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Teaching Dance in the Galapagos Islands

Zoe Geiger is a Kinesiology and Dance student at Western Washington University. She completed not one, but two PAA programs in 2016, and the Dance Volunteering in the Galapagos program was the second one.

Teaching dance classes while living and adventuring around the Galápagos Islands is an experience I will never forget. San Cristóbal Island is a beautiful, friendly island with almost as many sea lions as people.

I stayed with a sweet family with another volunteer from Belgium, and a study abroad student from the states. We were lucky to live with a big family, happy to be hosting travelers. On my first day, the family took me to Puerto Chino, a beautiful beach on the other side of the island.

A volunteer from Denmark arrived a few days before me and lived in a home next door to mine. My second day we rented snorkel gear (for $3) and found our way to a beach to snorkel with turtles, sea lions, and oh so many fish. The following weekend we adventured about the other islands together, taking several tours in and around 3 other islands. In those 5 days, I saw penguins, blue-footed boobies, sea turtles, marine iguanas, tortoises, sea horses, hundreds of fish, white tip sharks, flamingos and of course, sea lions.

During the mornings, I volunteered at a summer camp held at an elementary school called Alejandro Alvear. I taught dance classes to children ages 4 to 14. There were other volunteers teaching English, German, sports, and arts from all parts of the world. My afternoons were free to be spent relaxing by the beach, snorkeling, or watching the hundreds of sea lions roll about along the water.

On Fridays, we took the kids on field trips, often to beaches around the island. My last day was spent with the kids back at Puerto Chino beach. A few older girls even showcased some of the choreography we had worked on.

Life was extremely tranquil on the Enchanted Islands, with humans living harmoniously alongside other species. The sun is hot, the water is warm, rice is always being served and no one is ever in a rush.

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