Chile cultural vacation, People of the Atacama

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Chile cultural vacation, People of the Atacama

Environment

Our local partner is an "Ayllu" which means a model of Andean social organisation that is based in a certain territory. Its main feature is that it shares kinship and practices community activities, such as farming and grazing. This association is composed of a group of men and women of the Atacama culture who value their land and wildlife and offer a community-based tourism product through a range of activities that exhibit true cultural authenticity. The community is highly sensitive to the environment and the Tour programmes are run with many environmental processes in place. The activities are traditional and do not involve mechanised processes or vehicles – treks, farming animals and crops. All waste materials are collected and disposed of without leaving a footprint.

We use Haramaksi which is accommodation developed and run by the Lickan Antay people. Haramaksi is located in the Ayllu de Coyo in San Pedro de Atacama and has been developed with the intention of giving a traditional experience directly from the local people. It is for people who want to visit the area and understand more about the Atacameña culture. Haramaksi's services are oriented towards the development of local rural tourism and offer ethnic tourism within a community.The rooms are typical atacameñas, constructed with adobe, straw, canes, beams of carob tree and chañar. There are single or double rooms with private bathrooms and hot water. A typical local breakfast is offered and bonfires are lit at night in an outdoor dining room. The menus use local products, such as: pear juice, quinces, casserole, pataska and kneaded bread.

Haramaksi offers simple but comfortable and authentic accommodation, but you will feel fully immersed in the local culture for a really enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Community

Our partner company is a group of men and women of the Lickan Antay (Atacameña) culture that have decided to integrate their activities around a "community tourism product”. Their Association was formally constituted on May 5 2009 in the form of an Indigenous Association, in accordance with Chilean Law.

For many years, Atacamenian Indigenous communities have experienced the presence of a pretty dynamic tourism industry in their territory. Tourism businesses have operated in the localities and many tourists have enjoyed the local hospitality, but the local people have not been fully involved in these activities. This has not allowed for the development of sustainable tourism in the area or allowed community members to be key deliverers in Tourism activity.

So they decided to participate directly in tourism activities, as an opportunity to develop traditional activities, keeping the culture alive while improving their standard of living. Their mission is to trade a genuine cultural product, while earning a return that allows income distribution among the community participants, which will contribute effectively in raising standards of living. This is alongside ensuring visitors enjoy an unforgettable experience.

Today their Association is made up of 27 partners and community members that operate in the region of Antofagasta in northern Chile, specifically in the Salar de Atacama basin, mainly in the Ayllus* Coyo, Solor and Sequitor, that surround the town of San Pedro de Atacama and the locality of Socaire.

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