ONG Toki Heritage and Agro-ecological Farm

ONG Toki Heritage and Agro-ecological Farm

ONG Toki, Heritage and Agro-ecological Farm

ONG TOKI:  The School of Music and the Arts “Toki”, founded by the Rapanui pianist Mahani Teave, has made a name as the first self-sustaining School of Music in Latin America.  Today its doors are open for children and young people who can receive free instruction in playing multiple musical instruments, such as the violin, piano, cello and ukulele, in order to offer them a fully integrated education for their artistic, social and cultural development.

After more than 3 years of labor, the center has been built in the form of a flower with 8 petals in a self-sustaining system that combines basic construction materials with recycled items like aluminum cans, glass bottles and used tires.  In addition, the architecture includes tanks to collect rain water.  From the beginning, an agricultural area was part of the plan to conserve endemic plants and to produce vegetables and fruit for preservation, education and also as a source of income.

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The recent approval of the project “Toki Heritage Farm / Tangata keu-keu henua” (man who works the land) by the Foundation for Agrarian Innovation (FIA) (Chilean Ministry of Agriculture), has given an impetus to the development of the agricultural project through technical assistance and the acquisition of new materials. This idea began with the objective of amplifying the development of the children, teaching them to value agriculture as a primary activity and, at the same time, to rescue some of the ancestral cultivation techniques.

As the project was developing, the rain water accumulation tanks were connected to the school buildings, allowing the planting of some local varieties such as different types of bananas and tubers (sweet potato, taro, manioc).  In the project, heritage methods are combined with modern practices. Both horses and tractors are used to plow, while vermiculture (worm farming) and composting will fertilize the plants organically and control pests within an agro-ecologic system.

The young Rapanui people have been an active part of the project, participating in the construction of ancestral systems, such as the the Manavai (large stone enclosures) and Pū’oka (stone gardens – a type of rocky carpet which covers the soil to a depth of some 40 cm/16 in).  These structures are being used to cultivate the principal traditional Rapanui foods, as well as medicinal plants and other plants like the Mahute which was used to make clothing and the Hauhau, all of which are being preserved through this initiative.

The agro-ecological project is under the leadership of Juan Haoa-Hotus, a co-founder of Toki, in charge of conservation of ancestral  heritage, and the agro-ecologist Juan Carlos Cabrera.  They are trialing systems of cultivation that can serve in reduced spaces but with high productivity, which could later be applied throughout the Island with minimal labor and maintenance.  “Within this modern context, recovering the Pü’oka and the Manavai is a very intelligent form of cultivation.  They make use of the humidity in the soil and the topography of the surroundings.  The stones regenerate the soil, as well.  This is something that has been left aside and needs to be recovered for future generations as part of our identity as Rapanui, ”…indicates Juan Haoa.

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Los Manavai y Pü’oka fueron técnicas y conocimientos tradicionales para la adaptación en momentos de situaciones climáticas extremas como las vividas en Rapa Nui.

The NGO Toki has been able to sustain itself over time thanks to Umanga, an ancestral system of communal labor, with the support of the local families. The personnel of the institution are few and need to always be searching for potential lines of financing.  We invite visitors to Rapa Nui to get to know this unique experience in Sustainable Tourism and learn about Music, Arts, Sustainable Construction, Umanga or collaborative labor and much more.  Entry fees will help to maintain the free classes for the children.  In addition, the visitor can acquire products from the organic garden, souvenirs or even a Toki ukulele as a lovely memory of Rapa Nui.

NGO Toki adheres to the law of tax benefits.  A visitor who wishes to collaborate on a permanent basis can join the Collaborative Friends of Toki by writing to: contacto@tokirapanui.org to find out how to become part of this dream.

Reserva tu visita directamente contactando a / Reserve your visit by contacting Carolina Campos Cellphone.: +569 31957648 / www.tokirapanui.org / Facebook: Toki Rapa Nui / Twitte:r @tokirapanui – Instagram:toki.rapanui – Youtube: ONG Toki  – mail: contacto@tokirapanui.org

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