"Charles Darwin" Exhibition Hall Soft Opening
'Charles Darwin' Exhibition Hall at the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora.
By Paola Díaz
A year ago the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) initiated a project to create an area within the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) with the primary objective of showing visitors and the local community about the role that the CDF has fulfilled in the Galapagos Islands for over 50 years.
Dr. Arturo Izurieta, Executive Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation explains, “It became imperative to share our current projects and ongoing activities and evident that there was a need to improve the quality of visit and experience tourists have during their trip to our beloved Charles Darwin Research Station.”
The components of the Charles Darwin Exhibition Hall Project are taking place in two phases. The first phase is the completion of the main floor which will feature information panels, a photo gallery of Galapagos images taken by local community members as well as national and international photographers, a theater for presentations, and a donations point. The Hall will be open from Monday to Sunday from its official in the coming months onward.
The second phase of the exhibition is being designed with the support of the research team and management of collections and will feature a sample of the collections held in the Charles Darwin Research Station. This second phase is expected to be completed by June 2016.
In the Charles Darwin Exhibition Hall Project we have been fortunate enough to have the participation of local artists Isaac Delgado and Clovis Patiño, who are working on the murals of the Hall. Isaac Delgado is working on the high relief map of Galapagos and Clovis Patino is painting murals depicting the giant tortoises.
The mural of the ocean was a collaboration of artistic work with the designer of the Hall, Carlyn Iverson (www.carlyniverson.com), who said "It has been an honor for me to offer my time as a volunteer and work with the team of the Charles Darwin Foundation on this project. All those involved have demonstrated their love for Galapagos and this sentiment is reflected in every corner of the Hall."
The team of scientists at the Research Station and the Communications area continue to work together so that the information on the scientific work carried out by the Charles Darwin Foundation in Galapagos is available to the community and visitors.
Paola Diaz, Coordinator of the project’s implementation says, "Thanks to the support of international donors who want conservation work in the archipelago to be shared at all levels, we have been able to move forward with the Exhibition Hall project. It is very important that our work in Galapagos is known."
Current progress of the project
- The concept design considers safety aspects for visitors, emergency exits, signage in each area, public restrooms with international standards, access for wheelchairs and international standards of interpretation materials with content in Spanish and English.
- The woodwork inside and outside of the Hall has been made by local artisans Micelin Rojas and Luis Gualcapi.
- The outside space has a large shaded terrace with tables and chairs for visitors to use, as well as a lookout point with informative panels. Soon a refreshment stand will open, operated by the gentleman that currently operates the kiosk on the way to the giant tortoise corrals of the Galapagos National Park Directorate.
The work continues
The Collections Room of the Hall and the renovation work of the building will continue throughout the coming weeks until the official opening of the Exhibition Hall. The building is expected to complement the visit to the facilities of the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center of the Galapagos National Park Directorate and the collaborative work between the two institutions is reflected in the exhibition for visitors.
We want to thank our donor the COmON Foundation for all the support received for the set up of our new "Charles Darwin" Exhibition Hall. The funding received is critical for the Charles Darwin Foundation projects and the promotion of our work at local, national and international levels. At the moment we continue with the installation of the exhibit, and look forward to have an operational showcase of our work.
“The mission of the CDF is to provide knowledge and assistance through scientific research and complementary action to ensure the conservation of the environment and biodiversity in the Galapagos Archipelago.”
Contact Information for the Press
Charles Darwin Foundation