Our company, Metropolitan Touring – an Ecuadorian Company and pioneer of tourism in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands – has been working successfully with the communities of the Galapagos Islands. Interested in the welfare of the islands and its inhabitants, Metropolitan Touring in Galapagos is currently participating in a program which, together with the Galapagos National Park, hosts young and future guides aboard our vessels as interns. These individuals have, in fact, just finished their Guide Training Courses! And Metropolitan Touring offers them this opportunity so that they can gain operational expertise and general knowledge from experienced naturalist guides.
This year, after a long six-month training course, numerous young men and women from the Islands got their certificates and were ready to complete their internships aboard the different vessels that are currently operating in Galapagos waters. This training course is sponsored by the Galapagos National Park together with one of the most prestigious universities in all of Ecuador.
Professional teachers have been training these young Galapagos men and women to become the future naturalist guides of the archipelago. Subjects such as Natural History, Geology, Volcanology, Endemic Flora and much more just some of the subjects that were taught throughout their training period. “It has been a challenging course, even for those who have university degrees,” says one of our interns who is a well-known diver in the Galapagos.
Metropolitan Touring in Galapagos, along with the responsible ecotourism initiatives found throughout the local island communities, has invited these young naturalists to participate aboard our vessels as part of their internship requirement. It has been a very successful program. With more than 60 years of operating experience in the Galapagos Islands, Metropolitan Touring is now a very well-known company that has always set the standard in terms of quality of service and excellent naturalist guides.
It has more-or-less become what you might call a “seasoned” example and role model for many other companies currently operating in the islands. Our company goes beyond simply taking care of the fragile ecosystem by looking after and securing the wellbeing of the community. Metropolitan Touring in Galapagos has created sustainable job opportunities and simultaneously improved the economy and living standard for Galapagos inhabitants. It is a very successful partnership where we have the opportunity to share our experiences and knowledge with the local community while training professional and young individuals to become better-qualified leaders in their profession.
These new naturalists have been learning a lot from experienced guides while sharing their lives and experiences with visitors from all over the world. Enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and spirited are all characteristics that describe this new generation of guides. Our guests, meanwhile, have been enjoying the presence of these young individuals tremendously, and even have been learning about the lives and stories of a true “Galapagueño” (a resident of the Galapagos).
It is a highly enriching experience that not only enhances our company as a whole, but also complements the experiences of our guests. Being on board, learning the experience of being out there in the field, going snorkeling and much more – all of this has been great fun for these young naturalists and interns. And the best part? It goes both ways: these new and young guides have equally enriched the knowledge of our own experienced guides by providing them with new and updated information about the natural history of the Islands!