Vanessa Garcia, a local entrepreneur, and her husband Marlon share a passion for woodworking, which led them to launch a business selling wood furniture. To solve the issue of excess materials, they decided to create eco-friendly piggybanks. Much to their surprise, the first batch of 10 sold out within three days. The initial success of the product inspired the creation of more items, and the increasing popularity of handcrafted products led to the opening a physical shop in April this year.
Nua Ecoregalos, as well as being a shop, is also a philosophy. The mission of Nua Ecoregalos is to promote circular economies by selling handmade products and sustainable items, like reusable water bottles that encourage reuse and reduce waste. Vanessa’s vision, determination, and the name of her venture are reflected in its name: “Nua”, which means woman in Shuar (an indigenous language spoken in Ecuador), and “Ecoregalos”, a Spanish portmanteau meaning eco-friendly gifts. Vanessa is passionate for long-term solutions that reduce the consumption of single-use plastics. She encourages this change in the local community by Nua’s Nua products and through social media.
Vanessa and Marlon expanded their vision when they added a literary section in their store. The cozy book nook allows customers of all ages browse popular titles and children’s books, improving customer service while encouraging a love of literature in both locals as well as visitors.
Nua Ecoregalos represents more than a business. It is a potential community-changer when innovation and sustainability meet. With the support of Galapagos Conservancy this venture demonstrates that economic development and conservation are compatible, and lays the foundation for a more sustainable future in the Galapagos Islands.