As our Galapagos travel facebook and blog friends await for Brangelina’s impressions of their stay in the islands —who are said to have boarded their private jet “glum to leave”— I’d like to take this moment to remind us that it is Earth Day today, and that even if the Jolie-Pitts missed Earth Day in the Galapagos Islands by a day, it is still Earth Day today!
International Earth Day and the Galapagos Islands have a connection. They represent historic milestones of human appreciation and awareness of the natural world. Galapagos travel was virtually inexistent until the 1950s, when pioneering tourism ventures began showcasing the islands to a few chosen people. Since then, the Galapagos Islands became one of the first joint international endeavors to preserve a specific site from the impact of human activity. It made sense, since most ventures were hard, if not impossible, to manage within the islands, the Galapagos seeming to have no other use than to be a “place to visit”. But this idea of nature tourism and the 1959 birth of the Galapagos National Park coincided, maybe even spearheaded, a new movement: an environmental one.
11 years later, U.S. politician Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day, and many Americans made an entire movement of it. People (20 million) went to the streets on April 22, 1970, to question the blind faith of progress through industrialization. It was the beginning of a new era, an era which is still developing as we speak, as more and more people join to fight and defend Mother Earth. The Jolie-Pitts are among those people, known for their support of environmental efforts worldwide… so it’s great to have had them visit the Galapagos Islands, even if they missed out on Earth Day there!