Roberto Plaza always dreamed of living in the Galapagos. Three years ago he finally made the leap and moved his family from the city of Quito to the Enchanted Isles. And they did it in a big way: Roberto and his family live totally off the grid.
They use solar energy to power their home and rainwater to drink and bathe; waste water is treated and reused for agriculture needs, and their entire house was built using materials that leave the lightest ecological footprint.
Living this way comes with its share of challenges, but Roberto believes strongly that if you chose to make the Galapagos your home, it’s important to try and live as sustainably as possible.
It’s a philosophy he lives by both at home and at work. A naturalist guide for almost 20 years, the last 12 with Natural Habitat Adventures, Roberto says, “we not only run our tours in a responsible way that aim to have the least environmental impact, but we want our guests to experience pristine nature so they leave transformed. When they return home we hope they will see things from a different perspective and keep protection of the environment in mind wherever they go.”
Roberto’s always had a deep love for nature. He grew up in a city but every summer, his family would vacation by the ocean. “For three months I had total freedom growing up. I would spend my days with my snorkeling gear swimming around the bay, walking alone and exploring nature,” he recalls. “Nature for me was the most important thing and for it to be pristine was also the most important thing and I think it’s essential that everyone get to experience this.”
By Sarah Fogel, WWF’s Deputy Director of Media and External Affairs.