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
- Airfare from mainland Ecuador (GYE) to Galápagos Islands (GPS)
- trip insurance*
- Mission Project Materials
- All Lodging and Meals
- Snorkeling and Other Excursions*
- In-country Transportation
- Travel Insurance
- Immunizations and Travel Medications
- International flights to & from Guayaquil, Ecuador
Note About Flights…
- We can either purchase groups flights or allow you to choose your own flights to keep our trip costs as low as possible.
- These costs can be included with your mission fee to determine your total amount to fundraise.
- The earlier flights are purchased, the better! We recommend checking www.kayak.com, www.skyscanner.com, and www.google.com/flights/ for flight options.
*Dates and cost subject to change; additional charges may apply for some adventure activities such as snorkeling.
Day 1: Fly to Ecuador
Day 2: Fly to the Galapagos and start checking out the Island!
Day 3: Adventure Day
Days 4-9 Mission Days
Day 10: Fly back to the USA
“My experience with Creatio was better than I ever could have hoped. I am so happy to have been a part of one of their trips and to meet the leaders that I did. I will forever remember this trip and the memories I made. I experienced God through the people that we met, the nature we encountered and the masses and adorations we had.”
Grace | Galapagos 2019 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 | 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
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.
Vaccinations recommended and common diseases found in Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands, can be found at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/ecuador
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.
Creatio guides all have WFR (Wilderness First Responder) training for medical emergencies.
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.
For additional security information about Ecuador, you can go to the U.S. State Department’s website or the website for the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador.
The cost of your Adventure Mission with us includes trip insurance. This insurance covers things like trip cancellation/interruption (under certain conditions), emergency medical care & evacuation, travel delays, lost luggage, etc. Travel Insurance only covers the advertised costs and services. If you are purchasing your flights separately (on-your-own) your flight will not be covered by the Trip Travel Insurance, and another policy must be purchased separately.
Travel insurance is required for Creatio trips. A policy in your name will be included in the Experience Price. All policies included in an Experience only provide coverage during the advertised dates of the Experience. If a participant’s personal situation results in canceling the trip prior to departure (e.g. participant gets sick and must withdraw from the Experience prior to departure date), then Creatio’s cancellation policy applies.
Creatio is not an insurance company and has no responsibility for the submission, payment, or adjustment of any insurance claims. Any insurance claims that may fall under the relevant travel insurance policy must be submitted to the insurance company identified in the policy.
If a participant is concerned about recovering costs due to cancelation for any reason whatsoever, Creatio recommends participants to purchase the Add-on Cancel-for-Any-
In addition to travelers insurance, it is good to know what your medical insurance covers in foreign countries. Call your insurance before departing and know what is in your plan. Bring your insurance card with you. All participants must have their own medical insurance plan. It is possible to purchase short-term coverage specifically for medical issues while abroad.
- Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the final day of trip. Passport must have at least one blank visa page.
- 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.
Carry-On Luggage (Recommend a backpack/day pack):
- Travelers insurance card
- Medical insurance card
- Emergency Contact Information (we will give it to you before you depart)
- Cash in US dollars
- Bringing money – We recommend bringing $200-$300. We recommend that you bring at least some cash from the US for anything you might want at the airport.
- Personal debit and credit cards – There are ATMs on the Island.
- Call your debit card company at least one week in advance to inform them of where you are traveling and the dates (phone number on card).
- Know your PIN. You can’t use your debit card in Peru without it.
- Change of clothes
- Medications – in original containers. Bring any special or over-the-counter medications you need with you from the US.
- Personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc.) – All liquids must be in 3 oz containers or less and all placed in one quart-sized Ziploc bag
- Hand sanitizer
- Spiritual materials – Bible, journal, Rosary, spiritual reading, etc.
- Water bottle – empty to go through security
Checked Luggage (50 lb max):
- Copy of your ID, Passport, traveler insurance card, and medical insurance card
- Jeans/pants, t-shirts, sweatshirt for work. Please bring only modest clothes – no tank tops (always have shoulders covered) and shorts knee length or longer.
- Comfortable, casual outfits for touring, sightseeing, and walking
- Nicer clothes for mass, restaurants (decent clothes without holes – “dressy” clothes like skirts and dressy pants aren’t necessary, but you may bring them if you would like)
- Shorts (remember length)
- Bathing suit
- Light jacket/sweatshirt
- Poncho/rain jacket
- Sandals/Flip flops – for shower
- Shoes (2 pairs – one you do not mind if they get dirty)
- Toiletries: Shampoo, toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
- Small roll of toilet paper
- Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
- Lip balm and lotion
- Mosquito Net
- Secure money/Passport carrying case
- Luggage ID tags
- Prescription glasses – If you wear contacts, please be sure to bring your glasses as well. You will be asked not to wear your contacts certain work days since dust will likely get underneath them.
- Leatherman or knife
- Debit card and PIN
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Granola bars, power bars, trail mix, Gatorade powder packets, etc.
- Cards or small games for down time
- Spanish translation book
- Mass parts and Rosary in Spanish
Second Checked Bag (50 lb max) – optional:
Some airlines allow two free checked bags. Check with yours to confirm luggage costs. If you would like to bring a second checked suitcase with items to leave, the following are good items the people in the Galapagos Islands need (We recommend using an old suitcase you don’t mind leaving behind.):
- Rosaries or other religious items (holy cards, “How to Pray the Rosary” booklets, bibles, etc.)
- Work gloves
- School supplies (crayons, scissors, pencils, etc.)
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste (dental hygiene isn’t good there)
- Soccer balls or volleyballs (deflated for travel)
*Trip insurance provides coverage during the advertised dates of the Experience. If a situation arises prior to departure, this would not be covered.