International esteem for Galápagos’ natural wonders and the democratization of travel have contributed to a 300% increase in annual tourist entries to the archipelago from 2000 (68,989) to 2018 (275,817). The attendant spike in tourism-related anthropogenic impact coupled with deficient infrastructure development has put the archipelago’s natural capital and carrying capacity at risk. The complex nature of Galápagos’ food insecurity is linked to the archipelago’s geographic isolation, its diminishing agricultural workforce, international tourists’ demand for recognizable food, and a lack of investment in sustainable and innovative agricultural futures. Food security is key to the long-term well-being of Galapagueños, who sustain Galápagos’ tourism industry. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the vulnerability of human systems in Galápagos, especially the fragility of Galápagos’ ecotourism dependency. Galapagueños’ struggle to endure the tourism sector’s slow rebound following the 2020 travel restrictions points to an urgent need to implement food security measures as an indispensable component of the archipelago’s long-term sustainability plan. This article presents ethnographic data to discuss the tourism sector’s impact on local food systems, Galapagueños’ right to food sovereignty, efforts to increase agricultural production, and why strengthening institutional partnerships is vital to Galápagos’ food self-sufficiency.
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