FYI Blog

Avalon Goes to the Galapagos

Anne with the large Turtoise

People protect what they love.

These simple—yet powerful—words from the famous undersea explorer, Jacques Cousteau, encapsulate why we support the causes we do.

People protect what they love. And they love what they understand.

Recently, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the Galapagos Islands, where Avalon client, the Galapagos Conservancy, is dedicated to protecting. I found this kind of total immersion in a cause to be incredibly moving and life changing, especially in the Galapagos, a place truly like nowhere else on earth.

Anne with the Blue Footed BoobieI’ve always been fascinated by the Archipelago and its unique inhabitants. But, seeing a Galapagos penguin swimming by me at breakneck speed, or a pair of blue-footed boobies—engaged in an amusing mating dance, or just being in the mere presence of the iconic giant tortoise, are moments that I will not soon forgot. I enjoyed one awe-inspiring encounter after another as we explored the Islands through hiking, snorkeling and kayaking.

While in the Galapagos, I had the opportunity to see first-hand the impact that conservation groups like the Galapagos Conservancy are having on the Islands. They are simultaneously fighting threats on so many fronts—to eradicate invasive species, restore tortoise populations, and instill a conservation ethic in today’s children—which makes their progress all the more impressive.

The intriguing creatures and the natural wonder of the Galapagos were a thrill for me to experience. But in most cases, you don’t have to travel to exotic landscapes to deepen your understanding of a charity’s work. Volunteer in your community for an hour, a day, or whatever your schedule allows. You will gain a new perspective and appreciation for the difference that charities are making, day after day, to protect what you love most.

I’ve also included a video montage from my trip below.