Imagine waking up to the calming sounds of nature, preparing your own food using resources from the land, and walking barefoot through some of the most beautiful landscapes nature has to offer. This sounds like a dream especially at a time when growing urbanization has removed us more and more from nature and its healing abilities.
This was the vision for the founders of Somos Nativos, a foundation that seeks to give the public an opportunity to be at one one with nature.
Somos Nativos has created a network of parks in which nature lovers can enjoy access to natural spaces in a way that is no longer readily available.
The foundation not only encourages physically immersing one in largely untouched land, but also promotes education around how to conserve nature, and the value that preserving ecosystems can offer.
Parks and recreation: Kaikén School Park
Kaiken School Park was the first of the foundation’s parks. About four hours’ drive from Coyhaique, in Chile’s Aysén Region.
The park, which is mostly unaltered by humans, is a breathtaking stretch of 3500 hectares.
It is here that groups of school children or the general public can “camp” out either in a large barn-like warehouse that houses up to 35 beds, or around campsites. There are activities available, including tours of the park (five to six hours) which can be enjoyed over a number of days.
During this time, lessons about the history of the land, its ancestors, the climate, flora and fauna are explored.
Also, visitors are given a glimpse to a time of old, when man was fully reliant on Mother Nature, and all she has to offer.
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Some of the other ways in which visitors are taught includes being encouraged to cook their own food, chop up firewood, fish and do some gardening.
In Summer, there are the pristine lakes in which to swim in.
The park offers a diverse group of guides that include those who are endemic to the land.
Recreationally, expression through movement, music, writing are also part of the program.
“Nativos promotes a different kind of conservation; one that focuses on promoting an ecosystem where forests, rivers, and the fungi realm, the flora and fauna also coexist with a modern human being that needs to return to the forest, to return to slow cooking, to return to long exploration and different expressions in order to rediscover food sovereignty, responsible construction, low-scale livestock farming.
In short, a Neo-Rural culture where ancient and modern ways of doing things meet in pristine territories in order to defend the good life.” says Cristián Fernández, Founder of Nativos.
If you enjoy exploring nature reserves and the forests reducing your ecological footprint, you might also be interested in Quizapú Natural Park, which offers guided tours on horseback.
Kaikén’s Flora and fauna
The predominant species in Kaiken Park is the lenga forest, along with a great variety of fungi are also part of this beautiful ecosystem. Regarding the fauna that can be observed on the trails of the park, there is a great variety of birds, among which you can observe:
- Magellanic Woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus)
- Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
- Caiquén or upland goose (Chloephaga picta)
- Traro (Caracara plancus)
- Condor (Vultur gryphus)
- Buff-necked ibis (Theristicus caudatus)
- Huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus)
Creating a positive impact on nature
As part of the network of parks, Somos Nativos also collaborates with Factory School Park which uses the same concepts and programs found at Kaiken. The 1500 hectare reserve is found in Cochamo, in the Llanquihue Province, Los Lagos Region.
Today, they are promoting two School Parks, Aysén and Cochamó respectively. They are more than 5,000 hectares under DRA (real right of conservation) and with programs that receive more than 1,000 annual quotas for youth and adults.
Guests are taught about conservation, and the ways of the past, highlighting nature’s benefits.
Let’s keep teaching each other about why preserving our ecosystems is crucial, now more than ever!