David Edelstein

Conservation Coordinator

Why IOI:

At this stage of my life, I seek work where I will have the chance of making small changes that I hope will make the world a better place. IOI gave me the chance to get to know the community of Puerto Villamil and Isabela Island. As Puerto Villamil is a small, developing community, this is a unique opportunity to help in that development while conserving nature in one of the world's most famous ecosystems. In other words, it is the fulfillment of a dream.

My IOI role:

I am the Conservation Coordinator for IOI. Mostly, my work is to ensure the well-being of the IOI volunteers who work in conservation, mostly in the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center. I also work in the Galapagos National Park's Communication, Education, and Outreach office, bringing the message of natural resource conservation and love of the environment to the community.

Life prior to IOI:

Although I have worked in national conservation agencies in the United States, most of my career was as a science teacher in an alternative high school in New York. Every year, I would teach the Theory of Evolution and the importance of the Galapagos in the development of the Theory. More than four years ago, I decided to dedicate myself to pro-social work in Latin America, and I came to Ecuador. I fell in love with the country and its people (especially one person, who is now my wife), and I continue the work which brought me here originally.

Just me:

I am the father of two adult children, a daughter who works to end domestic violence in Portland, Oregon, and a son who travels the northeastern United States playing guitar with his band, Breakfast for the Boys. I also play the guitar...but not the way my son does. I'm married to Yadira, the IOI secretary. I love to talk about books, movies, music, American politics, and soil. Yes, soil.