From the heart of the Galápagos Islands emerges an initiative that seamlessly blends sustainability, economy, and style. Nua Ecoregalos is an artisan shop in San Cristóbal, supported by Galápagos Conservancy, that serves as a model for sustainable development and environmental protection.
Local entrepreneurs Vanessa García and her husband, Marlon, share a love of woodworking that moved them to start a wood furniture business. Faced with the problem of excess material, they came up with the idea to make eco-friendly piggy banks, and to the surprise of many, the initial batch of ten sold out in three days. This initial success inspired more products, and the growing popularity of the handcrafted goods led to the opening of a physical store in April of this year.
Nua Ecoregalos is a philosophy as well as a store. Its mission is to promote a circular economy by offering handmade goods and sustainable products, such as reusable water bottles, that reduce waste and encourage reuse. The name chosen for the venture embodies Vanessa’s vision and determination: “Nua” means woman in Shuar, an indigenous language in Ecuador, and “Ecoregalos” is a Spanish portmanteau for eco-friendly gifts. Vanessa is passionate about long-term solutions to reduce single-use plastic consumption and encourages these changes in the local community through Nua’s products and social media.
Vanessa and Marlon broadened their vision by adding a literary section to their store. The cozy book nook invites customers of all ages to browse everything from children’s books to popular new titles, improving the customer experience while fostering a love of reading in locals and visitors.
Nua Ecoregalos is more than just a business; it represents the potential for community change when innovation meets sustainability. This venture, with the help of Galápagos Conservancy, demonstrates how economic development and conservation can coexist peacefully, laying the groundwork for a greener future in the Galápagos Islands.