There are few places in the world as naturally fascinating as the Galapagos. A group of volcanic islands off the coast of Ecuador, the area is now protected as a national park. The islands are a treasure trove of unique endemic species of wildlife and vegetation, and were a key visiting point for Charles Darwin during his research.

In fact, San Cristobal Island, the location of our programs, was the first island that Darwin visited during his travels on the Beagle that led to his discoveries about evolution. Some animals on the island include marine iguanas, giant tortoises, dolphins, red-footed boobies, and sea lions.

With a friendly attitude, the people you will be working with in the Galapagos are open to foreigners and eager to experience inter-cultural understanding.

Our Galapagos Islands Programs

Dance Education in the Galapagos Islands

Share your dance and collaborate with local artists in San Cristobal. Giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, and lazy seals await you on the oldest island in the Galapagos, and the first landing point for Charles Darwin in 1835.

Music Education in the Galapagos Islands

Let the rhythm of the islands wash over you as you share your musical knowledge with the young people of San Cristobal in the Galapagos. Spend your free time at the beach, snorkeling, scuba diving, or exploring the ecological diversity that makes the Galapagos famous.

“One of the best ways to learn new words and remember them was through art. For two weeks I spent my mornings learning as much Spanish as I could and every afternoon I taught 45 students using Theatre games and art projects. Things are very laid back in the islands so I could really develop my lesson plans any way I wanted to. To have students start out not really wanting to pay attention, and within a week seeing the same students come to class early and ask to sing the counting song, and bouncing out of their seats to tell you the vocabulary word and write it on the board, made me so incredibly proud of them! Absolutely an amazing experience!”

“Working with teenagers in the Galápagos was a truly memorable experience for me, and hopefully, my students. Although I was unable to produce a final performance with them, they thoroughly enjoyed the experience of acting onstage. On San Cristóbal, they would not have otherwise had an opportunity like this.”

“Going to the Galápagos with Performing Arts Abroad changed my life. Between working with my students at the music school, meeting so many new people, and exploring one of the most beautiful places in the world, I could not have asked for a better experience.”

“I had the most interesting and fun experiences of my life while on this trip. My main goal was to immerse myself into another culture in order to better understand the huge world around me which I feel was definitely accomplished. The best part about my discovery is that people are people no matter where the grow up. Before this trip I had an image of what people would be like in a poor country like Ecuador and my idea was no where close to the truth. It was especially shown with the kids there. I definitely felt like I saw my younger self and childhood friends in a lot of the children there. Also, although I am not fluent, my Spanish improved drastically while on the trip.”

“I think creativity and positivity are so important to encourage in children…the older they get, often the less comfortable they become with new things. My dance classes were a wonderful insight into their personalities.”

“I had a fantastic time. What I liked most about my volunteer experience was meeting so many friendly, interesting people all around the world. The children I worked with were so great. Each day that I taught they were excited to learn and eager to see what I had planned for the day! My host family was one of the nicest families I have ever met and I felt so comfortable my entire stay. Thank you PAA for such a great opportunity!

I had an incredible time, and I was definitely fully immersed in the culture. I was always aware of where I needed to be and when, both for my placement and for other activities, and I felt comfortable no matter where I was.

“A truly amazing experience. I learned so much about myself and about teaching music in my eight weeks abroad. I made life-long friends, and loved being immersed in the culture with my host family! I would recommend Performing Arts Abroad to anyone!”

This is a great program and is administered well with a lot of support before, during and after your trip.

“Overall this volunteer experience was fun and gave me plenty of time for independent travel. The administration was helpful in weekend and afternoon travel plans. They had great suggestions on where to stay and how to find the best and cheaper tours. The children I taught were sweet and I do feel I made a difference their summer camp experience.”

From the blog


Never Wake A Sleeping Sea Lion

Kayla Mernoff stops by to let us in on her summer music volunteering in the Galapagos! Within minutes of arriving on the island of San Cristobal for my music volunteering program in the Galápagos, I had already seen a beach,…

2016 Summer Photo Contest: You at Work

We’ve already announced the winner and runners up of the photo contest, but we’re also sharing some of our favorites in different categories.  This week’s category: You at Work! Here’s the description we gave them: You aren’t just a tourist!…


Teaching Music in the Galapagos Islands

Olivia Kapell is a musician and English Literature student at Columbia University-Juilliard School Exchange.  She participated in the Music Volunteering in the Galapagos Islands program. Upon signing up to be a music volunteer in the Galápagos Islands, I had no idea…


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…

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