Sailing Through the Biggest Storm

‚ÄúLiving in Galapagos for me is a privilege, a gift from our parents and grandparents, who came to these seemingly hostile and infertile islands without comforts but in search of peace and disconnection from a world at war, looking for the good to come,” said Joel. “We still find that peace and tranquility in Galapagos, but it is very different from the bohemian life of our parents. Now there are more people, more tourist activity, more big ships and more economy.”

Two months ago the idea for this story started out as a scuba pitch. I was traveling to the Galapagos Islands on a work trip with G Adventures, and had time for just one afternoon of diving. Little did I know that a simple dive trip would lead me to two wonderful people, with a big message to share. 

You see, during my dive trip I met Joel Sangolqui, a man in his early 20s working as a dive guide in the Galapagos. On our trip, we went out to Gordon Rocks, a well known spot for larger oceanic creatures, but best known for hammerhead sharks. What can I say, the diving was wonderful‚ÄĒ I saw more in that dive than I usually see in a week diving anywhere else. Hammerheads, sea lions, black tips, mola mola, and too many rays to identify them all.¬†

Once we were back on the shores of Santa Cruz, I asked Joel for an interview for this very Latitudes & Attitudes article, which originally was going to focus on scuba diving in the area, but instead I learned some pretty surprising things about the Galapagos Islands as far as the politics of the area and treatment of the locals. Joel shared this with me, and I think it’s extra important to share this with you too. 

Click to read the rest of this story and see more great photos.

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