In 1990, while researching information for Fodor’s South America, I landed a job as information officer for the Charles Darwin Research Station, in the Galapagos Islands. Fluent in Spanish and English, I was hired as Coordinator of Communication and Information to promote the work of the international scientific center. Living in an archipelago 600 miles from land proved challenging on many fronts.

Working with renowned scientists, eager volunteers, and tourists from around the world was educational and fun, but life on the rock wasn’t as highbrow you might think. Aside from studying giant tortoises, sea-salt-spitting marine iguanas, and other animals of Darwinian fame, the main pastimes in town were dancing, drinking, and infidelity.

The electricity went out for days at a time and my bike, the best in town, was constantly “borrowed” without my consent, leaving me stranded. If you’re an editor who would like a book about the malcontents, miscreants, romantics, and scientists that populate this world-famous archipelago, please contact me about writing a non-fiction account of my year on Santa Cruz Island.


Jane Onstott
San Diego, California

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