b'Today, the pull of the GalpagosThe Islands Dilemmaremains. Tourism dominates the localLike many oceanic populations, the economy, providing jobs to many of itsarchipelago struggles with food self-33,000 residents. But the influx of visitorssufficiency due to several intrinsic has led to a population boom on limiteddisadvantages, including limited land, land, putting pressure on an alreadya remote location and environmental strained food system. As agriculturalfragility. Most notably, food imports livelihoods have declined with this shift,from mainland Ecuador constitute dependence on imported food from75% of the islands food supply. This mainland Ecuador has risenandsometimes weekslong journey, by with it, invasive species and pests. sea or by air, decreases the shelf life TOP LEFT Heifer Ecuador and Galpagosof produce and inflates prices: Food Carlos Mora prepares hisfarmers are facing these challengescosts in the Galpagos are the highest pineapples for transport to the market in San Cristbal, Ecuador.head-on, forging a path toward foodin the country; a pineapple can cost Mora received a motor prunersovereignty through the Future of Food$6 and a large watermelon, $10. from Heifer Ecuador, whichprogram, which aims to improve theUntil the late 1970s, the Galpagos he uses to streamline his cropIrma Carrin Paz and her son, Javier production. nutrition and income of 18,000 farmingIslands were relatively self-sufficient.Campoverd, show off a watermelon BOTTOM LEFT families in three Ecuadorian provinces,Farmers in the highlands exchangedthey are growing in the greenhouse Seals rest on the beach of Sanincluding the Galpagos, by 2025.goods with fishermen in the lowlandsconstructed by Heifer Ecuador. Carrin Cristbal Island. The animals areand her husband, Alex, dream of buying Working alongside Ecuadors Ministryand local production sustained thetwo more greenhouses to supply their one of many biodiverse naturalof Agriculture and Livestock, Heiferpopulation. But when it becameisland with locally grown food.attractions, which draw tourists from around the world to thelaunched a concerted effort in 2020 toa World Heritage Site in 1978, 97% archipelago. support small-scale Galpagos farmersof the archipelago was designated by constructing greenhouses thata protected national park, and theHeifer launched a concerted effort in 2020 to support small-scale improve yields, helping farmers betterfirst wave of tourists arrived. manage the threat of pests, and fortifyingThough a vital step for conservation,Galpagos farmers by constructing greenhouses that improve the food system through COVID-19allthe shift altered in-demand livelihoods:yields, helping farmers better manage the threat of pests, and in service of producing more food andResidents who once worked the fields building a sustainable future for one oftraded in farm tools for guidebooks,fortifying the food system through COVID-19.the most revered places on the planet. taking up occupations as tour guides or managers, and capitalizing on a profitable and growing tourismTo address this dilemma, Heiferin a day and a half, and Carrin set to industry. More visitors to the islandsEcuadors Future of Food programwork immediately planting seeds. drive demand for goods and servicesconstructed 10 greenhouses on SanI started sowing cilantro, white up, as agricultural land shrinks. Today,Cristbal, each around 500 squareonions, lettuce, peppers, basil, only 3% of the 3,000-square-milefeet. These climate-controlled spaceswatermelon, chard and cucumber, archipelago is used for farming.improve crop production, pest controlshe recalled. And in just 15 days, I had Against this backdrop, farmer Irmaand water usage, said Rosa Rodriguez,already harvested the cucumber.Carrin Paz stands as an exampleHeifer Ecuadors country director.Every Saturday, Carrin takes her of ambition and perseverance.Greenhouses have bolstered localproduce to the Eating Our Local Foods When I got married, my grandfathervegetable production year-round,fair on the lower part of the island. gave me his farm, said 38-year-oldshe said. And the greenhouses use ofEstablished three years ago by the Carrin, who tends to 3.7 acres of land ondrip irrigation systems improves waterMinistry of Agriculture and Livestock, San Cristbal, one of the four inhabitedresource use in an area where freshthe fair enables producers to sell their islands. Its productive, he told me.water is vital not only for productiongoods directly to consumers. HeiferBOTTOM RIGHTGreenhouses, like Irma Carrin Thats whats going to enable you to eat.but for human drinking water supply.Ecuador supports 38 farmers whoPazs here, allow Galpagos But, like many of the islandsFor Carrin, the greenhouse isparticipate in the fair, including Carrin,farmers to grow fruits and vegetables in climate-controlled farmers, Carrin struggled withtransformative. Through a minga, anby providing scales, crates, coolers,spaces, largely free from pests.pests and an unpredictable climateIndigenous tradition of communal work,tables and, when the pandemic hit, complicating her farms productivity.a team constructed her greenhousepersonal protective equipment. 38| HOLIDAY 2021 HEIFER.ORG |39'