SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 15, August 2016 - Page 27

hen people think of the Galápagos Islands, they think of pristine,

undisturbed wilderness. A final frontier of sorts, a portal to the exciting world that propelled Darwin’s radical evolutionary theory, or at least that what I thought of the islands. It wasn’t until I began the course readings for my semester abroad that I realized the islands are actually inhabited! There is a population of about 30,000 Ecuadorians living on the islands themselves, with the majority split between San Cristobal and Santa Cruz. The remaining population is scattered across the few livable places. The Galápagos are a harsh world, there are no sources of freshwater available and the hot equatorial sun bakes the volcanic earth dry most of the year, but still, people have thrived on this archipelago 1000km west of the Ecuadorian coastline.

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