A large incentive project for scientific research will soon become a reality in the Galapagos Archipelago, located 1,200 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador. Construction on the Creationist Center, maintained by the Adventist Church through its institutions, will begin in August. Geovanny Izquierdo, president of the Church in Ecuador, confirmed the date for construction this week. The 741 square meter piece of land is located in the center of Santa Cruz, the most populated island in the archipelago. The building will include, initially, the Creationist Center, some administrative rooms for the Loma Linda Adventist College and new headquarters for the Central Adventist Church.
The four inhabited islands of Galapagos, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana, have very strict controls regarding environmental issues for the people who go there. All tourists, in addition to paying several fees to enter the archipelago, are thoroughly inspected to prevent fruit seeds being smuggled into the islands.
The same strict guidelines apply to buildings. There are height limits and several guidelines that must be followed. Izquierdo explains that this is why the construction has only now begun—two years after the project was announced in July 2016. “We still have the challenge to bring all the construction materials and optimize the construction time in a few months. We hope to finish the Creationist Center building in four months,” he says.
The approximate cost of that first phase of construction of the Creationist Center will be $300,000 USD, with financial support coming from the General Conference, the South American Division, Ecuador’s fields and individual donors.
Marcos Natal, director of the Geoscience Research Institute in Brazil, said that there are positive expectations for this Center, because it will be a place for researchers from several countries who wish to study science from the creationist point of view. Izquierdo adds that the Creationist Center will also have an area showcasing materials to explain the creationist model to visitors.
Lenin Rogel, vice mayor of the Santa Cruz Island, says that an average of 900 tourists arrive to the island every day, and at least 15% of them visit for scientific research in the area. This is the kind of public that Church leaders want to attract with the Creationist Center, ironically placed on Charles Darwin Avenue, a symbolic route through which the famous naturalist who systematized the evolutionary theory passed in 1835.
Adventist presence in the Galapagos Islands was established with the arrival of foreign missionaries in 1981.