Social/Ecological Change & Why It Matters
Migration and changes in land use have increased the human impact on the environment in the Galapagos.
The Captain | 2012

Luis Avilez was born and raised on San Cristóbal in the Galápagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Originally, he was a fisherman, just like many other people in his family. Although Avilez enjoyed this profession, there came a time when he just could not ignore the money that could be made in the ever-growing tourism industry. Avilez had four beautiful children to take into consideration, so he began taking tourists out on his old fishing vessel.

It is a difficult and time-consuming process to get the permit required to take tourists on guided tours. Avilez has not had the resources to complete this process, so he is still classified as a fisherman - making his tourist ventures somewhat illegal. This is not just the case with him, but with many of his friends as well, Avilez said.

His workdays are long and Avilez spends a lot of time away from his family. This makes him treasure his time off even more. He spends his weekends with his family: his three beautiful daughters, three-year-old son and his wife.

Although Avilez has spent his whole life on the island, he expresses no real desire to leave it. When he does leave the island it is usually just to go to the mainland for a couple of weeks, and then he returns.

San Cristóbal is his home. It is where he has always been and where he plans to stay, even though he has to adapt to the ever-changing islands in order to give his family the most comfortable life that he can provide.

"If you are a business on the land, they don’t give you access to much work. All the world is thrown to that which is the sea."
-Luis “Rosquita” Avilez