About the Galapagos ICE
Just off the coast of Ecuador is an archipelago of islands that was made famous in 1831 by the legendary Charles Darwin. It is an attraction that sees to it that travel agencies and tour operators in Ecuador remain busy. And even though the tourism industry might be good for businesses on the mainland, it is not helping the residents of the Galapagos Islands. Specifically, the most populated island, Santa Cruz. Organizations such as Galapagos ICE strive to enhance the living conditions of the islanders and protect the endangered wildlife with which they share their islands.
Emily Pozo instantly fell in love with the Galapagos Islands while visiting, but she saw more than just the average tourist does. Even though she appreciated the rare beauty of the islands and its diverse wildlife, she also saw a community in need of education. Not only to enable them to secure a future for themselves in a working environment, but to educate them on the importance of conservation and the threat that their islands are under.
Galapagos ICE was established by Emily Pozo almost three years ago, and is a non-profit organization that works with elementary schools to provide them with better learning environments and to widen their curriculum. Over a hundred volunteers have given their services to Galapagos ICE, each bringing their own unique talents and experience to the project. The organization also works on projects such as collecting furniture for the classrooms, providing supplies and creating a safe environment for the scholars. Together with the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Galapagos ICE raises environmental awareness, as the Galapagos Islands have been added to the Endangered World Heritage Sites list by UNESCO. Illegal fishing, the overpopulation of certain areas and the impact that tourism is having on the island and its marine and wildlife species is worrying. Trying to motivate the local population to become involved in the tourism industry, and in so doing control tourism and ensure that profits from the industry remain on the island, will empower the locals who will in turn enjoy better lifestyles. The Galapagos ICE is not only trying to protect the local community, but the islands as a whole.