Pikaia Lodge generates around 100 permanent jobs for local settlers on the island of Santa Cruz. The Galapagos special protection law restricts the hiring of Ecuadorians from the continental mainland, as well as foreign nationals, and grants a limited number of temporary residence permits to non-settlers.
Before the advent of the special protection Galapagos law in 1998, the tourism, agriculture and fishing sectors legally brought many continental workers to the islands, triggering a local population growth explosion. If this trend were allowed to continue, it could have led to overpopulation and unsustainable pressures on the islands' natural resources.
The Pikaia Lodge administration has applied to date for no more than seven temporary residence permits for key highly-skilled employees with international experience, such as Lodge managers, the executive chef, key multilingual service personnel, and specialized technicians for our complex support systems. The great majority of our positions have been filled by locals, especially from the adjacent agricultural village of El Cascajo.
They received intensive training for their field of service by our hospitality specialists. The people from this community are known for being a honest, hard-working agricultural labor force, with a friendly attitude towards visitors.
Almost all of the crew members of our Yachts are permanent residents of the islands, and many of them are ex-fishermen that have been successfully re-trained for working in tourism. They have an intimate knowledge of the Galapagos seas and marine wildlife.