AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team
AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team
As the Galapagos slowly returns to normal since the disruption of the pandemic, children started returning to school back in October 2021. No amount of home-schooling can replace face-to-face teaching in a classroom, not to mention the social benefits for young children of playing and socializing with their friends.
We at Ecoventura have always been conscious of the responsibilities we have towards supporting the local community – we have strong links to many of the conservation organisations across the islands and are passionate about protecting our feathered, furred, and finned friends we share this paradise with.
We also know that, when done right, tourism can be a force for good, and have raised money for various initiatives designed to support the local community, beyond conservation efforts designed to protect the wildlife.
One great way to do this is through Pack for a Purpose, a wonderfully inspiring organization that encourages travelers to bring educational supplies to their holiday destination and donate them to local schools and community projects.
The charity is the brainchild of founder Rebecca Rothney, who realized on a trip to Africa that her unused baggage allowance could be put to good use. From there, the idea grew, and grew fast. Through the generosity of thousands of individuals, Pack for A Purpose travelers have donated over 200 tons of education, health, and conservation equipment to community organizations in over 60 countries!
It’s a brilliant way for visitors to repay the hospitality of the host community and express appreciation for the experiences they enjoyed during their travels. And for the local schools, free equipment is always well received and in great demand, so it’s a win-win for all involved, and one that really does make a meaningful, immediate impact.
Since the schools reopened here in the Galapagos, and due to the amazing generosity of our guests, we were at last able to deliver a large number of supplies to two schools in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristobal Island.
The first was Escuela Basica Carlos Darwin, where we delivered 87 kits (about 126 kilos!) of supplies, including colored pencils, erasers, calculators, glue, crayons, scissors, rulers, pens, markers, puzzles, watercolors, pencil sharpeners, flashcards, colored paper, stickers, storybooks, coloring books, notebooks, memo pads, and dictionaries.
The equipment was very well received, with the children thrilled to have brand new coloring crayons and notebooks to use for the upcoming year.
The second school was Corazones Unidos School for children with special needs. This exceptional school supports about 20 children with special needs whose parents live on limited means. The school has a progressive philosophy, custom-tailored curriculum, well-trained teachers, and innovative learning opportunities; it provides an exceptional educational experience and we are thrilled to be able to show our support.
Here, our guests donated another 30 kits (about 30 kilos) of similar stationery, notebooks, books, and art equipment, which has made a huge impact on the wellbeing of the children there.
We are thrilled that our wonderful guests have once again shown such generosity, and can only say, on behalf of the schools, teachers and children, a huge thank you to everyone who found a little extra space in their suitcase to make such a generous donation possible. The schools are immensely grateful, and we look forward to making more in the near future.
We are incredibly proud to be able to partner with Pack for A Purpose to help support local schools in the Galapagos. We first teamed up with this inspiring organization back in 2011 and our relationship has gone from strength to strength. Their model aligns perfectly with our desire to support and give back to local communities on the islands, and is a cause particularly close to our heart – after all, many of our own team, including the crew, guides and support staff, have children in the local schools.
After such a difficult couple of years for so many, we look forward to continuing the relationship for years to come!