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Galápagos Conservancy staff joined the parade celebrating Galápagos' annexation to Ecuador (192nd anniversary) and provincialization (51st anniversary).

Galápagos Celebrates 51 Years of Growth and Community!

February is a month packed with history and festivities for the Galapagos Archipelago. This year, they’re celebrating two major milestones: becoming part of Ecuador 192 years ago and officially becoming a province of Ecuador 51 years ago. For the islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal, there’s even more to celebrate with their district anniversary.

Let’s rewind to February 12, 1832, during the presidency of Juan Jose Flores, decided to make the Galapagos Archipelago part of Ecuador, and called it the “Archipielago de Colon”. Fast forward to February 18, 1973, and the islands took another big step, becoming the 20th province of Ecuador, with Puerto Baquerizo Moreno as its capital. The newly formed province then created two districts, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal, followed by Isabela later on March 16 of the same year.

Aerial view of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, home to nearly 20,000 people, who proudly celebrate their provincialization festivities.
©Galápagos Conservancy

As we celebrate these anniversaries, it is an opportunity for us to reflect on the impact humans have had on Galapagos and the remarkable resilience of its community. At this significant moment, we express our sincere gratitude to the Galapagos community for their tireless dedication to protecting this unique ecosystem.

This year, we had the honor of participating in the civic parade that commemorates historical events. During the event, our General Director, Washington Tapia, emphasized the importance of remembering the history of Galapagos. He stated that the archipelago is not just a place with unique ecosystems and biodiversity, but also a socio-ecosystem where over 33,000 people live. “Therefore, it is the responsibility of everyone to work towards ensuring a harmonious coexistence between humans and nature”.

As passionate advocates for Galapagos, we remain firmly committed to protecting this natural wonder for generations to come. We take pride in supporting the conservation of its ecosystems and recognize the importance of promoting sustainability. We believe in supporting local initiatives that prioritize both environmental conservation and the well-being of the province’s residents.

The Galapagos archipelago stands out as a testament to the beauty and wonder of our planet, reminding us of the importance of conserving its natural wonders for present and future generations. As we celebrate this landmark anniversary, let’s continue our collective efforts of almost four decades to protect Galapagos and its people for years to come.

Galápagos residents live alongside iconic species and play a role in the conservation of these emblematic animals.
©Marylee Stephenson