Cultural Bytes | Interactive Language Program

The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands
Photo by Magdalena Kula Manchee on Unsplash

Welcome back to our Byte Blog! Continuing our Spanish learning journey with ViLaCa we will see time and time again all the fascinating topics our students will be learning! These last few weeks we have been sharing the many different festivals and your not so average animals that are found throughout Latin America. Last week we learned about a delicious fruit that can be used to make chewing gum! Did you get a chance to read it? If not, check out Chicozapote to learn more! The Galapagos Islands

There is an island that is known for inspiring Darwin’s theory of evolution. Can you guess which island? It is located on the Pacific Ocean off the West coast of South America. The Galápagos Islands and their surrounding waters form the Galápagos Province of Ecuador, the Galápagos National Park, and the Galápagos Marine Reserve. These islands experience volcanism, the continuous eruption of molten rock from active volcanoes! Other islands such as the Hawaiian Islands also experience this phenomenon too.

The islands are known for the diverse plants and animals that inhabit them. Most of which are endemic, which means that they are not found anywhere else in the world! Some of these species include the giant Galápagos tortoise, the marine iguana, the flightless cormorant, and the Galápagos penguin. Did you know that the Galápagos penguin is the only penguin species to live in the Northern Hemisphere?

“The Galápagos penguin is the only penguin species to live in the Northern Hemisphere


Something else that makes these islands special are its environmental conditions. It allows for a unique ecosystem. The islands are located near the equator but they also receive cool ocean currents. This makes a strange mix of tropical and temperate climates. For most of their history, the islands have been isolated. All of these factors created a space for evolution of an unusual mix of plant and animal species. Which have attracted scientists to study this complex ecosystem for more than 180 years. Charles Darwin, a naturalist, is famously known to have also studied the islands. It was through those observations that inspired his theory of evolution through natural selection. 

Did you know about the uniqueness and complexity of these islands? Let us know in the comments below what you found the most interesting. Join us in ViLaCa to learn more about the islands and about other topics during the rest of the week!


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