In the mid 1990s I participated with a group of artists in two exhibitions called “Artistas por Alcedo” to raise money to help control the goat population on Alcedo volcano on Isabela island. The goat control project has since expanded greatly, and thankfully now there are few goats left on Alcedo volcano. This is a tremendous help to the giant tortoise population: the goats were eating all the vegetation which the tortoises thrive on.
Since 2004 I have given voluntary painting classes to the senior citizens of Puerto Ayora and organized two exhibitions of their paintings at the Casa del Lago in Puerto Ayora.
Last year I started a project with the wives of the builders in Puerto Ayora. They make shopping bags from the cement bags and mirror frames made of recycled materials and papier mache made from the cement bags. I give painting classes to their children.
The children living in The Galapagos Islands are an imperative part of the future of this World Heritage Site. The need to create and maintain a balance between nature and people is imperative here. The key to achieving this will be:
~ Awareness and respect that we live in a dangerously fragile World Heritage Site.
~ The need for improvement in education, sport and leisure.
~ The need to recycle, to protect what we have, to preserve the islands.
In 2004 I helped to initiate a dog and cat sterilization programme called Conservation without Cruelty, run by Shelley Thomas at Wildaid. In the first four months, over 200 dogs and cats were neutered and spayed. Since then the project has expanded with much success and a branch of the Municipal Governmnet CIMEI has taken over the project. There is now a chip registration programme on Isla Santa Cruz for all dogs and cats. Volunteer vets from around the world assist in the sterilization operations.