Urban Family Gardening


Project Background

Due to the global pandemic, residents in Galapagos have been feeling the burden of lost income since the shutdown of tourism, which as of March 2020, makes up more than 80% of the local economy. The poverty rate on the Islands will likely climb in 2020 – already 8% of families were living below the poverty line. The ability to cultivate your food at home is critical in isolated places like Galapagos. With increased economic hardship comes the risk of illegal fishing and poaching.

“We already had a small garden going at the beginning of the project, but we feel this type of project is essential for families given the challenges COVID-19 has posed. Our daughter Melody has named her plants, and we all enjoy a moment of peace as we care for them daily.” – The De La Torre Sanchez family

The De La Torre Sanchez family with their garden. © Ashleigh Klingman

The De La Torre Sanchez family with their garden. © Ashleigh Klingman

By encouraging and supporting local people as they learn to grow their own food so they can become self-sufficient, we can help mitigate some of the financial hardship the Galapagos community face from the sudden halt in tourism. This project highlights the key goal of Galapagos Conservation Trust’s Connecting with Nature programme to ensure that more young people have the chance to get out and experience the natural world around them. By increasing the accessibility of nature, we will inspire families and instil passion in the future ambassadors of Galapagos for the incredible wildlife that shares their Islands right from their home.

Hacienda Tranquila, SA (HTSA) “Peaceful Ranch” is a sustainable agricultural farm on San Cristobal. This project will harness HTSA’s skill of building community through purposeful human-nature interactions and deepen the respect for nature with local families. The project will develop a network by providing teachers with educational garden packs.

The colourful and interactive gardening packs featuring beautiful cartoons from Sai Pathmanathan, interesting content by Ashleigh Klingman, and fantastic graphic design by Galapagueñan artist Ilenya Robalino  © Hacienda Tranquila, SA

The educational gardening packs produced contain fun yoga activity cards, creative character information cards that accompany two edible and two endemic plant seedlings. The project also looks to promote proper nutrition and creative cooking with a social media campaign to improve and vary diets, weekly recipe webinars and encourage sharing of recipes to inspire and motivate families. At the end of the project families will evaluate how their garden has performed and the connections they have forged with one another and nature.

The Bones Suntaxi family – “I love and take care of my friends the plants” © Ashleigh Klingman

To find out more about the project, please visit our blog for project updates

How you can help: Help us inspire even more young people and donate to our Connecting With Nature Programme today or sign up as a GCT member. Becoming a regular giver helps us to plan ahead and make long-term decisions to protect the Galapagos Islands with steady income we can rely on.