Living in the Galapagos Islands offers a one-of-a-kind experience that combines a close-knit community, awe-inspiring natural beauty, and abundant wildlife encounters. In this blog post, we delve into the unique lifestyle, work opportunities, transportation, access to supplies, and the challenges and rewards of calling the Galapagos Islands home.
Lifestyle and Community
Life in the Galapagos Islands revolves around the captivating nature that surrounds it. Residents often partake in outdoor activities such as hiking, snorkelling, and relaxing, immersing themselves in the island’s incredible biodiversity. The community is known for its strong bonds and supportive atmosphere, creating a sense of belonging among residents.
In this island paradise, tourism reigns supreme, with locals working in hotels, restaurants, and tour agencies. However, with the precious and unique ecosystem the Galapagos Islands have, many are dedicated to preserving this and find employment in conservation and research organizations. And let’s not forget the contributions from agriculture and fishing, which ensure sustainability and a thriving economy.
Transportation and Connectivity
Inter-island transportation primarily relies on small planes and boats, and within the islands, locals commonly use bicycles, walking, or small vehicles for commuting soaking in breathtaking views along the way. In a rush or bike has a puncture? Easy, white Toyota pickup trucks serve as taxis and cost just $1.50 anywhere within town.
WiFi is important for many locals and visitors alike. The availability and quality of Wi-Fi in the Galapagos Islands can vary depending on your location. But the community has been very excited in recent months, as many received their StarLink routers and are now set up with fast connection that is comparable to the mainland. Quite the upgrade! Some cafeterias offer this to the public, perfect for those that need a fast connection in a pinch or working online whilst enjoying locally grown coffee.
In the more remote or less populated parts of the islands, the Wi-Fi access may be limited or unavailable. But that is actually one of the wonderful things about living in the Galapagos islands, you are forced to slow down, get out in nature or enjoy other interests away from our devices!
Access to Supplies
As a remote destination, the Galapagos Islands heavily rely on imports from mainland Ecuador for essential goods such as food, construction materials, and fuel. Supply chains are carefully managed to minimize the impact on the delicate ecosystem and maintain sustainability.
However, as a small island away from the continent, things can easily go wrong. The shipment of supplies has been quite the hot topic in the community recently, due to recent shortages, the most impactful being gas. Complaints were made by the island authorities themselves, due to the lack of vessels transporting cargo with the required regularity. After one of the cargo ships was damaged, the deliveries are now down to just one boat. According to the newly appointed Mayoress, Fanny Uribe, there is only one ship with 3,600 tons of cargo, the Fusion 2. Talking to Extra News Ecuador she said, “We need 9,000 tons for all the islands to supply ourselves, the deficit is very high”. In Santa Cruz and San Cristobal people have been lining up for up to 24 hours to get a tank of gas as the distribution was rationed to 50 a day before they ran out.
Included in the recent cargo were cars and alcohol which led the authorities to plead that the priorities be given to the basic necessities. “If people don´t have gas or food, they don’t eat” she claims. Rolando Caiza, the Mayor of San Cristobal also said “The problem is not so much the cars, it is the beer, which occupies 27% of the tonnage weight of the ship. If we have supply problems then let’s prioritize what is needed. But who controls the quotas? The boat operator.”
The isolation and limited resources can sometimes present logistical hurdles, but the spirit of community and resilience prevails. It’s a place where neighbours become friends, and the sense of belonging is palpable. People divide up their food when someone is in need or will loan an extra tank of gas. Although sadly, businesses have started to be affected by this and some small restaurants have had to temporarily close until more gas arrives. Next week will hopefully be a different story as more gas tanks are reported to arrive. Together, residents overcome any obstacles.
Living in the Galapagos Islands provides a unique opportunity to embrace nature’s wonders and be part of a vibrant community. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes, encounter fascinating wildlife, and experience a sense of belonging like no other place on Earth. Plan your visit to the Galapagos Islands today and experience it for yourself.