In the Galapagos Islands, the COVID-19 pandemic completely halted tourism in 2020, which is the main source of income for the Islands. Without work and with severe travel restrictions, residents struggled to find alternative livelihoods.

The Galapagos Barcode project trained locals in key field, lab and curatorial techniques, and employed them to undertake the project. This has allowed Galapagos residents to participate in cataloguing the biodiversity of the Islands according to the unique genetic signature of each species.

Check out the testimonies of some of the participants at the beginning of the project:

Robin Betancourt, from captain to field assistant.

Karen Ascencio, from naturalist guide to laboratory assistant.

Michelle Heras, from production and marketing of handicrafts to team leader.

Fernando Sánchez, from naturalist guide to team leader.

Joel Mariño, from naturalist guide to field assistant.


Carolina Proaño L.

General coordinator of the project. Her focus on resilient cities led to her involvement in the Galapagos Barcode project, in the search for innovative alternatives to tackle the economic impact of COVID-19 on the Islands.