Journalists from the New York Times and a prestigious Swedish gourmet magazine visited the Mariquina coast for two days to promote the examples of innovative gastronomy seen from the perspective of local culture and the sustainability of local communities. The meeting was also attended by professionals and advisers of the Valdivian Coastal Reserve.
Rodolfo Guzmán, a renowned Chilean chef, along with a team made up by Oliver Strand, one of the most influential journalists in the US gastronomic press, Charlotta Jorgensen, publisher of the Swedish Food Magazine (2012 winner of Gourmand Awards for the best culinary publication), and Per Anders Jörgensen, one of the world’s best food photographers, visited the Valdivia and Mariquina coasts for two days in order to see firsthand how the Region’s culinary traditions are rescued in a sustainable manner and in a way that is compatible with the environment.
Authorities in the traditional water “toast” to inaugurate the project
Thanks to the decisive contribution of The Nature Conservancy donating land and water rights, 169 families living in the coastal area of Corral managed to complete this project financed by FNDR Government funds and carried out by the Department of Water Works of the Ministry of Public Works (MOP).
A coverage that initially contemplated 141 Chaihuín families but then added another 28 from Huiro, making up the universe of beneficiaries of the new Rural Drinking Water (APR) project in the coastal area of Corral.
Construction was excuted by the Department of Water Works of the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) involving an investment of 721 million CLP (± USD 1,2 M) contributed by FNDR funds.
Volunteers at the Chaihuín beach clean-up
Volunteers of Universidad Austral and sportspeople from Pueblito Expediciones, with the support of The Nature Conservancy and the Municipality of Corral, carried out an extensive cleaning operation of Coral beaches between March 28 and April 1 of this year. After a heavy influx of summer visitors and tourists, the beaches had become evidently very contaminated.
The alarm was sounded by an inhabitant of Cadillal Bajo, Adela Arriaza, who, some weeks ago spent a weekend on the Colún beach finding there a distressing sight. She immediately contacted the Valdivian Coastal Reserve telling them of her discomfort with the situation.
The Nature Conservancy, manager of the Valdivian Coastal Reserve, the Regional Government of the Los Rios Region and the Municipality of Corral launched the first footpath with universal accessibility within a protected area in the region and also signed an understanding agreement to make the Chaihuín beach more accessible and the first accesible area of this type in the country.
It was a special day. Not only was the Los Colmillos Footpath being launched in Chaihuin, the first inclusive footpath in a protected area in the Los Rios Region, the Valdivian Coastal Reserve, but also an agreement promoted by The Nature Conservancy with the Regional Government, the Department of Public Works, Sernatur, Senadis, the National Forest Corporation and the Municipality of Corral was being signed. This agreement is soon to transform the Chaihuín Beach into the first beach with universal access in the whole country.
The group on their way to the sea lion colony at Huiro
As part of the Senior Citizen Vacation Program offered by the National Tourist Service (SERNATUR), a group of 30 seniors openened this year's visiting season with a visit the Los Colmillos Footpath and the sea lions breeding grounds at Huiro, in the Valdivian Coastal Reserve, a private protected area managed by The Nature Conservancy and supported by BHP Billiton.
As of the second semester of 2013, and as a way of diversifying the touristic alternatives on offer to seniors who visit the region with the SERNATUR Senior citizen Vacation Program, Aboard, a travel agency, has been incorporating the Valdivian Coastal Reserve into its list of places to visit.
The visitors in front of the administration building
Twelve teachers and researchers from the College of Forestry of the Oregon State University of the United States, made a technical visit to the Valdivian Coastal Reserve, a private protected area managed by The Nature Conservancy and supported by BHP Billiton.
Twelve pre- and post graduate students and teachers from the Oregon State University (OSU) partook in an intensive program of activities in the Los Rios Region that included academic activities and visits to the area aimed at getting to know the large diversity of forest environments existing in the region. The visit included a one-day trip to some of the Valdivian Coastal Reserve footpaths and to similar areas where native forest restoration projects are being implemented.
The students at the Chaihuin beach walk path
A group of 22 second-year Marine Biology students from the Universidad Austral of Chile visited the Valdivian Coastal Reserve, a private protected area managed by The Nature Conservancy, for a first-hand study of the Reserve's various marine conservation projects.
The students who participate in the UACh Marine Biology course “Tour of marine environments”, organized by professor Dr. Ricardo Giesecke, visited the Valdivian Coastal Reserve for the third year consecutive.
The objective is to aquire a more in-depth knowledge of the project The Nature Conservancy has been developing for over a decade in this privately-owned protected area.