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January 20, 2015
Ecuador’s oldest park ranger, Fausto Llerena Sánchez, received special recognition last week from the Ministry of Environment, through the Galapagos National Park Directorate, for his 43 years of service to Galapagos conservation.
“Don Fausto,” as he is known, was the primary caretaker of the iconic giant Galapagos tortoise Lonesome George, who died in 2012 — the last of his species. Of special note was Fausto’s work ethic, the responsibility with which he carried out his work, and his friendly and cordial manner with his colleagues and visitors.
“It is difficult to say goodbye to a colleague, someone who has contributed so much to the conservation of Galapagos, but we are content because it was we who were privileged to know the best part of you and were honored by your work for more than four decades,” said Minister of Environment Lorena Tapia.
For Dr. Arturo Izurieta Valery, Director of the Galapagos National Park, Don Fausto was not only a colleague and friend, but throughout his life as a Park ranger was “one of his closest collaborators,” as he stressed in his speech. “Admired as a Park ranger, not only by those who had the good fortune of working with him, but by millions of visitors who saw his work every day at the Tortoise Breeding Center over these past 4 decades, Fausto Llerena was named best Park ranger in Ecuador in 2007 and today closes the circle of his working life as the country’s oldest Park ranger.”
Santa Cruz mayor Leopoldo Bucheli Mora presented Don Fausto with the “Distinguished Citizen” award for his exemplary career and his impact on present and future generations.
The act of recognition was attended by family, friends, and colleagues, who enjoyed a photographic exhibition of the life of Fausto Llerena.
Fausto Llerena is highlighted in The Lonesome George Story, and was an incredibly important participant in the review of the Galapagos Tortoise Breeding and Rearing Centers in November.
Translated with permission from the Galapagos National Park Directorate. Please contact Galapagos Conservancy with inquiries.