Charles, Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, were recently visiting Ecuador and Galapagos
They have also visited Brazil and Chile on a trip to raise awareness on environmental issues.
They made a stop in Quito and were taken on a visit of a stunning 17th century church called the Compañia of Jesús,
The Prince of Wales has spent more than 20 years campaigning on environmental issues.
The Jesuit Church of La Compañía de Jesus is an icon of Latin American art, a jewel of Baroque Architecture of the School of Art of Quito, a distinctive, original style known for its exquisite detail of expression.
Construction of this outstanding temple began in 1605 and was finished in 1765, built following the architecture of the temple Jesu in Rome, with a total symmetry.
Even those not interested in the religious aspect can appreciate the beauty in art and architecture of this magnificent baroque masterpiece.
Its extraordinary façade is like lace carved in basaltic stone, and its interior shines completely covered in gold leaf of 23 karats.
The twisted Salomonic columns of the main and side altars copy the ones of Bernini in the Vatican, but here, they are decorated with local fruits and leaves, all covered in gold.
Outstanding sculptures among them the Holy Trinity atop the Main Altar- and paintings of the School of Art of Quito, of the 16th and 17th Centuries make this church a jewel of Colonial Art, easily accessible to all visitors to Quito, Ecuador's capital city, which boasts the largest and best preserved Colonial Quarter in all of South America.
After visiting Quito they traveled to the Galapagos Islands, where the Prince was presented with a Panama hat.
(These Panama hats, are originally made in Ecuador).
The couple was there to commemorate the 200th anniversary of English scientist Charles Darwin's birth, 150th
Prince of Wales in Galapagos
anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species and also the 50th anniversary of the "Galapagos National Park."
The Prince of Wales and her wife had a great time in the Galapagos Islands. They visited the Charles Darwin research Station and met Lonesome George which is the only living tortoise of the "Geochelone abigdoni" species.
Prince of Wales, participated in a symposium organized by the Charles Darwin Foundation and pledged his aid and that of his Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment to work with the CDF in forging new sustainable development agreements between many parties in the Galapagos Islands.
After listening to the comments of a number of members of the CDF on the need to plan for the new reality of the Islands, the Prince expressed enthusiasm for participating in the process. His foundation has been working in the area of sustainable development for the last 20 years.
"Planning is key to correctly redirect the development of a society, and this can only achieved with the necessary agreements between all the involved parties," commented the Prince of wales at the seminar, which addressed the different challenges (ecological, economic, and social) that confront Galapagos.
During his visit to South America to promote energy efficiency, he said time was running out to save the world from the ravages of climate change, and prevent economic meltdown and a flood of environmental refugees.
Prince Charles said:
"All I have been trying to do is remind people that we have to live and work in harmony with nature if we are to have any chance of surviving on this planet."
Famous actor Richard Gere also visited the Galapagos Islands in March 2009. He is going to promote the preservation of the Galapagos Islands around the world. More About the Visit of Richard Gere to Galapagos
With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading!
There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.
Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers.
Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!
Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in.
Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!
If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier.
But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you.
Small, well-priced, and reliable!
The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table.
This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!
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