working with our partners on the island

We have been invited by the Galapagos Regional Government (Consejo de Gobienero de Galapagos) to locate two staff members to the Galapagos Islands for one year, starting in October 2011.  Samantha Singer and Peter Quintanilla recount their experiences and update on their progress.

"When we mention that we are going to be working on urban planning in the Galapagos, there are generally two reactions: either we learn new facts, figures and species, or a moment of pause and then expression of surprise to find that people live there at all. The reality that in the Galapagos Archipelago is a current human population of approximately 30,000 people, the economy is fueled by over 100,000 tourists a year, and growing.  The Galapagos Islands are most famous for providing the evidence to which Charles Darwin attributes his theory of evolution, and the diverse and curious wildlife, most notably the giant tortoise and the Blue-footed Booby, which call the islands home. Since being discovered the Islands have a mystical draw and are often referred to as the enchanted islands, Islas Encantadas"

To find out more about the Galapagos, visit some of our partners’ websites:

Galapagos Conservation Trust 
Charles Darwin Foundation 
Consejo de Gobinero de Galapagos 
Gobinero Municpal de Santa Cruz Galapagos

Major issues and challenges that face the islands are those of unprecedented and poorly controlled urban development. The pressure of tourism and human presence on the islands is constantly increasing and threatening the reason people want to see this amazing place, the incredible natural environment. The quality and coordination of development is a huge challenge but could be an example to the world of how humans could live in harmony with nature. This is why we are involved in working in the Galapagos. In the year we have the privilege of being on the islands and working with the regional, and local governments and with local residents and institutions who are all trying to find a balance between the buen vivir (good life) and a sustainable way of life.