#20 Arnaldo Tupiza death
Wed, 13 Sep 1995 19:06:44 -0600 (GMT-0600)

Message 16: Tuesday morning
Message 17: March Alert!!!
Message 18: More on march.
Message 19: Diputado not coming
Message 20: Arnaldo Tupiza death

The following is from Chantal. Sorry for the cross postings to those of you who already have this.



Wednesday, 13 September 1995

Dear CDF Officials and Friends:

I must with deepest regret inform you of the death at approximately noon, today, of our beloved don Arnaldo Tupiza, employee and representative of the Charles Darwin Research Station in Isabela, Galapagos, for 25 years.

Don Tupiza had been in the highlands in the morning, working on the children's scalesia forest and agroforestry project with Jacinto Gordillo and Scott Shouse. Like the rest of CDRS, he and Jacinto were not about to let the Strike stop them from doing the work they love.

Don Tupiza rode the motorcycle down to town, and on a curve in the road was hit by a truck owned by Dora Gruber and don Gil. Tupiza was using the motorcycle primarily because he did not have access to the GNPS vehicle, which was being held by the Isabela Strike Committee.

As I write, we still have not been able to contact don Jacinto Gordillo, and we are concerned about how he will react to the loss of his best friend and faithful field companion. At first we were told that the strikers would not cooperate with items for don Tupiza's burial, but apparently they did allow GNPS personnel to enter their office and take their vehicle to assist with making arrangements.

I will be going to Isabela tomorrow with a delegation of don Tupiza's colleagues and students from CDRS. It is a tough time to leave CDRS (Andre will stay as Director Encargado), but we must have the human decency to publicly mourn a man as special as Tupiza. The environmental education department will prepare several special radio programs about him, his life, his contributions, and his special stewardship in Isabela.

Howard, what do you think of the idea of part of a Noticias dedicated to Tupiza, with articles (short) by people who best knew him in the field, whom he helped with their reserach or theses, etc? I'll bet we all have our favorite Tupiza stories that we should tell.

As you can imagine, we are very busy with the details of writing the "acuerdo de condolencia", obtaining a casket and formalin, transport to Isabela (the Beagle is working elsewhere), emergency funds for the family (no one has funds due to the Strike), and many other details.

I have received many messages from several of you on a variety of important topics in the last 2 days, and I apologize for not answering yet. Please have patience with me, I will answer when I return. Every little thing we do takes 2 or 3 times as long, with the strikers still in control of our entrance, and I must ask you to be understanding of the delays.

May don Arnaldo rest in peace.


Chantal M. Blanton, Ph.D.
Director - CDRS - Galapagos

Three dedicated stewards of Galapagos

Three dedicated stewards of Galapagos (right to left): don Jacinto Gordillo, don Arnaldo Tupiza (inset), and don Pedro Cartagena. Throughout their lives they have worked to conserve the tortoises and other wildlife of the Galapagos.

Don Arnaldo Tupiza died during the strike, while on a mission to work in the
Children's Forest of scalesia trees endemic to the highlands of Isabela island.