Part of our goal of the eco village is to stabilize and strengthen the local economy. As part of the shift towards the development of a self-sustaining community, imports to the islands must be reduced. Reducing imports will help to minimize the competition that natives feel from producers on the mainland. This effect will stabilize the economy on the Galapagos Islands. Although the inhabitants can produce many of the supplies that are needed on a daily basis, certain goods must still be purchased off of the islands. To take advantage of the inability for the people to produce all of the goods that they need, we propose that the people of the Galapagos Islands first turn to Ecuador (versus the United States or another country) to purchase the products that they cannot produce on the Islands.
   There are multiple resources that could provide products for people on the Galapagos Islands. The most reliable option would be the Andean tribes. There are many Andean tribes who depend upon the production of many products that are difficult to produce on the Galápagos Islands in order to survive. Examples of such products include wall hangings, floor covering, dishes, baskets and clothing. These communities earn an income by using methods that have been part of their culture since its beginning to produce a range of products for other people in the area. Linking the Galapagos Islands to these Andean tribes would reduce the dependence the residential population has on the natural environment on the Islands.
   Buying directly from an Andean tribe has many benefits. Purchasing products from an Andean tribe or a cooperative such as Killari will ensure that the producers receive a just price for their work and that the buyers pay a reasonable price for the product. Also, buying from these Andean tribes will provide the Islanders with a reliable source from which to purchase products in the future. Each Andean tribe produces a limited range of goods but by bringing the tribes together, a wide variety of products can be made available. This relationship with the Andean tribes would establish a mutually beneficial exchange between the indigenous peoples on mainland Ecuador and the residents of the Galapagos Islands. Stimulating the relationship between mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos will correct the misconception that the Galapagos Islands does nothing to help the local people.
   Another option would be to link a village that is presently fighting to maintain its identity and autonomy with the Galapagos Islands. An example of such a group is a tribe that feels pressure to burn down the rainforest so that it has enough land on which to farm and raise themselves. We could support a group like this and, through the biopreserve, offer them a sustainable way of living. This would directly benefit groups off if the Galapagos Islands that have not been able to invest in sustainable living and the Galapagos Islands would also benefit. (I am not sure about this paragraph- it was Anna’s idea)
   Buying products in bulk from Ecuador has many advantages. It will provide the Island residents with an affordable way to buy goods that are made in a sustainable manner. It is our hope that the Biopreserve will facilitate this relationship with the mainland and that it will provide outside help to teach the Galapagos residents about the need for conservation and sustainable living. It will also improve people’s sense of connection to the mainland and provide them with an economically accessible source for goods. This will ensure that there is general equality within the community and will foster the feeling that no one person is better than another. Doing this will create an atmosphere in which everyone feels equal and maintaining equality is an integral part of a close-knot community that works together.
   The market in Ecuador is limited when it comes to technology and appliances. This is why we have looked into using products from the United States. A list of reputable companies that sell eco friendly products can be found in the following text. It is our hope that if such appliances were needed in the community (most likely in the common house or in restaurants) that these companies would be willing to supply them to the Galapagos Islands or would offer them to us for a significantly reduced price.
You can view a sample catalog here.

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