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experiential education inspires youth

Experiential Education Inspires Youth Leadership and Conservation

Youth Leadership and Conservation Inspired by Experiential Learning

Environmental conservation and experiential learning have become increasingly important in the Galapagos Islands. A growing number of islanders recognize that education is a key tool in raising environmental awareness. Sebastian Pilla is a Galapagos native and a shining example. He embarked in 2023, in his last year of university, on an inspirational initiative with the financial backing of Galapagos Conservancy.

Sebastian developed his educational program “Experiential processes for Adolescents & Youth in Galapagos Community” based on two educational initiatives to promote the care of Galapagos Islands.

The first initiative aimed to encourage community leadership in young people by encouraging them to analyze community issues and find solutions that align with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The second initiative aimed to use photography as a tool for conservation through workshops, photographic excursions, and educational activities, in collaboration with local scientists and park rangers.

This project offered experiential learning in protected areas in order to promote an appreciation of the natural environment, and to remind the community about the privilege it is to live in the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos National Park Directorate and other allies provided strategic support to the project.

Activities included workshops that focused on SDGs. They also included talks with local stakeholders and visits to agroecological farming operations. The program’s activities included experiential workshops focused on the SDGs, talks with local stakeholders, visits to agroecological farms, monitoring of emblematic species, and ecosystem restoration.

Dr. Jorge Carrion is our Director of Conservation and he commends Sebastian on his leadership in this project, which has motivated the Galapagos Youth to be more engaged with their environment. Jorge Carrion believes that young people such as Sebastian are essential allies for conservation. He is confident that Sebastian’s project can significantly foster community interest in caring for and improving the Galapagos Islands.

experiential education inspires youth
Over 60 youth received hands-on education and learned in an enjoyable manner how to protect their home, the Galápagos Islands © Sebastián Pilla / Galápagos Conservancy