About This Experience
Serve the poor and spread the faith while getting up close and personal with some of the most diverse marine life on the planet. This includes visiting National Parks and Reserves of the Galápagos Islands while partnering with the local church on a service project.
Each morning you will be helping parish families with a housing construction or similar project. The afternoons will be your chance to visit the people of Santa Cruz Island and experience the ecology of this one-of-a-kind archipelago. Whether snorkeling, exploring, or relaxing on the island's beaches, the Galápagos Islands have something for every sort of adventurer.
Daily Mass and Adoration may be available throughout the trip. Through a combination of manual labor and catechesis to the community, we will work to spread the faith and live in solidarity with the people of the Galápagos. Expect your life to be changed as we work to bring Christ to the island and in turn encounter Christ himself in the people of the Galápagos.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- round-trip airfare to Galápagos
- trip insurance*
- pre-trip orientation retreat
- post-trip debriefing retreat
- all food
- project materials
- snorkeling and other excursions*
- in-country transportation
- immunizations and travel medications
- travel to/from US departure city (which will be determined by the Mission Director)
- passport/visa expenses
- other personal incidentals
*Dates and cost subject to change; additional charges may apply for some adventure activities such as snorkeling.
|Day 1||Evening arrival on Baltra Island, Galápagos|
|Day 2-6||Morning mission work / afternoon & evening community visits and/or ecotourism depending on the day (including Tortuga Bay swimming and “Parte Alta”/Highlands tour)|
|Day 7||Snorkeling at Bartolome Bay|
|Day 8||Afternoon departure to Quito and connecting flight to U.S.|
“The most humbling and eye opening experience I have ever had, I was truly blessed to have touched so many different lives and expirience a new culture while also strengthening my relationship with the Lord.
Val B. | Galapagos 2018 Adventure Missionary
“Creatio fostered an incredible experience of encounter. Between encounter Christ in the other people on the trip (who became like a family to me), teaching us to live extraordinarily in ordinary things through service, giving us time to sit in silence with our Creator, and immersing us in the glory of God’s creation, I feel much more at peace in my relationships with Christ and others.”
Eli Y. | Galapagos 2018 Adventure Missionary
Creatio’s spirituality is focused on strengthening the four relationships: relationship with self, with one another, with nature and with God. We encourage all of our missionaries to be open to experience a deepening of these relationships while on our trips.
Creatio is a Catholic organization. Missionaries are not required to be Catholic; however, Ecuador is strongly Catholic in culture. Tours will include churches and religious places that have contributed largely in forming of the culture of Ecuador. Daily Mass and Adoration will also be a part of the experience.
Creatio partners with local communities, families and hotels to host the missionaries and ensure all accommodations are satisfactory throughout the trip. We will be staying at the rectory in the Galápagos (subject to change). Because this is a mission trip, conditions may not exactly be 5 star, but basic needs for missionaries will always be met (warm place to sleep, blankets, etc).
Health & Safety Information
Due to widespread coverage and worry over the Zika virus in South America, Creatio has thoroughly researched the disease and its prevention in order to make sure our missionaries will be safe while in Ecuador.
Ecuador is currently rated by the CDC at “Alert-level: 2”, meaning that travelers need to practice enhanced precautions.
Precautions include: Regularly applying EPA registered bug sprays, using mosquito nets when possible, wearing long sleeves and pants or wearing permethrin-treated clothing.
Creatio does not recommend that women who are pregnant or may become pregnant go on this mission trip. Creatio also asks that missionaries abstain from any sexual activity during the trip, as this is the only other proven method of Zika transmission.
If a missionary should experience symptoms of Zika infection during or after the trip, they should get tested as soon as possible.
We recommend you undergoing a medical check-up before traveling to make sure you don’t have any kind of medical condition that could obstruct your participation in the mission trip.
Food safety is an important issue when traveling internationally. Local tap water in Ecuador is not potable. Only bottled or treated (disinfected) water should be used for drinking. Do not use ice, avoid getting tap water in your mouth when showering and brushing teeth, and do not use tap water to wash fruits and vegetables. Meats and fish should be thoroughly cooked. Avoid cheap restaurants or food sold in the streets. If you don’t follow these instructions, you will probably go through an episode of diarrhea that can make traveling a rather uncomfortable (although memorable) experience, to say the least.
Quito: Medical care in Quito is generally good. Hospital Metropolitano was founded by American medical professionals and is the primary hospital here.
Galápagos: Care on the Galápagos is more limited than on the mainland. The primary hospital is República del Ecuador. It is important to make sure your travel insurance includes medical transportation (should you need it) to a more advanced hospital.
For more country-specific health and safety information, visit www.travel.state.gov for details.
Creatio trip leaders have years of experience leading trips to Ecuador. The local guides are fluent in Spanish and English, and are knowledgeable about Ecuadorean and Galápagos geography, history, culture, and safe travel procedures.
During our trip, we will not visit areas that either the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador has categorized as dangerous. Click here for access to the Embassy website containing the contact information of the Embassy and Consular Agent.
Ecuador is a developing country that may go through periods of political and economic instability. Labor-related strikes can occur with some frequency in urban or rural areas, and generally cause serious disruptions to road, air, and rail transportation. Demonstrations are often announced, yet not always. We may have to make some modifications to our schedule due to marches or strikes. Participants should be open to unexpected changes.
Like many large cities around the world, Quito suffers from crime. Pay attention while traveling, despite the fact that we are visiting generally safe places. In these cities we will visit museums, historic places, and other tourist areas that attract large crowds. As you know, thieves operate in places that gather large crowds and therefore you should be especially careful. You are advised to keep your credit cards, cash, and identification in your front pocket or a secure money holder. You should not carry your original passport unless you are traveling by train, bus or plane. If the police request identification, a copy of the passport is acceptable. You don’t want to waste time replacing your driver license, passport, or other identification during your trip. You should limit your cash in hand (just carry what you will need for the day) and unnecessary credit cards. It is better to avoid handbags or objects that hang freely, because those are easy targets for pickpockets.
We urge you to be watchful of your belongings, because if you leave them behind in a tourist area or other location, you will probably not see them again (even if you notice a few minutes later). The idea of a place for “lost and found” objects is unfamiliar in rural areas or shanty towns. During overnight bus or train rides, stay close to your belongings. If you leave the bus during scheduled stops, take your valuable objects with you.
In many cities, you will see plenty of moneychangers in the streets. Even though they may give you a higher rate than the one offered by banks and money exchange agencies, you are advised to avoid them because some of them are a conduit for counterfeit currency.
Pirated goods are widely available. Do not buy them. You will be breaking the law. Additionally, if you bring them back to the US, you could face severe fines (e.g. $ 250,000). Certain drugs that are sold over-the-counter in Ecuador are illegal in the US. Please be sure you check before attempting to bring them back into the US.
- Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the final day of trip. Passport must have at least one blank visa page.
Non US Citizens or those traveling from outside of the US:
- Visit travel.state.gov to understand visa and vaccine requirements regarding the country from which you are coming.
- Please contact us to confirm non-US citizen visa requirements.
What To Bring
- Your Passport!
- Sleeping bag, pad, and pillow
- Travelers insurance card
- Health insurance card
- Copy of Passport, ID, and insurance cards
- Headlamp or small flashlightEveryday clothes: jeans, shirts, shorts**, etc. (Our days will consist of work projects, excursions do the local beaches, and spending time with the local community)
- Church clothes – (we’ll be attending Sunday Mass down in Quito during our trip)
- Socks & Underwear (please wear these)
- Pajamas (men and women will be sleeping in separate rooms, but modesty* is essential)
- Sweatshirt/light jacket
- Swimwear (modesty please)
- Shoes (2 pairs- one pair you do not mind if they get dirty)
- Toiletries/feminine products/basic personal medicine (Advil, Imodium, Pepto Bismol, etc.)
- Towel (for showering) – consider a small quick dry camping towel since cotton can take a very long time to dry in humid weather
- Wet ones or other body wipes for a quick freshen up!
- Water bottle
- Notebook & pen
- Rain Jacket
- Mosquito Nets (*Note this was specified as a must by our host)
- Sandals, like Tevas, are excellent for mission (you can wear through a city, while working and even to Mass on Sunday)
- Money belt
- Sun glasses, sunscreen (PLEASE BRING THIS), mosquito repellent
- Hand sanitizer
- Gatorade/pedialite packets
- Some granola bars, other snacksExtra Items- Optional:
- Small amount of cash or Debit card for ATM (Should not need more than $80 for excursions. Please bring cash.)
- Small, cheap alarm clock or watch
- You will receive a small daypack from FOCUS missions that you can use
- Playing cards or other travel games
*Trip insurance provides coverage during the advertised dates of the Experience. If a situation arises prior to departure, this would not be covered.