This is Mackenzie O'Donnell writing on behalf of Iguanitas Del Sol for their first blog post while in the Galapagos Islands.
"On Thursday we visited the Fabricio valverde recycling center here on Santa Cruz. This is the state of the art facility for the Galapagos Islands, and is very good by international standards as well. Apparently 30-32% of waste is recycled on Santa Cruz, which is comparable with the US and other industrialized nations. According to Xavier Salazar, our contact at the center, 60% of inhabitants here recycle, and they are trying to increase that number with door to door education campaigns. We saw the plastic, glass, paper and organic sections. The glass is ground up using a machine which was financed by Toyota, WWF and other donors. The ground glass is then used with cement to make paving stones which are sold to further support the center. They hope to expand into grinding plastic in the future for similar purposes.
Friday we went to Fernandina Island, for the purpose of visiting the tortoise breeding program. We saw a number of tortoises and visited the old farms on the island in the highlands. Afterwards there was great snorkeling on the way home, although the water was very cold.
Some of our group members have gotten a little bit sick, so hopefully we'll be all recovered when we get to Isabella for our final interview on the 25th."
-Nick, Kelsey, Christina, Maria Las Iguanitas Del Sol