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A woman on a pier in the Galapagos prepares a caught fish, while a sea lion perches next to her.

A worker in Puerto Ayora, Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador. (photo by Jackson Seymore)

Reactivating the Galapagos economy

The UNC Center for Galapagos Studies and its partners are helping island communities recover from the pandemic’s impact.

Since COVID-19, the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador and its communities have been especially impacted through the complete loss of the tourism industry. With nearly 80% of the Galapagos population involved in tourism, the economic impacts are severe and very likely long-lasting.

The UNC Center for Galapagos Studies will allocate much of its recently received donations from GiveUNC to partner with Universidad San Francisco de Quito as well as the Galapagos Science Center located in San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos, to launch a community outreach and engagement program to assist the people and institutions of the Galapagos Islands and advance the studies carried out by Carolina and USFQ scientists.

The UNC Center for Galapagos Studies is led by Steve Walsh, the Lyle V. Jones Distinguished Professor of Geography.

This program — Reactivating the Galapagos Economy Through Science, Community and Work — is meant to contribute to the reactivation of the Galapagos economy through science, community engagement and programmatic work activities.