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Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson, joined by students from Hālau Kū Mana, Castle High School and Kamehameha Schools, acknowledges 40 years of the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana and the exemplary example of aloha ʻāina and mālama honua the PKO represents. Hōkūleʻa crew members and the students then sing "Hawaiʻi Aloha" from the Galapagos Islands.

Wa'a Wednesday: Hōkūle'a arrives in the Galapagos

Feb. 1, 2017

Contributed by Shaundor Chillingworth

The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage allows students to engage the greater classroom of the world and experience world-class, culture-based learning that now defines a Kamehameha Schools education. The perpetuation of Polynesian wayfinding continues to be a source of pride for students, the organization and the entire Hawaiian community, adding strength to a collective sense of Native Hawaiian identity.

Hōkūleʻa arrived at Puerto Ayora, the capital city of Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands, on Saturday, January 28. The crew is joined by a contingent of teachers and students from Hālau Kū Mana Public Charter School, Kamehameha Schools, and James B. Castle High School, as well as representatives from The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International for an educational visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Marine Site. During their stay, the crew and participating schools will engage in activities to further their understanding of the area's fragile ecosystem and how its preservation aligns with the Worldwide Voyage's Mālama Honua mission.

Situated in the Pacific Ocean more than 600 miles from the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique "living museum and showcase of evolution." Similar to Hawaiʻi, the Galapagos Islands is an isolated volcanic archipelago known for its endemic species and rich biodiversity. The location became famous after naturalist Charles Darwin visited in 1835 to study the area's rare animal species which led to his theory of evolution by natural selection.

This stop on the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage will be an opportunity for the voyage mission crew to learn about the Galapagos Islands' conservation management and environmental sustainability efforts while bringing attention to science, evolution and the importance of protecting the earth's most fragile resources.   

Educators and students will all be present throughout Hōkūleʻa's stay in the Galapagos. Groups will engage in a series of land tours, dives, and a Hōʻike event to showcase their scientific findings and share the potential impacts the learning from this visit could have on education in Hawaiʻi. The learning journey will include visits to the Charles Darwin Research Center and the Tomas de Berlanga School, which focuses on developing a sense of stewardship in its students for the society and environment in which they live.  The school was launched in 1994 by a group of Galapagos residents who believed that improved education was a prerequisite to a more sustainable Galapagos.  They sought to launch an educational model that could serve as a showcase of best practices and as a future training ground for educators from other schools on the islands.

After the Galapagos Islands, Hōkūleʻa will continue on her voyage to Rapa Nui and French Polynesia for further community outreach and opportunities to share the Mālama Honua message. In June 2017, Hōkūleʻa will make her long-awaited return to the Hawaiian Islands with a historic homecoming ceremony at Magic Island.

Kamehameha Schools is proud to be the Education Sponsor of the Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage. For more information about the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, visit or find the society on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+. To see more Wa‘a Wednesday stories and much more about the Mālama Honua Voyage, go to the KS Online Mālama Honua page(if you are on a KS Network) or see related articles below.

Hōkūleʻa Update - In the Galapagos

KS senior program manager and Hōkūleʻa crewmember, Mark Ellis gives us an update from Leg 27, Galapagos Islands. Students from James B. Castle High School, Hālau Kū Māna Public Charter School and Kamehameha Schools joined scientists on island for a learning journey.

Mark Ellis provides update on the way to the Galapagos

KS senior program manager Mark Ellis, on-board for Leg 27 of the Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage, provides an update as Hōkūleʻa heads towards the Galapagos. Ellis describes the navigational techniques being used on this leg of the voyage.

Students from Hālau Kū Mana, Castle High School and Kamehameha Schools join crew members on the Hōkūleʻa.

Crew members look out as the Hōkūleʻa reaches the Galapagos Islands.

KS senior program manager Mark Ellis is on-board for Leg 27 of the Worldwide Voyage. Hear updates from Mark in the video below.

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