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Sophia & Gara


Gara Trujillo is a passionate conservation biologist with experience working in the Peruvian Amazon, Coastal Greece, and the Galapagos Islands. She recently completed an Erasmus program in Environmental Policy after directing the Opwall site in the Galapagos in 2019. Sophia is the host of our podcast and the Country Manager for Operation Wallacea’s Ecuador site. Sophia first worked with Opwall during our first season in Fiji in 2017 and then took on the Ecuador project in 2018. She is passionate about involving local and indigenous people as stakeholders in international conservation efforts, which drives her work in the Sani Reserve in Ecuador.

In this special episode they answer the question: How does wildlife research support both tourism and conservation in Ecuador? Listen here!

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Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, & where ever else you like to listen!

Episode Outline: 

  • [0.43] Gara’s and Sophia’s backgrounds
  • [3.00] What has Gara been doing since Opwall?
  • [4.50] A brief explanation on what it’s like to visit the Galapagos site
    [8.27] What was Gara’s favourite activity during the Galapagos expedition?
  • [9.40] What is a lava tunnel?
  • [11.11] Advice for people who wish to visit the Galapagos site
  • [13.26] A deep dive into Sophia’s background
  • [16.16] An introduction to the Ecuador expedition site
  • [21.32] How does Opwall and scientific research fit into aiding the tourism and conservation efforts of the local communities?
  • [27.05] What is it actually like to live in a campsite in the middle of the Amazon rainforest for a quarter of the year?
  • [32.50] How can travelers ensure they leave a positive impact when they’re traveling?
  • [37.47] Gara’s experience living in the rainforest
  • [40.23] The craziest thing Gara has seen in the field
  • [42.13] The craziest thing Sophia has seen in the field
  • [47.03] What keeps Gara fighting for biodiversity?
  • [48.41] What keeps Sophia fighting for biodiversity?
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