In Quito, our group will help with a food distribution program that aids the native Quechua people. When we get to the Galapagos Islands, we will volunteer at the San Cristobal Conservation Center. This volunteer opportunity is situated on a farm with a 50-hectare plot of land located in the tiny 15 family farming community on the island of San Cristobal. Our group will spend the day helping with reforestation. The Galapagos Islands are under siege from invasive and non-native plant species. Invasive plant species overrun small farms, destroying livelihoods and killing habitat of the endemic species. Some species exists no where else on earth, such as the Galapagos penguins, the Blue Footed Booby. About one-third of the native plant species, which number less than 600, are found only here. Of the reptiles, land birds and mammals -- only 57 species in all -- more than 80 percent are found nowhere else in the world. More amazingly, a number of Galapagos species are found only on a single island in the Archapelago, with a nearly identical but distinct species on neighboring islands. Due to this fragile ecosystem and an increase of tourism, these endemic species are being lost on an annual basis. With this in mind, this trip will be not only a mission trip helping people, but also a science trip by helping with conservation efforts to preserve ecosystems such as this. We will also be mentoring local children so that they too can learn how to preserve their own ecosystem. On this trip, we students will have the opportunity to address environmental concerns as well as social issues the local community faces. I am so excited to have the opportunity to take this trip next year. The trip is scheduled from February 17-24, 2018. Thank you for reading this page and I thank you for your support and sponsorship.