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A. Conservation work at Nature Park near Santiago
Two protected areas near Santiago city and next to the magnificent Andes Mountain range are in need of protection and conservation. A local organization working with support of the Chilean Government contributes by building infrastructure, mappings and trails that will turn this areas into public ares enabling locals to visit, acknowledge and value this natural treasures.
Project work: work on signage, reforestation, trail mapping, maintenance of public spaces, conservation of sites with cultural and natural value.
B. Conservation work in a National Park in northern Chile and community work in surroundings
Many towns in the region surrounding Putre, near the Bolivian border are practically isolated due to their distinct geographical situation: lying at 4500 m. high and more than 1 or 2 hours away from the closest town with public services, Putre. Therefore their survival is based on the goods they produce, llama breeding, handcrafts and help from government and volunteers. The town of Parinacota, declared a National Monument by the Chilean government, has a population on around 150 people. One of the most impressive sceneries in Chile, the Lauca National Park is close by.
Project work: environmental work at Lauca National park, community work at small communities surroundings the park, mending roofs of local houses, community work in the town of Putre.
C. Support the local community and work on Conservation in a Nature Reserve in Northern Patagonia
This unique Reserve is made up of the Earth’s oldest tree species, the giant conifer Araucaria. The 1500-acre preserve is all that remains of the great forest that once covered all of the local valleys. Nestled amongst the forest, there are a dozen lagoons, rimmed by jagged rock peaks and dormant cinder cones, and the forest is inhabited by puma, wildcat, rare marsupials, fox, condor, miniature deer and birds. Work is needed in order to maintain park trails and infrastructure as well as working on projects to link the local community with the Reserve so they can learn sustainable practices and how the can benefit from it.
Project work: Infrastructure and monitoring of animals, working in workshops to educate the local community.
D. Work with northern Atacama communities in projects aiming to self-sustain and maintain their cultural heritage
The north of Chile is a very distinctive from other places in the world, attracting visitors from all over: some have said this region resembles the surface of Mars. The region´s main touristy spot, San Pedro de Atacama, receives many foreign visitors all year round, though surrounding it, some unnoticed little villages belonging to different indigenous and rural communities do not still profit from this activity and struggle to self-sustain. A project has been started to create a network between this communities. Maintaining their cultural and historical heritage is very important to encourage visitors to get to these towns and create an income for many families living there. Some of this heritage exists in the form of ancient ruins and petro glyphs which are images created by removing part of rock surfaces. Some petro glyphs are thought to be astronomical markers, maps and other forms of symbolic communicating or a by-product of other rituals. Part of the project´s objective is the maintenance and conservation, together with the local community, of those images and ruins and designing foot paths for the visitors around those areas.
Project work: supporting the community in sustainable tourism projects to allow them to show their cultural heritage and receive an income.
E. Help put up sustainable gardens for a rural schools south of Santiago
South of Santiago in the Maule region, many rural communities work hard daily to provide for their families. In this region some non-profit and government organizations support rural families but providing them with knowledge on farming for self subsistence. Small rural schools are a perfect place to start teaching families how to create sustainable gardens. English teaching is also required at the school, so that children won´t be at a disadvantage when moving to secondary school.
Project work: building sustainable gardens for a rurals school.
F. Work on sustainable tourism projects with indigenous communities in Nothern Patagonia near Osorno
Many rural communities of indigenous descent in the South of Chile near Osorno are starting to turn to ecotourism as a way to receive an income to sustain their families. At the moment, their survival depends on agriculture, cattle breeding and fishing. There are also many local natural resources and cultural heritage this communities can make use of to promote the region and show visitors. These communities are undergoing a process of training to learn about sustainable tourism in order to self sustain and promote activities in nature based ethno tourism.
Project work: supporting the community in sustainable tourism projects to allow an indigenous community to show their cultural heritage and receive an income.
G. Work on “eco camps” and farming in Patagonia
In southern Patagonia, many communities live in isolation and they are pretty much disconnected from the rest of the world, so much that sometimes it looks like they belong to another country. Accessibility is also an issue. A foundation has been just set up in this area to help local communities develop in a sustainable way. The first stages of their work are teaching children about sustainability and ecology in “eco camps” and also working on farming to grow native species for reforestation and teach the local communities and school children about techniques to produce vegetables in an organic way, just as their ancestors did before.
Project work: working in eco camps, working in model garden and farms to teach local communities and school children.
H. Volunteer with a Fair Trade Organisation
In Temuco, a Fair Trade Foundation works to help and support 230 local Indigenous Mapuches, indigenous land protection, and forestation projects. The Mapuche are an indigenous population, originally living in the South of Chile and Argentina. Their name means “people of the earth”, the language spoken is Mapudungun. Some of the Mapuches in the South of the country managed to resist the Spanish conquerors for 300 years. Today they only represent 4% of the Chilean population. Many of them live in cities, but keep in strong connection with their original communities and still fight for the acknowledgement of their territories and culture.