A typical street scene from modern day Puerto Ayora, the largest city in Galapagos with nearly 20,000 residents.

Civil Society

Civil Society

A typical street scene from modern day Puerto Ayora, the largest city in Galapagos with nearly 20,000 residents.

The World Bank defines civil society as the wide array of non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations that have a presence in public life, expressing the interests and values of their members or others, based on ethical, cultural, political, scientific, religious or philanthropic considerations. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) include community groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and foundations.

The number of civil society organizations has grown rapidly in Galapagos since 1990. Watkins and Martinez (2007) identified an estimated 160 groups across the islands, 75% of them built around specific interests, such as fishing, tourism, labor, and conservation. They noted few broad-spectrum organizations that seek to establish a sense of community or collaboration. In recent years, however, several local organizations, such as FUNDAR Galapagos, Fundaciόn Scalesia, Galapagos ICE, and Fundación Nuevo Era are playing a larger, more visible role in local capacity building, citizen engagement, and conservation.

The following table includes Civil Society Organizations identified by Watkins and Martinez:

Commercial organizations
Agricultural Association of Cascajo Santa Cruz
Agricultural Center of Isabela Canton
Agricultural Center of San Cristóbal Canton
Agricultural Center of Santa Cruz Canton
Association of Artisanal Fishing Boat Owners of Puerta Ayora (APROPASA)
Association of Bay and Dive Tours (Bay Tour Operators)
Association of Billiard Parlors and Bars
Association of Cattle Owners of “El Junco” San Cristóbal
Association of Cattle Owners of Isabela
Association of Cattle Owners of Santa Cruz
Association of Dive Guides of Galapagos
Association of Farm Workers of Santa Cruz
Association of Galapagos Guides (AGG)
Association of Interpretive Guides of the GNP (AGIPA)
Association of Merchant Marines for Galapagos Transport
Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Isabela
Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Santa Cruz
Association of Tourism Company Operators in Galapagos (ASOGAL)
Association of Tourism Operators of Galapagos (ADATUR)
Ceclilia Alvear Women’s Organization (OMCA)
Constrascartin Transport Cooperative
Credit Union of the Chamber of Commerce of Quito
El Porvenir Pre-association of Farmers
Fishing Cooperative of Isabela (COPAHISA)
Fishing Cooperative of San Cristóbal (COPESAN)
Fishing Cooperative of San Cristóbal (COPESPROMAR)
Fishing Cooperative of Santa Cruz (COPROPAG)
Galapagos Chamber of Tourism (CAPTURGAL)
Galapagos Islands Transport Cooperative
Galapagos Transport (TRANSGALPAS)
Galapaguera Transport Cooperative
Inter-island Maritime Transport Cooperative (CABOMAR)
Inter-island Maritime Transport Cooperative (COPESTUR)
Island Cooperative of Express Terrestrial Transport of Galapagos (CITTEG)
Island Transport Company (CITRAN)
Lava Tube Cooperative
Light Island Transport Cooperative (COTRANSLI)
Lobería Transport Cooperative
Magic Hands Pre-association
Maritime Transport of Isabela (TRANSMARTISA)
Meat and Dairy Products of Galapagos (GALACARNES)
Mushucan Cooperative
Organization of Active Women of Isabela (OMAI)
Poultry Production Cooperative of Galapagos (COPROAVIGAL)
San Cristóbal Chamber of Tourism (CATURCRIS)
Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce
Sierra Negra Transport Cooperative
Sierra Piquero Patas Azules Transport Cooperative
Submarine Marvels of Galapagos (MARSUBGAL)
The Juntos Venceremos Association
The Pescado Azul Women’s Association
The Pinzón Artesanal Women’s Organization of Isabela (OMPAI)
Tourism Association of Isabela
Union of Fishing Cooperatives of Galapagos (UCOOPEPGAL)

Community organizations
Association of Clients of the República del Ecuador Hospital
Don Jorge Foundation
Galapagos Scout Group

Neighborhood Associations
Pioneers of Galapagos Association
Youth Council

Local conservation organizations
Albatross Ecological Foundation (Fundación Ecológica Albatros)
Foundation for Responsible Alternative Development (FUNDAR)
Foundation for the Ecological Defense of Galapagos (FEDEGAL)
Independent Environment (Ambiente Independiente)

International and national foundations
Charles Darwin Foundation
Conservation International
Ecology Project International
Foundation for the Future of Latin America (Fundación Futuro Latino Americano)
Foundation for the Promotion and Support of Development (IPADE)
Galapagos Foundation
Jatun Sacha Foundation
Red Cross
Sea Shepherd
Wild Aid
World Wide Fund for Nature

Sports organizations
County League of Santa Cruz
Neighborhood League
Sports Federation of Galapagos
Surfing Club
Triathlon of Santa Cruz

Educational centers and organizations
Alejandro Humboldt Superior Technical Institute
Catholic University of Guayaquil
Don Bosco Distance Learning High School
Drops of Hope Foundation (Fundación Gotitas de Esperanza)
Equinos Technical University
Fray Agustín de Azkunaga High School
Immerse-Connect-Evolve Foundation (ICE)
Loma Linda Adventist School
Montessori School
New Era for Galapagos Foundation (Fundación Nueva Era Galápagos)
Pedro Pablo Andrade Educational Unit
Private Technical University of Loja
Private Technical University of Loja Isabela
Prometheus Foundation
Runakunapak Yachay School
San Francisco de Asis Educational Unit
San Francisco University of Quito (GAIAS)
Scalesia Foundation
Tomas de Berlanga School

Professional organizations
Artists Association of San Cristóbal
Association of Galapagos Journalists
Association of Galapagos Professionals
Association of Isabela Artisans
Bakers Association
Builders Association
Cabinet Makers Guild of Santa Cruz
Carpenters Guild of Santa Cruz
Ecological Artisan Park Guild
Foundation for the Support and Commercial Development of Artisans of Ecuador
Las Palmas Inter-professional Artisans Association
Masters and Masons Guild
Masters and Operators Association
Mechanics Guild of Santa Cruz
Ships Carpenters Guild of Santa Cruz
Tailors and Dressmakers Association
Woodcarvers Guild

Identity groups
Association of Esmeraldeños
Association of Lojanos
Association of Orences
Association of Salacas
Association of Salasacas Nucanchi Llacta Salasaca “Nuestro Pueblo”
Community of Salasacas
Organization of Salasacas Residing in Galapagos

Religious organizations and churches
Assembly of God
Catholic Church
Church of Christ MI-EL
Church of God
Franciscan Missions
Hosanna Christian Center
Jehovah’s Witnesses
Name of Jesus Evangelical Apostolic Church
Pentecostal Church

Employer and employee organizations
Association of INGALA Employees
Association of Municipal Employees
ElecGalapagos Workers Union
Hospital República del Ecuador Union
Municipal Employees Union
Municipal Workers Union
National Teachers Union
Professional Drivers Union


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