It was in early 2010 that METIER got to open a shop, together with two other brands from Ecuador, in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. During the same time, at a meeting of the EARTH alumni association in Guayaquil from which Hugo (METIER co-founder) is part of, Carlos Cerdas, a visiting representative from EARTH University said: think about an influential community in Ecuador from which a new leader will be selected to receive a scholarship supported by you! Someone immediately said: GALAPAGOS!!! Hugo instantly offered himself as the coordinator to start this project. Having to travel to the Galapagos Islands constantly for METIER, he thought this would also give him the chance to visit the schools in Santa Cruz, promote the scholarship and start the process of application for the interested students.
At the end of the screening process, after all the interested students had taken a test and were interviewed by a professor from EARTH University, the most promising and outstanding candidate was chosen, this was Micaela Solis. Micaela was thrilled to learn that she was to be the FIRST student from the Galapagos Islands to attend EARTH University and receive a world-class education in sustainable agriculture, natural resource management and community development. From then, she had a month left until graduation and her first trip out of Ecuador and on to Costa Rica. Her family was extremely proud of her and couldn’t be happier about the news.
During Micaela’s first year (2011), Hugo was working with the EARTH Alumni Association in Guayaquil (AGEARTH- Ecuador) to raise funds for Micaela’s scholarship. The funds for her first year were covered thanks to the support of alumni and friends of the association who got to contribute: Ricardo Estrada, Jose & Kevin Barcia (Ecopacific), Marlon Vintimilla, Carlos Falquez, Ricardo Duran, Marcos Fioravanti, Ricardo Umpierrez, Isabel Sandoval, Fabian Castillo, Leyla Solorzano, Bianca Dager, Veronica Anazco, Bruno Bellettini, Esteban Subia, Maria Alvarez, Gabriela Alvarez were all part of this wonderful group of people.
For year 2012, METIER took the lead and decided to fund Micaela’s scholarship by earmarking part of its profits to this cause. Micaela has proved to herself, her family and all her sponsors that she is taking advantage of this one in a lifetime opportunity as her results at the university are excellent and her professors couldn’t be happier.
METIER spent one and a half years with its shop in the Galapagos Islands. During this time we all became very familiar and aware of the relevance of this fragile and unique ecosystem that is suffering from the impact of its growing population and tourism. The need for a leader to support and promote a sustainable future for the Galapagos Islands is urgent. Some of the critical problems to be solved are: sewage and waste-water treatment, local food production (sustainable agriculture), eco-efficiency on services and transportation, school education on sustainability and management for protection and conservation of endemic species. The time to act is NOW!
“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”. GANDHI.