Helping the local community
As one of the most well-established tour companies based in San Cristobal, Ecoventura has helped to support various initiatives that benefit the local population living in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreano, San Cristobal. With a population of 5600, San Cristobal has the second largest population in the Islands after Santa Cruz. It is the fifth largest island and the only Island with fresh water and an airport in town.
Through the foundation “Gotitas de Esperanza” (Drops of Hope), Ecoventura has pledged to sponsor the salaries for teachers and Physical Therapists who work at a local school called Alejandro Alvear on San Cristobal Island. During the day, the school provides therapy for children with Down’s Syndrome and other physical disabilities. In the evenings, the school serves the adult population of the Island through programs such as teaching sign language for the hearing impaired.
Ecoventura has teamed up with Pack for a Purpose, a charitable organization, established by Rebecca and Scott Rothney who came up with the idea during a safari in Africa. By asking travelers to pack 5 lbs (2.27 kgs) of supplies, they would be able to involve everyone who wanted to add value to his or her trip by participating. By delivering the supplies directly to the traveler’s accommodation, it would be possible for every traveler to contribute and require no logistical support. That amount would take only a small space, require little effort and still make a big impact. Now Ecoventura passengers can make a difference in the lives of the children who live in Galapagos by bringing needed items them on your trip. Ecoventura will deliver supplies to the students at the Alejandro Alvear School and also theNew Era Galapagos Foundation that supports art program, Eco Scouts and English activities. Visit Pack for a Purpose here to find packing lists and instructions:
What else you can do to help us protect Galapagos:
Become active in your local nature or environmental groups such as TheRainforest Alliance , World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International. Join the Galapagos Conservancy and help protect the Islands for future generations of adventure travelers
During the cruise, refill water bottles from our containers of purified water made from our reverse osmosis water mater. You can bring your own non-plastic water bottles such as those found at www.kleankanteen.com
Bring only biodegradable sunscreens and lotions. Ecoventura will supply you with biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner.
Purchase your adventure gear with an environmentally-friendly manufacturer such as Timberland, Patagonia, ex-officio or REI.
Please reuse our brochure and give it a friend – our brochures are printed on MOHAWK Options, a 100% post-consumer paper, manufactured with wind power and certified by Green Seal and SmartWood for FSC standards.
Do not use disposable cameras. The less garbage you leave in the islands, the better. Please bring any packaging back with you to dispose of in the mainland.
Join NativeEnergy and offset your daily carbon emissions.
During the cruise, follow all the National park rules; they include:
Do not disturb or remove any native plant, rock or animal on land or in the water.
Be careful not to transport any live material or sand to the islands.
Do not take any food or drink except water to the uninhabited islands.
Do not touch, pet or feed the wildlife.
You must stay within several feet and avoid taking any flash photography
Do not startle or chase any animal from its nesting place.
Do not leave any trash on the Islands or throw any litter overboard.
Follow the marked trails at all times and do not walk out of their limits.
Stay together with your guide who must accompany all passengers on the trails.
Do not buy souvenirs of objects made from native Galapagos products (except for wood) especially black coral, sea lion teeth and shells of the Galapagos tortoises. There is no smoking permitted on the islands.
For more tips and insight, watch the IGTOA DVD filmed in 2007 aboard an Ecoventura yacht. Galapagos Network is a founding member of IGTOA, International Galapagos Tour Operators Association , a non-profit trade organization. Travelers can make donations IGTOA of which 60% goes straight to the Galapagos Conservancy and the rest goes toward the group’s mission of furthering responsible tourism in Galapagos.
Ecoventura follows a holistic approach toward healthier living on board
Ecoventura’s pacesetting approach to healthier fare underscores our holistic approach to Galapagos cruising: continued environmental stewardship, promotion of healthier living and support for local communities inside the ship.”
To better cater to our clients needs, our culinary-school trained chefs introduced a reduced calorie, healthy dining menu built around natural and organic foods purchased locally from island farmers and that avoids fried foods and high calorie sauces while reducing the fat and sodium content. The new menu has increased its infusion of organic content by over 12 percent; nearly 60 percent of produce comes from the Galapagos, mainly fruits and vegetables from San Cristobal and meats and dairy from Santa Cruz Island; only 32 percent of the food products are now shipped from the mainland of Ecuador and the company continues to annually reduce that percentage (two years ago it was more than 40 percent). Vegetarian and vegan meals are available upon request. Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside our yachts and is restricted to one designated smoking area on an outside deck away from where passengers congregate.
All Ecoventura guides are Ecuadorian nationals; 65% are Galapagos residents and 25% are native Galapaguenos. Out of 61 crew total members, including guides and Captains, 37% reside permanently in the Galapagos Islands and of those 15% are native Galapaguenos. The rest live in different cities in mainland Ecuador. In fact, Ecoventura has one of the highest percentages among the industry of employing local guides and crew. Ecoventura maintains a supply office, warehouse and manager on the Island of San Cristobal and hire only locals to handle our Galapagos-based operation.