Volunteer on the Galapagos islands as a sports coach

  • Volunteer in the Galapagos to support the local PE teacher coaching a range of sports
  • Work in schools and improve your knowledge and experience of sports coaching
  • Perfect for gap year students with a GCSE in PE, and learning Spanish
  • Take advantage of the magical Galapagos in your leisure time

Project summary

This volunteering sports project is providing support to the local PE teacher who serves both a secondary school and a primary school in Puerto Baquerizo, on the Galapagos island of San Christobel. Like many teachers in Ecuador, he has to cope with high teacher-student ratios and therefore he finds the support of a volunteer invaluable. It is possible that two volunteers could support this project at the same time.

The sports activities follow a schedule as follows:

  • May – August : Athletics
  • Sept: Ecuavolley (a local version of volleyball) and football
  • Oct & Nov: Basketball
  • Dec: Mixed games
  • Jan – Feb: Traditional Ecuadorian games

There is also an after school basketball club that runs nine months a year, from May – January, which is an added option for volunteers that have a reasonable standard of basketball skills.

The project has a number of stunning features, helping a sports enthusiast develop their coaching experience, learning some local sports, experiencing working in both secondary and primary schools, and working on the beautiful Galapagos islands.

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

Volunteers will act as a sports coaching assistant to the PE teacher. On Tuesday & Friday volunteers will work at the primary school, 7am – 12pm and on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday the activities are at the local secondary school.

You will support the established curriculum, which rotates through a number of sports activities based on the school calendar. You should expect to manage smaller groups and individuals, helping group together different age groups and/or abilities. Where a volunteer has advanced skills/experience in an activity and/or knowledge of wider PE subjects such as sports nutrition, then this would be well received. Volunteers with a reasonable standard of basketball would also be warmly welcomed as a coach at the basketball club.

How you can make a difference

The support of a volunteer means the students can be managed in smaller groups, providing greater engagement and more targeted coaching according to skill levels. Volunteers may bring their own experience and knowledge that would be warmly received, where it complements the existing programme. As in many of our projects, the presence of an enthusiastic international volunteer lifts the spirits and self-esteem of the local children, and gives them the opportunity to practice their limited English.

What is distinctive about this project:

This is an incredible opportunity to follow sports pursuits and teaching in the Galapagos islands. What more can you say?!

Blue Tiger Features:

Outreach International has extensive contacts in the Galapagos and so this new opportunity has been shared with us as a real need. The project has been visited and assessed by both our UK and in-country staff, but we would benefit from detailed volunteer feedback. As a pilot project we reward a higher degree of feedback with a reduction in the placement fee (see Prices).


The project will be closed with the schools in February-April, and for a short period at Christmas


You need to speak Spanish to an intermediate level to work with the PE teacher and children, but our 121 lessons that are included will help get you up to speed.

Experience required:

This project would be ideal for a student with GCSE in PE, anyone studying sport science, or a volunteer playing sport(s) to a high standard with a team/club. Any level of coaching experience is ideal.

A broader knowledge of sports nutrition and sports science would help transfer knowledge to the staff.

Good to know:

You will be working in a stunning environment but a very warm climate to be wary of. You have the option of staying with a family to experience something of community life on Galapagos, or we have access to a volunteer house, where you will be with other international students and volunteers working on the island.

Price table

2 months10 weeks3 months

Pioneer: Fees include discount for Pioneer project, in return for expanded volunteer feedback
Includes: Return flight from Quito to Galapagos. Comprehensive travel insurance (supplements may apply to older travellers). Accommodation, food, airport transfer, travel to projects, in-country support, welcome meal. Two weeks of good quality 121 Spanish tuition.
Excludes: Flights, visas, vaccinations. Galapagos visitor permit, payable locally on departure from Quito and/or arrival in Galapagos

Things to see and do

  • Island tours
  • Scuba diving & snorkelling
  • Beaches
  • Darwin Centre

Country co-ordinator

Paulina Ratti

Paulina qualified as special needs teacher and language therapist from the University of Guayaquil. She has lived in San Cristobal on the Galapagos all her life and has been supporting our volunteers since 2006. She is a well known island character, recognised locally for her brightly painted wall murals. She lives with her husband in Baquerizo, the town on San Cristobal.

About Galapagos