At Natural Habitat Adventures, our product is conservation travel: life-transforming forays into the natural world that benefit wild habitats and the animals and people who live there. Our nature expeditions provide unparalleled access to the planet’s most extraordinary wildlife, landscapes and cultures. We know travel has the power to protect nature, benefit communities and preserve cultural heritage—principles we view not only as our goal, but our responsibility.
Alongside our conservation travel partnership with World Wildlife Fund established in 2003, Natural Habitat Adventures supports numerous philanthropic initiatives in the destinations we visit. Our steadfast commitment to conservation and sustainable development serves as the bedrock of our leadership role in amplifying grassroots efforts in places our travelers have come to cherish. We champion innovative endeavors that are dedicated to protecting nature and promoting the welfare of local communities, in our mission to safeguard the beautiful diversity of our world.
The Library for Galapagos
Books “allow children to imagine, discover, travel and learn about the world around them.”
—Sandie Salazar, AGIPA member
The Library for Galapagos (Biblioteca para Galapagos) proudly stands as the sole communal library within the Galapagos Islands. This monumental endeavor was brought to life by the Association of Interpreter Guides of the Galapagos National Park (AGIPA). As a legally constituted nonprofit organization, AGIPA operates under the auspices of the Environment and Water Ministry.
In 2005, AGIPA was the recipient of a nonrefundable loan from the Japanese Embassy in Ecuador. This financial boost facilitated the construction and furnishing of the inaugural public library in Puerto Ayora, located on Santa Cruz Island. The realization of this endeavor was made possible through a collaborative effort with the municipality of Santa Cruz, resulting in a 50-year bailment contract due to expire in 2055, as verified by a notarized public record.
AGIPA, armed with its own resources and fortified by strategic alliances with esteemed institutions such as the Charles Darwin Foundation and generous donors, including Yacht Aid Global, IGTOA, Galapagos Conservancy and Ifotoncorp, successfully launched the library. Today, it serves as a vibrant community space and has earned recognition in Ecuador as an example of library best practices under the umbrella of the Programa Iberbibliotecas.
In a community comprised of approximately 20,000 residents, 11 schools and constrained cultural outlets, a public library of this caliber is indispensable. It offers the vital space and wealth of information necessary to foster an array of cultural, educational and recreational activities. Integral to its mission is the provision of Internet access and leisure pursuits for all age groups and sectors of society.
Reflecting on the library’s impact in 2022, it has served 1,736 patrons of all ages and offered 102 workshops. Furthermore, approximately 200 users each month have taken advantage of reading and consultation rooms.
Support from Nat Hab Philanthropy
Each year, Nat Hab Philanthropy supports sustainable projects around the world. In 2023, aid from Nat Hab has kept the library’s doors open and its mission thriving. The funds will be allocated to construct exterior visors on the building’s windows. This measure will prevent rainwater from flooding the library’s interior, thereby protecting the structure, furniture, books and equipment from potential damage. Our donation of $2,500 funded 82.7% of the total project cost!
Six of Nat Hab’s esteemed Expedition Leaders have dedicated themselves as volunteers to the project—Sofia Darquea De Witt, Giancarlo Toti, Andres Vergara, Veronica Maruri, Luis Vinueza and Joseline Cardoso. Their commitment underpins the success and continued evolution of this beloved library.
Conservation Travel & The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands, revered as one of the cradles of ecotourism and a model for sustainable travel since the 1970s, continue to inspire nature enthusiasts from around the world. Today, the mantle of safeguarding this fragile environment falls on our shoulders. While conservation travel innately contributes to the preservation of the environment through the spread of advocacy, monetary contributions to the Galapagos National Park Service, and both direct and indirect contributions to local communities, we at Natural Habitat Adventures are proud to be involved in conservation and community initiatives across the islands.
A haven for wildlife for three million years, the Galapagos Islands are one of the most unique nature destinations on the planet, where animals found nowhere else on Earth show no fear at close range. Home to an astounding array of colorful endemic species, from the giant tortoise to the blue-footed booby, the protected areas of this volcanic archipelago include Galapagos National Park, Galapagos Marine Reserve and Galapagos Biosphere Reserve. Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and join us on an enchanting journey through this biodiversity hotspot and UNESCO World Heritage Site.