The US World Monuments Fund, together with Chile’s forestry agency CONAF, has designed a visitors’ centre on Easter Island to enhance sustainable tourism. The project, valued at more than 460.000 USD, will be built at the entrance to the ceremonial village of Orongo.
The Orongo village is one of the most prominent archaeological sites visited on the Island and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
The plan includes renovating much of the existing centre and installing sustainable wind and solar generators to power it. Rainwater will be gathered and recycled as part of the water system.
Easter Island is a five-hour plane ride directly west of Chile and in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In 1888, the Island was annexed and became part of Chile’s National territory.
Today Easter Island is a premier destination for archaeological tourism worldwide.
Easter Island is also cited by US scientist/academic Jared Diamond as a tragic example of what can happen to an isolated civilization that abuses its environment.
For an extremely interesting account of how civilization on Easter Island collapsed in 900 A.D., read Chapter 2 of Diamond’s book “Collapse,” the sequel to his Pulitzer Prize winning work “Guns, Germs and Steel.”
By Charles Pham - Santiago Times