Galapagos Islands Travelling Studio
SCR member, Maria Camacho Muncha writes: As international student at Melbourne School of Design, I had the opportunity to be part of Galápagos Islands Travelling Studio. The program involved students from Melbourne University, Auburn University, University of Chicago and University of San Francisco de Quito whom travelled to Galápagos Islands from 18 June until 14 July 2018.
We arrived at San Cristóbal Island, one of the three inhabited islands in the archipelago. Our challenge was to understand the unique environment of Galápagos through six different lenses: water, food, waste, energy, knowledge and culture. Thus, we used data collected by students in the past few years and we designed interactive models that helped to understand the current and future situation of Galápagos Islands. Consequently, the models will inform more sustainable and resilience approaches to develop the islands. The daily engagement with the Galapagueñan community enrich our experience of the extraordinary ecosystems that the island provides.
Throughout the workshops in San Cristóbal, the studio had the opportunity to explore other islands in the archipelago. We sailed from San Cristóbal Island to Santa Cruz Island, the most populated island, and finally to Isabela Island. Some of my personal highlights of the islands included celebrating the Inti-Raymi ceremony with Ecuadorian community, exploring different hiking trails in the islands, visiting the Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado dedicated to raising and caring for giant tortoises suffering from a dwindling population, and sharing meals with local people. I was amazed by the diversity of colours and biodiversity of the islands, and their wild and unique surroundings.
Moreover, the local food was delicious and organic; it was a combination of popular Ecuadorian dishes from the coast, the highlands and the east. The community was humble, friendly and willing to share their culture with visitors. It was an incredible journey full of a great diversity of environments, people and food.