During the recent winter holidays, students from the University of Toronto Elite Pathway Program (EPP) embarked on an incredible journey exploring the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador! Their mission? To actively participate in volunteer conservation efforts within the National Park.
Renowned globally for their unique flora and fauna biodiversity, the Galápagos Islands face threats from invasive species, habitat loss, overfishing, and other destructive human behaviors. Encouragingly, impactful Galápagos Conservation projects are underway to address these challenges.
The EPP students committed to essential work aimed at safeguarding the native species of plants and animals on the islands. They contributed to keeping the pristine beaches clear of garbage. The students explored the distinctive volcanic geography of the islands, delving into Charles Darwin’s research, which played a pivotal role in formulating his theory of evolution. The experience also provided an opportunity to connect with the local people, savor their cuisine, and immerse themselves in the richness of their culture.
Tortoises and Invasive Species
While our EPP students were in the Galápagos Islands they worked at the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre. The main goal here was to feed the tortoises and clean their enclosures. Additionally, they worked on removing invasive species which were brought over from the mainland.
Planting endemic plants at the Eco-Reservation
The Elite Pathway Program students made their mark on San Cristóbal Island by planting their own endemic tree at the Eco-Reserve.
To commemorate our conservational efforts in the Galápagos, our EPP students used their creativity to design a mural honouring our theme of environmentalism.
Santa Cruz Trip
The EPP students explored volcanic life on the Galápagos Islands. From visiting craters to exploring lava tunnels, the memories never end! Here they explored the pristine white sandy beaches of Tortuga Bay and got a close up view of the exotic wildlife.
Surveying Sea lions, Marine Iguanas, Birds
The Galápagos Islands are home to dozens of endemic species, these are animals who are specifically adapted to life in this location. Due to human activity, these species are under threat. Our students worked together with the National Park to report census data of Marine Iguanas, Sea Lions and local birds.
About the University of Toronto Elite Pathway Program (EPP)
The University of Toronto Elite Pathway Program (EPP) is an exclusive two-year partnership initiative between the University of Toronto and Columbia International College in Canada.
Specifically designed to prepare students comprehensively for the rigorous entry requirements of top global universities, the EPP goes beyond traditional high school programs, offering unparalleled academic, leadership, and extracurricular opportunities.