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Galapagos Family Research Adventure

What is Ecology Project International?

Ecology Project International is a nonprofit, educational organization like no other. We are excited to partner and support them because their mission is to inspire conservation in young people through education and field science programs. They combine travel to remarkable places, rigorous and exciting field science, conservation efforts, and authentic cultural exchange to improve students’ awareness, understanding, knowledge, confidence and academic skills. They make a difference in the world, one student at a time.

When the World Heritage Committee recommended that Galapagos be placed on the list of World Heritage sites in Danger in 2007 it concluded that one of the biggest problems facing the archipelago was the lack of adequate education among local Ecuadorians migrating from the mainland to live in the islands. In spite of all research, conservation projects and tourists flocking to the Galapagos, local schools were not integrated into this network of knowledge. Environmental themes had not been integrated into the curriculum and teachers were not taking advantage of this natural laboratory to teach and apply concepts.

EPI has changed all that! Since its arrival, EPI has brought over 500 US high school students into the field to study and learn, while designing environmental studies curricula for local classrooms, and bringing students from both worlds together. EPI focuses on experiential learning in three main areas: science, conservation and intercultural exchange. Twelve students and two teachers spend 50 hours in the field, designing a research project using the data they collect. Course work includes Galapagos wildlife ecology, tortoise biology, island biogeography, Galapagos conservation, art and journaling.

In this way, local students learn more about the tourists coming to see their island home, while our young adults learn about the local culture through the eyes of their new friends. Together, they learn how people can live in harmony with their environment, protecting fragile ecosystems like the Galapagos Islands. Or, in the words of Galapagueno EPI alums:

“This experience really influenced me, I have now decided to become an excellent, responsible and successful naturalist Guide. My goal is to finish all my studies and the courses required to be able to work here in Galapagos. The most positive aspect is having the opportunity to show the natural environment of the place where you live, finding new friendships with persons from difference places of the world”. Belen Cordova

“This experience made a large impact on my outlook for the future. I would like to explore the possibility of studying to become a boat Captain and to study environmental sciences” Cecibel tought me there is nothing more important than working for what one is passionate about. She showed me you can be protective of the environment, while remaining highly professional and patient with the tourists.” Walter Pisco

To be a part of this amazing opportunity see our Galapagos Family Research Adventure

Or contact our Galapagos Program Director