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Taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore Galapagos, photographer Alyssa Mattei captures the resilient and independent variety of life that co-exists in the delicate island ecosystem.

Written & Photographed by
Alyssa Mattei

It was my once in a lifetime.

It was my once in a lifetime opportunity to spend half of my savings in order to give up my cell phone for a week, spend several days tent camping with no hot water, hang out with a bunch of high schoolers (as an upperclassmen in college) sifting through reptilian poo and pulling up bramble up to my elbows with thorns.

Sound like fun? What if I put it this way;

It was my once in a lifetime to travel to a place I’d wanted to go for over a decade, for more than half of my life; to get hands on experience with park rangers collecting data on Galapagos tortoises; to do a part in helping extirpate invasive plants; to participate in a trip with my high school biology teacher on her last class teaching at that school. To fly over the Andes and swim with sea lions (and sharks!) and most importantly to photograph the resilient, independent variety of species that exist in the Galapagos Island ecosystem; and showcase the lives and culture of this ecological gem on earth.

See more photos from the series in the printed issue - Issue 007, Spring 2020! Available in the Aislin Shop.
Follow Alyssa Mattei on Instagram @alymaphoto.
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