Travel E-Log #1: New York
Greetings from New York and bienvenidos to theGalapagos Islands E-Travel Logs! In this report, we'll take a look at the map to find out where in the world the Galapagos are, then tell you a bit about the country the Galapagos belong to: Ecuador. Let's go...
the World are the Galapagos?
As you may know, the Galapagos Islands belong to Ecuador, a small country on the Pacific coast of South America. Ecuador is actually a Spanish word, which makes sense since Spanish is Ecuador's official and most widely spoken language. Can you guess what it means in English? If you change the 'c' to a 'q' and the 'd' to a 't,' you can figure it out. That's right: if you look at the globe, you'll see that the equator goes right through Ecuador. So do the Andes Mountains (north-south, forming a 't' with the equator). Some of the Andes Mountains are so high up in the air, even though near the equator, they have snow on top of them all year round. Water rolling down the eastern side of the Andes forms many large rivers, some flowing out of Ecuador, that eventually flow into the great Amazon River and cross the whole continent to empty into the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, surrounding the Amazon River and the rivers that flow into it is the largest rain forest in the world, the Amazon. Climbing down the Andes on their western side, you’ll eventually come to the Pacific Ocean. And if you travel about 600 miles further west, right along the equator, you’ll reach the Galapagos Archipelago.(Including one other trip to the Galapagos, Lilia and I have been to Ecuador a total of ten times).
Ecuador: A Land of Volcanoes – and Volcanic IslandsSo, Ecuador has four main geographical regions: the Amazon Rain Forest, the Andes Mountains, the Pacific Coast and, our destination, the Galapagos Archipelago. Before we go to the islands, we'll fly to Quito, the capital of Ecuador high in the Andes Mountains. Quito has recently been in the news. Just two weeks ago, a neighboring volcano, Reventador, erupted, sending ash and gas four miles into the air, high enough so the ash could float over to Quito, sixty miles away, and fall onto the city, like gray snow. In some places, two inches of ash covered the ground -- and the Quito airport closed for several days. Fortunately, the eruption did not kill any people, but several people were injured falling off their rooftops trying to sweep up the ashes.
Volcanoes will be a major theme in our trip to the Galapagos, because they are what formed -- and are still forming -- the islands. We're not too worried though, because, there, the lava mostly only bubbles, instead of exploding. But we'll tell you more about that in upcoming reports.
Flight to South America
My next report will trace my flight from New York to Quito. Till then, buen viaje!
Latin America School Project Director
For social studies and math activities that introduce your students to the project and to the Galapagos Islands, go here.
For links to many incredible Web sites about the Galapagos Islands, go here.
For information about additional classroom resources, go here.
To take an online photo-poetic flyover of the Galapagos Islands, go to On Wings
of Waves here.
Meet the Adventure Team
E-Log #1 -- New York
E-Log #2 -- Quito, Ecuador
E-Log #3 -- San Cristobal Island
E-Log#4: San Cristobal
E-Log#5: Santa Cruz
E-Log#6: Santa Cruz
E-Log#7: Santa Cruz
E-Log#8: Isabela Island
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