Galapagos Update: Bartolome and Farming

7/17 Today we woke up at 5:30 to get on a bus at 6:00. The bus ride was bountiful with laughs and great views. After the bus ride we got on a large boat with 6 other people. The boat ride was two hours long and te entire time we sate on the bow. We eventually arrived at the island Bartolome and climbed to the top. We saw lava rocks and lava lizards!! After we arrived at Bartolome, we grabbed our snorkels and fins and jumped in the chilly water for an amazing snorkel. We saw crabs and sea cucumbers and a sea lion swam right up to us! Schools of fish swam right up to us as well and weren’t too scared of us. We all fell asleep on the boat on the ride back to Santa Cruz. We all showered and went to the market for some good chicken and great laughs. So lucky to be here and even luckier to be with amazing people! Caio!

-Clint and Morgan

7/18: Today we set off early and had our first experience on the Galapagos public bus. It was great! Much easier than biking up the big hill. When we got there, we walked a short way to a small farm, owned by our hosts for the day, Karina and Daniel. Karina welcomed us, and gave us a short quiz where we had to draw the islands all on a small white board — not an easy task! We got the general idea, but it was clear we needed to do more studying. Then, she introduced the idea of growing food on the island and the surprising fact that when she searched to find organic food grown here on Santa Cruz, there was none to be found! So, she took it upon herself to be the first. The farm, surrounded by natural forests, was growing beautifully with kale, beans, jicama, tomatoes, lettuce, and even eggplant (which she was particularly proud of). We heard about all of Karina and Daniel’s experiments and successes in getting the food to grow successfully with using only resources from the island, and even got to taste some of the delicious oranges grown right there. She also showed us her extensive compost system, the biodigestor she uses to produce hot water for showering, and the liquid compost that she makes from matter on the farm. Then, Daniel showed us his bamboo construction workshop, and their home which was constructed completely from bamboo — even the nails that hold it together! Finally, Karina showed us some of the seeds she’s been saving in order to help provide other farmers on Santa Cruz grow organic food as well, and she sent us on our way next door to a delicious and local almuerzo.

Looking forward to our last couple days on Galapagos and together as a group!!

pictured above: our guides, karina (and their son) and daniel with their house constructed of bamboo in the background! daniel is showing us the bike he made completely out of bamboo and recycled materials for his 4 year old daughter