Naturalist icon Naturalist

Africa Berdonces

Africa grew up in the Galápagos Islands where she spent her childhood exploring with her family, surrounded by exquisite nature. She took her first scuba diving lesson with her father off the coast of Sombrero Chino Island when she was just 12 years old. That first dive opened up a new and unexplored part of the natural world to her. Africa became enchanted by local marine life and went on to become a divemaster, working as both a dive guide and naturalist in her beloved islands.

After completing over 500 dives and experiencing innumerable wildlife encounters, Africa yearned to venture further afield. She decided to cross the Pacific Ocean on a traditional Polynesian canoe using traditional navigation methods—guided by the stars instead of a GPS, and powered by wind instead of fuel. During her unique voyage she felt an indescribable connection with the ocean that further reinforced her dedication to protect it. 
With the aim of contributing to the environmental protection of the Galápagos, Africa worked towards a master’s degree in protected area management while she was in Cairns, Australia. Upon graduating, Africa returned to Ecuador where she served as an international promoter of the country's natural resources and culture. She has also been involved with the Galápagos National Park team that is tasked with the conservation and protection of the islands. 

Africa believes the Galápagos can one day be an example of humans living in harmony with nature and she has chosen to dedicate her life to the plight of our planet's ocean ecosystems.