As a South American, I was a very lucky kid who had access to education. Later in life, when I started working with kids at an NGO. I understood education was key to develop a country and to take it to the next level.
Having the opportunity to learn from different cultures and nationalities as a tour leader is extraordinary, however, I’ve never felt more fulfilled than when I am part of the experience of learning from student groups that I’ve met with Evolve.
You would think I have so much to share and tell as a local Tour Director, but to be honest, I’m the one who often takes the big lesson from them.
It takes a lot of courage to take a plane for several hours to go somewhere unfamiliar and leave their families and friends for a whole week or even 10 days, and to get away from a world they are comfortable in, leaving behind their technology is quite a remarkable experience for them.
I see them putting in so much effort and working so hard, because in that moment, nothing else matters.
The knowledge a student gains just by the simplest act of looking at nature and the habitats of different endangered species that can affect our entire planet is incomparable and makes my job worthwhile.
To understand that we are all part of the same world. We all have a responsibility to change the world for better is something younger generations are learning all the time, and my groups learn that so well when they take part in service projects.
On these projects, students learn and share unique skills, get dirty and use tools they’ve never seen before. I see them putting in so much effort and working so hard, because in that moment, nothing else matters.
That authentic experience will remain in their memories for the rest of their lives. They can always remember “I planted trees on the Galapagos Islands!”
It also makes me so proud to see young women working so hard at these projects. Watching my female students doing so much and being so focused on their work, while wearing a shirt with “the future is female” written on it, I truly believe it. Can you imagine how far these girls will go?
Having independence and being able to make choices by yourself while so young will definitely create a capacity to make good decisions for the rest of their lives.
In 10 days, we made compost that was going to be shared with more than 500 families, we planted more than 100 trees in the National Park of Galapagos, and each of the students planted a Scalesias Darwinis to help this species survive extinction.
10 days is a short time to make a difference, but remember, big changes happen little by little. The groups that we partnered with on the Galapagos will continue these projects after we are gone. Our efforts play a part in a long term change to promote environmental sustainability.
The planet is always changing, and the little efforts we make on trips and when we return home can have little positive impacts, that’s how we can help the planet Evolve!
— Alessandra Solari