When I first begin muddling my way through ESL lessons, most of the conversations were about where the students were from, how long the students were in the United States, and something unique about the home country. My resident from Ecuador and I played a hybrid of Pictionary and charades as she tried to tell me about the Galapagos Island.
Not yet used to her accent we headed to Google to clear things up.
The Galapagos Island is named after the giant tortoise which can grow as big as 500 pounds. The islands were originally used by pirates to hide their booty. The most famous visitor was Charles Darwin who used the island for much of his research to prove the theory of evolution.
The islands are volcanic in nature, and only six are inhabitable by humans. The number of reported items vary from 13 to fifteen. Each island has it’s own volcano except for Isla Isabela which has 6 volcanoes. The islands are popular with nature enthusiast who view the vast wildlife and enjoy laying upon the rocks.
The islands include:
Santa Cruz, which is the most inhabited island. This seems to be the central hub of activity for tourism.
San Cristobal, named after Christopher Columbus.
Santa Fe, home to the Santa Fe land iguana.
Isabela, home to the Volcan Wolf, the highest volcano in the islands.
Espanola, one of the oldest islands.
Fernandina, the third largest and youngest island in the Galapagos.
Isla Santa María or Charles, also known as Floreana, is named after the first president of Ecuador.
Genovesa, a nesting ground for many species of birds. Named after a city in Italy.
Pinta, the former home of Lonesome George, the last remaining Pinta tortoise.
Santiago or San Salvador, the first island discovered by Christopher Columbus after his exploration of the Caribbean Sea.
Baltra, home to the main Galapagos Airport. Until 1986 this was the ONLY airport to the islands.
Pinzon, named after the Pinzon brothers who sailed with Christopher Columbus as captains of the Nina and the Pinta ships.
Marchena, home to an active volcano that last erupted in 1991.
There are many ways to explore the islands. There are cruises, diving tours, scuba tours or hotel tours. The island faces danger from poachers, and a booming population. The blog The Last Word on Nothing has some great information about the islands. Check it out.