©Ecology Project International
The future of the Galapagos Islands ultimately lies in the hands of the people who live there, yetthere is a fundamental disconnect between many Galapagos residents and the remarkable natural environment they inhabit. Fewer than 40% of Galapagos residents were born in the islands and a majority of residents have not had the opportunity to visit the national park.
Furthermore, students in the Galapagos have traditionally lacked access to outdoor learning opportunities; education in Galapagos follows a traditional, classroom-based model, which fails to provide access to the spectacular, natural laboratory of Galapagos. We at IGTOA firmly believe that the most important thing that we can do to support Galapagos conservation in the long run is to help empower young people to become engaged and informed stewards of their own natural heritage. This is why we are proud to once again support the work of Ecology Project International (EPI), whose programs engage students in applied conservation programs that include field research and giant tortoise habitat restoration in partnership with the Galapagos National Park. In 2018, 170 Galapagos students will have the opportunity to participate in EPI’s programs. Since 2003, more than 1,700 students have participated in EPI’s programs.