The Easter Island community has been organized around a sustainable development project that led it to win the National Environmental Award in 2016.
Such is the School of Music and Arts project, built by the Earthship Biotecture Academy. Some characteristics of this peculiar and innovative construction are:
- Approximately 400 national and foreign volunteers participated in the project,
- 1,500 tires filled with cardboard and dirt were reused for the walls,
- 50,000 aluminum cans
- 40,000 bottles
- 12 tons of cardboard.
There are more than 800 square meters built, with a design based on the shape of an 8 petal flower. On the inside, there are seven rooms equipped for various activities and a semi-open hall with capacity for approximately 70 people. On the outside, there is capacity to carry out activities for 400 people with all the transfer services, tourist activities, audio and catering with local gastronomy, thus fulfilling the objective of generating employment for the local community.
The project was born out of an interest among the Rapa Nui community (Easter Island) on ways to promote sustainable actions in order to recover and protect their ancestral culture, preserve the environment and support the future of its inhabitants. This is how the Toki NGO was born, whose work is based on three pillars: (a) protecting the environment, (b) preserving of the archaeological heritage and (c) Social Protection.
Leveraging from the existence of this school, the NGO Toki has launched the “Toki Route” initiative, which aims at business and other organizations using their infrastructure together with providing them an insight on sustainability practices and at the possibility of having professional meetings intertwined with traditional Rapa Nui culture activities.
The goal is to boost the island’s economy, to teach their culture through body painting and ancestral dances workshops, among others, thus enabling also the chance of generating income through the use of the infrastructure.
This work, inaugurated in 2016 and winner of that year’s National Environmental Award, is not only a novel way of generating opportunities by adding value and social commitment to the meetings, but also an example of success on how to organize a community around a sustainable project.