Lakefield Trip – Galapagos

Nov 09-17, 2021
  • Trip Type:
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Pilot Program

World Vets has teamed up with Lakefield Veterinary Group to help animals in the Galapagos Islands.  This is a pilot project for World Vets, aimed at helping to protect the biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands while providing essential veterinary services and sterilization surgeries for the resident dog and cat population.  World Vets will be working in cooperation with local government agency ABG (Agencia de Regulación y Control de la Bioseguridad para Galápagos) and US-based NGO Animal Balance. World Vets volunteers will also serve as volunteers through Animal Balance.jeremy-bishop-Gr-JzepWSuA-unsplash
For this field project, volunteer opportunities are open to vets, techs (both licensed and non-licensed), and general assistants. Volunteer selection will be coordinated with Lakefield Veterinary Group.  Read more about volunteer positions below.

**Note- This is a closed project made possible by sponsorship from Lakefield Veterinary Group. Projects open to our general membership are coming soon!

For this field project, volunteer opportunities are open to vets, techs (both licensed and non-licensed), and general assistants.

What’s Included in the Project:

World Vets logo scrub top, volunteer kit, pre – trip planning and coordination per the project itinerary, accommodations for 9 days and 8 nights, breakfast and lunch on clinic work days, airport transfers in San Cristobal per established meeting times on official arrival/departure days, ground transportation related to veterinary work, a group excursion/activity, veterinary and volunteer permissions and authorizations, as well as all supplies and full participation on the project.

What’s NOT included:

International/domestic airfare*, optional excursions, travelers’ insurance, health insurance, World Vets membership fee, breakfast and lunch on non-work days, dinner and snacks, required travel documentation to enter/exit Ecuador (i.e. a passport that does not expire for at least 6 months from your initial date of travel, visa if applicable), incidentals and anything not specifically outlined as included.

*Please noteVolunteers will need to book an international flight to Quito, Ecuador, and from there book a domestic flight to San Cristobal Airport, Galapagos Islands (Airport Code: SCY). Airlines that offer flights to the Galapagos Islands are Avianca, TAME and LATAM. Domestic flights will have a short layover in Guayaquil (GYE), but passengers normally stay on the same plane.

What will I be doing?

This is a small animal veterinary field project. For this particular project, World Vets veterinary team will carry out a spay neuter campaign targeting both owned and unowned animals. Volunteers can expect 75+ sterilizations to be performed each day. We may also see health consultations, perform other types of surgeries and/or treat injuries on a case by case basis. A community outreach day is planned to provide preventive healthcare and basic medical consults out in local community.


As a veterinarian, you primarily will be performing sterilization surgeries for dogs and cats. You may also be involved in the following:

  • Medical diagnosis and treatment and/or in providing health consultations
  • Performing other surgeries that may be deemed necessary on a case by case basis (based on your comfort level and/or ability)

The veterinarian volunteer category may be filled by a licensed DVM who is both competent and comfortable in performing routine spay/neuter surgery. PLEASE NOTE: We will require additional documentation for veterinarians volunteering on this project. See below under “A Few Special Notes” for more information

Veterinary Technicians (Licensed and Non-Licensed) | Veterinary Nurses

As a veterinary technician, you will lead and/or be involved in running the pre-med/induction station to induce anesthesia and prepare patients for surgery.  This includes:

  • Administering, monitoring and managing the pre-medication given to surgical patients
  • Administering, monitoring and managing the anesthesia given to surgical patients
  • Assisting with surgical prep and patient monitoring
  • Monitoring anesthesia
  • Managing post-op patients

The “Tech” (LVT/RVT) volunteer category may only be filled by a veterinary technician that is either certified, licensed and/or registered. Please note, proficiency in IV catheter placement is essential in this position. For veterinary technicians who are not licensed, they should register under the “Tech/Student” category.


The assistant volunteer category is open to anyone who loves animals and wants to help. Our assistant position requires no prior experience, just a willingness to learn! Assistants often help in the post operation recovery area, instrument prep, patient check-in and in a variety of miscellaneous duties (based on your skills, experience and comfort level).

A few special notes:

COVID-19: The Galapagos Islands have a very high vaccination rate for all adults.  Nonetheless, the global pandemic presents an ongoing health and safety risk both in the United States and abroad and conditions and recommendations change frequently. Please refer to information on the US State Department website for travel to Ecuador as well as the CDC website for current information on international travel and health recommendations.  Please read and fully understand the terms and conditions in the link below.

World Vets is not able to provide medical advice related to travel vaccines or other travel related medical questions. Volunteers are encouraged to consult with their family physician, nearest travel clinic and/or center for disease control regarding recommended immunizations and/or health precautions prior to the trip. It is recommended that volunteers be vaccinated for rabies for any international project, although is not a requirement for this particular project. Proof of COVID vaccination is required for travel to the Galapagos Islands.

The gloves provided on World Vets projects are made with latex. Volunteers who have a latex allergy will need to provide their own gloves for this project.

  • Caps and masks are required to be worn by all surgeons as well as those assisting within the sterile field of the surgical patient. World Vets provides disposable caps and masks on field service projects, however, volunteers have the option of using their own surgical cap and/or mask..
  • A negative COVID test will be required to return to the United States.  Be aware that if you test positive (even if you are not sick) in Ecuador, you will not be able to return to the US until you are negative or as dictated by Ecuador and/or the US government.  You will be responsible, financially and otherwise,  for any and all arrangements related to a delayed departure from your trip, although World Vets can provide suggestions on accommodations.
  • We have rented the entire guest house for the team and volunteers should expect to share a room.  Each room has a private bathroom/shower.
  • We highly recommend that you obtain travel and medical insurance for your trip. Global Rescue and MedJet are reputable providers of medical evacuation & advisory services as well as general travelers/trip cancellation insurance. You must read the policy wording to ensure the policy is a fit for your needsPolicies must be purchased prior to your initial registration in order to qualify- check with individual provider for details.
  • Please read and make sure you understand World Vets Terms & Conditions


Day 1 (November 8): Travel and Overnight Stay

Fly in to Quito, Ecuador (most flights arrive late PM or very early AM the following day). We recommend you book an overnight stay at the Quito Airport Wyndham hotel, a business hotel across the street from the airport with a free shuttle that runs 24 hours a day.

Day 2 (November 9): Official Arrival Day and Start Date of Trip

Fly from Quito to San Cristobal Airport (Airport Code: SCY), Galapagos Islands, Ecuador with a late morning or early afternoon arrival.

Upon arrival to Galapagos, volunteers will be transferred to accommodations.

[Special note:  Arrival/pick up transfers will only be provided from the San Cristobal Airport. Should any volunteers arrive via boat, they will need to get themselves to team housing on this date.]

Day 3 (November 10): Clinic Orientation | Group Activity 

Following breakfast, the team will do a clinic orientation in the morning. Then, in the afternoon you will go as a group to see the Giant Tortoises on the other side of the island and have time to hang out on a beautiful white sand beach where you can swim and explore the wildlife.

Day 4 & 5 (November 11 and 12): Clinic Days

Hopefully you are well rested because for the next two days you will be operating a field condition sterilization campaign. Be ready to depart by 8:00 AM.

Bring your scrub top, headlamp, and comfortable, close-toed shoes and be ready to pitch in and help wherever needed to make the project a success.

Day 6 (November 13): Community Outreach

This morning will be Community Outreach Day. Volunteers will be involved in assisting with health consultations and administering vaccines and preventative health medicines to a variety of animal species. This will be a half day activity; the afternoon will be open for free time.

Day 7 (November 14): Leisure | Free Time

Today is free for volunteers. World Vets does not have any activities scheduled for today, so volunteers will be responsible for making their own arrangements.

Day 8 (November 15): Clinic Day

You will return to the clinic site for another day of surgeries with cleanup afterwards.

Day 9 (November 16): Leisure | Free Time

Today is free for volunteers. World Vets does not have any activities scheduled for today, so volunteers will be responsible for making their own arrangements.

Day 10 (November 17): Official Departure Day and Official End of Trip

Depart Galapagos in the A.M. (San Cristobal to Quito) and arrive in Quito afternoon/early evening. Then depart Quito same day. Most flights are late evening or very early morning the next day (e.g., 12:30 am-1:30 am). Be sure to verify that the flight date is the next day if it is an early morning flight.

Day 11 (November 18): Arrive Home


(Please note: the dates and schedule for work days may be subject to change.)

Schedule updated on 10/28/21



World Vets team will stay at a guest house located within close walking distance of the clinic as well as local shops, restaurants, a coffee shop and the waterfront. The property features an outdoor garden and fun hang-out areas with hammocks and Wi-Fi internet. Rooms are basic with private bath, A/C and a security safe for storing valuables. The entire guest house has been reserved exclusively for World Vets. Accommodations will be shared with team members. Laundry service is available nearby.

General Packing List

*NOTE:  This is a general packing list.
Please research your project's forecast information for weather permitting items.


  • Shoes (anything comfortable w/ covered toes for clinic days)
  • World Vets scrub top (required during clinic days)
  • Scrub pants (optional)
  • Pants
  • T-shirts (weather permitting)
  • Shorts (weather permitting - shorts are ok for surgery)
  • Bandana/hat
  • Swimsuit (weather permitting)
  • Sweatshirt (weather permitting)
  • Light jacket (weather permitting)
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle (highly recommended)
  • Headlamp (highly recommended)
  • Camera
  • Tote bag
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Prescription medications
  • Over the counter meds (Tylenol, Imodium, cold meds etc)
  • Personal bottle of hand sanitizer (highly recommended)
  • Soap
  • Sunscreen (highly recommended)
  • Bug spray (DEET) (highly recommended)
  • Brush
  • Band-Aids
  • Glasses/contact lenses
  • Beach Towel (if applicable)
  • Ear Plugs
  • Flip Flops/Shower shoes/Water shoes