Dive The Galapagos
|Make A Difference|
We aren't big fans of impersonal donations nor of carbon credit offsets (though we are waiting on a new model that will directly benefit the local community, not merely provide corporations with guilt free methods of additional pollution) nor of foundations that have high overhead. We want to keep it very local and feel very strongly the preservation and protection of the Galapagos deserves at least that!
We hope you will join us in efforts we feel strongly about whether you travel with us, someone else or on your own.
One thing we were involved with early on was assisting the National Police with their local canine unit. These dogs are trained to sniff out, not just drugs, but shark fins, sea cucumbers, lava lizards, tortoises, sea horses, etc - organic contraband. They have been very helpful in stopping the trafficking of these illegal attempts to profit off the unique species in Galapagos.
FEED A DOG: Get in touch with Sea Shepherd directly as they are the primary organization responsible for the support of the Galapagos police canines. I'm sure he would be more than happy to drop by your hotel to pick up a donation. Feeding these well-trained dogs is not cheap and contributions are always appreciated. We feel REALLY strongly about the continued practice of shark finning anywhere in the world, but especially in this, one of the few places in the world where you can dive with lots of sharks, no chumming necessary. We want it to stay that way for generations to come and this is one simple way we can help. Donations of medicines and supplies are also very welcome.
We encourage all incoming divers to consider contributing to both the well-being of the Galapagos Marine Reserve and to the local communities in two ways: 1) Make a per day voluntary contribution to benefit local needs. 2) Consider bringing spare equipment (mask, snorkel, wetsuits, old cameras, old laptops, clothing, etc.) to leave behind. This will go directly to local use.
Also, while there's little market in the US for used equipment, there's a big market here. The Ecuador government imposed a 300% import tax on luxury items early in 2009 which means dive gear in the local market is both very limited and very expensive. So, if you're ready to upgrade and have gear in very good shape, please consider bringing it in to dive with and selling it before you leave to locals in need.
On all of our trips, if you are willing to bring equipment to us from the US (that we buy and have shipped to you), it can mean a discount, so please do ask about this offer.
One of the ways you can help is to take photos of any fishing boats you see anchored or fishing from small boats close to Darwin and Wolf. Get the boat name and registration number if possible. Get photos of any fishermen. Send it to us or directly or to the Galapagos National Park. While many are legal fishing boats, fishing close to those islands is illegal. And what diver wants to share a site with fishermen?
The reality of all liveaboards is that all crew members either were fishermen or have fishermen in their families, so they can't turn anyone in. You can.
Do we really need to even suggest that you don't touch the wildlife? Actually, on most liveaboards in Galapagos, if you touch the whale shark, you're done diving for the week. Harsh, but deserved.
It always struck me how many photos of whale sharks are taken each week during high season and yet none of the liveaboards participate in the whale shark identification project. Please visit www.whaleshark.org and find out how you can participate simply by sending them the photos you take.
We will continue to update this section of our site with local needs, wish lists, and outlets that go directly towards the protection of the Galapagos and the benefit of the local residents.