At the end of 1979, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the creation of the CDF, Ecuadorian Vice President Osvaldo Hurtado Larrea traveled to the Galapagos Islands and was received at the Van Straelen building ― on Sunday, October 28 at 10:00 a.m., according to the official itinerary kept in the CDF Archives. Dr. Alfredo Luna Tobar and Mr. Jacinto Gordillo spoke on behalf of the CDF staff.
Typewritten copies of Luna Tobar's speech and that of engineer Carlos Aguirre, Director General of Forestry Development, who was in Hurtado Larrea's entourage, are also kept as archival documents. The originals of several letters of apology for non-attendance are also preserved, including the one from the Commander of the II Naval Zone.
Luna Tobar's speech emphasized the CDF educational program and its tools. Including the Van Straelen building:
One of the most emphasized programs of the Charles Darwin Station is the educational program. The Station has its own professors to teach natural science and conservation classes in the schools and colleges of San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz and Isabela. At the Central University of Quito and the State University of Guayaquil, the Station maintains information centers with informative and scientific literature. Its directors help high school students in the elaboration of works, and also give talks in schools, colleges, and universities.
To complete the information for visitors and to provide an educational and conference center, the Van Straelen classroom has been built in honor of the first president of the Charles Darwin Foundation. The library facilities have also been expanded to facilitate its use by scientists, National Park staff and the general public. The construction of the classroom is due in large part to the generous support of foreign individuals and the contribution of the National Government. The expansion of the library is due to private contributions.
The combination of these individual documentary pieces generates a line that allows us to glimpse the importance of the CDF in the national panorama of the time.
Aa.Vv. [Invitations and speeches]. [Manuscript]. Santa Cruz : Aa.Vv., 1979. [N.d.] : n/ill. : [n.d.]. DDC 986. Well preserved.
Text & picture: Edgardo Civallero (email@example.com).
Publication date: 1 October 2023
Last update: 1 October 2023