Maria Daza is a conservation educator who understands the Galapagos Islands as a living laboratory. She encourages the next generation to become environmentalists. Daza, who works at the Galapagos National Park Directorate, has spent decades promoting holistic development in children and environmental awareness. Daza was able to share with Santa Cruz Island Schools her passion for conservation thanks to the Galapagos Conservancy.
Daza’s environmental project included regular school visits where principals and teachers were educated on various environmental issues. These visits benefited 3,767 individuals, including teachers, students and staff. They learned about the negative effects of single-use bags, the benefits of biodegradable and compostable bags, and alternatives to plastic.
Daza also organized puppet shows, and distributed biodegradable and compostable bags to all participants. The bags will reduce plastic waste in the community by a significant amount. They naturally decompose into organic fertilizer after 180 days. Daza stresses the importance of eco-friendly bags, which are the best alternatives to single-use disposable plastics. They can be used to transport goods, package food and collect organic waste. This promotes sustainable practices while reducing environmental impact.
This initiative has been a success, as evidenced by the positive response from the local population and the impact it has had on the environment. Daza argues that education is not limited to the classroom and that it’s important to encourage students to embrace and learn about environmentally friendly alternatives. It is essential to learn how to reduce, re-use, and sort waste in order to build a sustainable future on the Galapagos Islands.
Daza’s unwavering commitment to environmental education and conservation has been inspiring. Galapagos Conservancy is proud to support initiatives that make a real difference in protecting this unique ecosystem. Together with locals such as Daza, we’re building a better future for the Galapagos Islands where education and conservation go hand-in-hand to preserve this incredible treasure.