Village Tourism

   Tourism in the eco village will be addressed in a variety of ways. There will be tours of the eco village, an informational center, the opportunity to live with a native, education, and a gift shop.
   A variety of tours of the eco village will be offered. People will be able to take a general tour of the eco village during which they will learn a little about the history of the Galapagos Islands and of the eco village, how the eco village was constructed, the methods of cohousing and of eco friendly living and about the daily life of the village’s inhabitants. Each tour will be able to enjoy a native lunch. Inhabitants of the Islands will cook for the tour members so that the tourists can be exposed to native cooking methods and to native food. Tours will be offered in both English and Spanish and a certified tour guide will accompany all of the tour groups.
   Currently, there is an Interpretation Center in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. This serves as an information center to answer people’s questions, to give visitors maps of the area and to provide information on the history of the Islands. Two more of centers similar to the Interpretation Center on Puerto Baquerizo Moreno will be built in Puerto Ayora and Puerto Villamil. Also, a movie will be available at these centers to offer people a visual of the Galapagos Islands and of the construction process of the villages.
   Tourists will be encouraged to stay with the natives in their homes when they come to the Islands. They will also be able to stay in the guest rooms that are located in the common houses of each smaller community. Natives must volunteer to host a tourist and will be taught how to interact with them. The natives will also be paid to host visitors.
   Education will be available in two forms (other than the tours that will be offered, the information centers, the books that will be sold in the gift shop). Weekly workshops will be offered to tourists during the summer months. These workshops will specialize in home building, farming, arts and crafts, and cooking. The second opportunity for education will be offered in the form of internships. Visitors will be able to partake in internships in which they will “shadow” the natives in their jobs to learn more about what they do and about their way of life.
   Lastly, the gift shop will sell a variety of books about the Galapagos Islands in general, the history of each eco village, and the ideas behind eco friendly living. Natives will also be able to sell the foods they grow and any crafts they make in the gift shop.
Why have Village Tourism?

   The tours will mainly serve as an educational tool. Outsiders can learn about the ways of each eco village and can learn how to better live without hurting the environment. Also, people will not only learn about eco friendly living in general but about the lifestyle that is specific to the Galapagos Islands. Native food will be offered to expose people to the culture and give them a more intimate experience of the Islands. Tours will be offered in two languages to accompany both the foreigners and people from mainland Ecuador.
   The information centers will serve as a central location to which people can go to get all of their questions answered. The centrality of the information will make it easy for people to acquire information so that they will want to acquire it. Also, it will make the information accessible for those who do not care to take the tour but who still want to learn the information. The center will be situated in a place to which the visitors will first come when they enter the city. This way the least amount of damage will be done to the Islands and to the eco villages because the visitors will know what they can and cannot do.
   The main purpose of the home stay is to give visitors the most realistic image and experience of the Galapagos. The way to best accomplish this is to give visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the culture and the daily life. In this way, the visitors can learn from the natives and the natives can learn from the visitors.
   The workshop is another way to educate visitors and a way to promote the interaction between the foreigners and the natives. It is important to learn about different styles of living and participating in the workshops will inform people of this. Also, the workshops and internships will promote interest in the Islands.
   The gift shop will be yet another form of education. It will also provide a place for the natives to sell their goods. This will promote the formation of an internal economy while at the same time giving visitors a place to buy things to remind them of their trip.
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