Ecoventura helps to instill the importance of conservation for the next generation by providing support to various projects of Ecology Project International (EPI), a non-profit NGO based in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz. EPI provides a unique opportunity for youth and the local community in Galapagos to participate in local conservation efforts. By raising awareness and educating the community about conservation in Galapagos, the environmental challenges, local youth take action and develop as conservation leaders to help facilitate positive change in the world and in their community.
Galapagos students are trained to develop critical thinking skills and a conservation ethic during a 4-10 day Wildlife Ecology courses that engages both US and Galapagueno students in an inquiry-based, field science curriculum. Participants complete more than 25 hours of research in the company of Galapagos National Park rangers as well as 60+hours of coursework, exploring the natural features of these unique islands where evolution is witnessed first hand. In 2018, the total number of student participants was 283 from nine local schools.
EPI also provides a unique opportunity for youth and the local community in Galapagos to participate in local conservation efforts through their Alumni programs and community outreach by establishing the Mola Mola Eco-club, by offering community monitoring of the green sea turtle on a public beach, documentary film screenings, park and beach clean ups, and a festival for local students, teachers and scientists.
Since 2003, Ecoventura has sponsored over 60 students in the EPI Wildlife Ecology Program giving their support through scholarships. Ecoventura passengers can make donations at the EPI web site.
Every year, Ecoventura invites students from the Mola Mola Eco Club to participate in a career mentorship ruise aimed at assisting them with career exploration by offering the opportunity to “shadow” Ecoventura naturalist guides and crew. Guides serve as mentors to the students in the field during a week-long cruise aboard an Ecoventura first class 20-passenger yacht. Through career shadowing, the students will have the chance to learn first-hand what a professional naturalist guide, chef, engineer or Captain does on a typical work week. By observing the nature of the work and being able to ask questions of the mentors, students can acquire insight into a career field. This program provides a valuable link to motivate and encourage local students to choose a career in tourism.
You too can Sponsor a field ecology course for a local high school students living in Galapagos to study conservation and ecology-related issues. The program is under the auspices of Ecology Project International, a non-profit NGO that has benefited over 600 Galapagos students since 2003. Students spend 50 hours in the field directly involved in conservation actions concerning invasive species and the health and release of turtles into the wild. Galapagos cruise. A $500 donation makes the course possible for one student. www.ecologyproject.org/donate.