UT Pan American students to set sail for Galapagos Islands
By Brig Lopez III, Informational Writer II
Posted: 05/11/1999
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EDINBURG — A small group of students attending the College of Business Administration at The University of Texas-Pan American will set sail June 20 for the Galapagos Islands on an extended field trip studying various businesses along the way.

“This is going to be a trip of a lifetime for these student,” said Dr. William Thompson, management and marketing professor at UTPA, who will also be accompanying the students on the journey. “It’s going to give them a real international experience, one that they will remember for the rest of their life.”

According to Thompson, some 12 students will undertake the 21-day journey to the South Pacific, studying business marketing and international trade as they go.

“The purpose of this field trip is so that these students can get a real understanding of international business,” Thompson said. “This trip will give them the opportunity to see the day-to-day operations and get a true understanding of how these businesses operate.”

The students adventure will begin at the Port of New Orleans in Louisiana.

“We will be flying into New Orleans where we will begin our study with a visit to one of the largest ports in world,” Thompson said. “We will be getting a first-hand study of the latest technology in shipping and management at this port.”

The group will then set sail the following day to Guayaquil, Ecuador, passing through the Panama Canal en route to one of the countries largest banana plantations.

Guayaquil which lies on top of the equator on the Pacific side of South America, is surrounded by Colombia, Peru and the ocean. Ecuador claims the Galapagos Islands, which are located some 500 miles off the coast.

“We will be visiting a plantation which produces and exports 40 percent of the countries bananas,” Thompson said.

After spending a few days in Guayaquil, the group will then depart on a 40-foot yacht to the Galapagos Islands, which is known to most people from Charles Darwin and his voyage on the Beagle in 1835.

“We are hoping to spend about 5-6 days on the island, taking in the scenery and hopefully doing a little snorkeling among the turtles and the penguins,” Thompson said. “This trip will prove to be an adventure.”

The UTPA group then plans to return to Ecuador, visiting government leaders and possibly the president in Quito, the country’s capital, before returning back to the United States.

For more information on the trip, contact Thompson at 956/381-2827.