Gloria Salvador has lived most of her life in the Galapagos Islands. Here are some excerpts...
Galapagos is home to around 30,000 people, spread across five "inhabited" islands. Obtaining food, supplies and fresh water for daily living has always been a challenge to the islands' residents. Until the third quarter of the 20th Century, the inhabitants were more or less entirely dependent on the islands' natural resources. A cargo boat would visit the archipelago perhaps every six months.
With the opening of Galapagos to the world, cargo boats started to come more frequently, airplanes supplemented the transportation of merchandise and people, and cable TV, Internet and air conditioning became modern "necessities". But despite the increased flow in transportation to provide for the needs of the locals, and visitors, the provision of goods and services has never been sufficient to meet the full demand. Tat fact became uncomfortably obvious when our cargo fleet was reduced to almost zero after 4 ships sank in a period of around 3 years.
The Galapagos Islands
Since Darwin's time, the natural wonders of the Galapagos Archipelago have inspired and awed its visitors. This 23 minute YouTube adventure follows Fred and Peggy Hillman's journey from Quito Equador to many of the Galapagos Islands.
They come face to face with boobies, iguanas, frigate birds, sea lions, albatrosses, fur seals, iguanas, penguins, flightless cormorants and other native and endemic species.
- YouTube URL
The Galápagos Islands face serious challenges for the long-term survival of their terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
Tourism, for example, funds scientific research and provides revenue that helps give the Ecuadorian government the incentive and resources to protect the islands. Tourism, however, creates other problems, such as invasive, introduced species and burgeoning population growth.
This thoughtful post from the International Galápagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) outlines many of the challenges facing the islands.
Who knew goats could drink sea water?
The Galapagos Conservancy site has a wide range of resources, with information on the history of the Islands, biodiversity, conservation challenges and "Sustainable Tourism". Check out their "wallpaper" and Gallery sections.
Sites, like travel groups or service providers, have begun to include educational information. However, the quality is mixed.