We can’t believe it has been so long since our magical adventure in the Galapagos ended! I can still remember the amazement on each one of your faces the first time we witnessed sea lions swimming and jumping beside our boat in the beautiful blue waters of Isabela Island. And seeing the wild tortoises trekking through the highlands of Santa Cruz! Often times it feels like just yesterday that we were hiking through the islands together playing contact, swimming in the ocean with an abundance of wildlife, and volunteering at the tortoise ranches. While your lives have continued on and I’m sure you are occupied by the madness of high school (or college!) life, we are still here thinking of you and the impact that we made together.
While it may not have always felt like much, the work we did together in the Galapagos truly made an impact toward the future sustainability of the islands. The tortoises at Campo Duro and Chato Ranch are happier and healthier with their new selection of food that you planted for them. The organizations have been able to continue their work of supporting the tortoise population to grow and thrive on the islands so that we never have to worry about their species becoming extinct. The children at the school in Isabela have been enjoying their newly painted basketball court, and the teachers so much appreciate the kindness you showed by taking an interest in their lives and wellbeing. But aside from all that, we hope that the knowledge that YOU gained on this trip has helped you to serve your communities back home as well and made you more conscious of how your actions impact the world around you.
The one thing that we have yet to forget is how much fun we had together here as a group. You guys were the most inclusive and accepting group of young adults and I am still amazed by the kindness and love you showed to everyone that was a part of the trip. It has continued to inspire me to this day and give me hope for the future. I look forward to seeing what your generation will accomplish. We worked hard, grew a lot as individuals, and had a blast together. Whether going on evening walks through town, eating ice cream, snorkeling in the most incredible waters, learning to dance, or lifting heavy boulders, it was always the best of times because we were together. We will never forget GLA Galapagos 2018. Thank you for creating such special memories in the most amazing place. Now go out and continue to be a positive influence and changemaker in the world around you. We love you!
Some special moments from our trip:
-Snorkeling with sea lions, sea turtles, colorful fish, sharks, and even spotting an octopus!
-Learning about the unique wildlife and ecosystem in the Galapagos from Jorge and Edison
-Opening up and sharing our life stories with each other on the Isabela hotel terrace
-Playing our hardest to try beat the locals at a “futbol” match
-Eating ice cream several times a day
-Attempting to lift giant boulders to protect the trees that we planted to help reforest the island
-Watching the sunset on the beach in San Cristobal
-Having to say 3 positives every time your whiney voice or negativity came out
-Creating our own jewelry out of plastic waste
-Being amazed at Matthew’s impeccable sea lion imitation
-Dancing in a party bus and viewing the beautiful city of Quito at night
Your mentors Amy and María Fe
Local Team Patricia, Hakan, Jorge and Edison