Monday.

Saturday, July 21 — Galápagos Islands

This weekend will provide lots of free time so that you can thoroughly immerse yourself in the magical world that is Galápagos.  Some of the places you’ll visit today are a tortoise reserve, lava tunnels, and a spectacular swimming hole called Las Grietas (“The Cracks”).

Sunday, July 22 — Galápagos Islands

Despite having had a full day of fabulous experiences yesterday, the island has more to offer you today. Tortuga Bay is an enormous, perfectly preserved beach that is about a 30-minute walk from Puerto Ayora’s harbor. Relax among the mangroves while watching the antics of marine iguanas. Then you’ll stroll a bit further to a swimming area where you can snorkel or kayak. Keep your eyes open for sea turtles and whitetip reef sharks.

Monday, July 23 — Galápagos Islands

Based on the lesson plan you and your partner created on Friday, you will co-teach today. Professional development and one-on-one partner conversations will occupy the afternoon.

Tuesday, July 24 — Galápagos Islands

During the school day, your partner will teach the lesson you two discussed on Monday. You will be in the classroom for support and to provide instructional coaching afterward.

Wednesday, July 25 — Galápagos Islands

This morning’s content is flexible, because each pairing will have different loose ends to tie up. You will be available to answer any remaining questions and to celebrate the myriad accomplishments of previous days. The week will conclude with a small celebration. The team will hold a final debriefing in the evening.

Thursday, July 26 — Galápagos Islands

You’ll want to fill today with all of the Galápagos bucket list items you haven’t had a chance to do yet. Maybe there was a restaurant you wanted to try, a hike you wanted to take or a shop you meant to visit for souvenirs? For an additional cost, you might want instead to take a day cruise to one of the outlying islands, which we will arrange for you.

Friday, July 27 — Departure

Most of your team will have some regrets about leaving today, because you’ll have undoubtedly developed a love for this fascinating place. As you make your planes-trains-and-automobiles journey to the airport, you’ll carry your new Galápagueno friends home in your heart.

For this trip, we are partnering with the Galápagos Conservancy, the only U.S. organization focused exclusively on protecting the unique ecosystems and biological integrity of the Galápagos archipelago. We will be working in a school just outside the town of Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, the second largest of the Galápagos Islands and its primary tourism hub.