One of Phima Voyages’ missions is to highlight our local partners, indigenous communities or rural entrepreneurs. Therefore, we offer community activities, and even immersion stays within local families.
In Chile we work with several communities, notably the Mapuche (which you will find in Santiago, but also in Pehuenche) and the Lickan Antay in the Atacama desert.
Mapuche community, Graciela at the Ruka Kiñe Pu Liwen
Graciela was born in Lautaro and arrived in Santiago very young, in the 1960s, because her family was landless due to forestry work. She brought her Mapuche culture and traditions to the capital, and transmits them with her unique energy (newen) and wisdom (kimun).
In La Pintana, her community, one of the poorest in Santiago, the Mapuche formed an association and acquired land that allowed them to build the Ruka “Kiñe Pu Liwen” in the middle of the big city, generating a unique space for disconnection. and tranquility.
Graciela fulfills a public relations role within the association and, as part of the many activities it develops, it has set up a health program which promotes sexual education for young people, but also spaces for open and sincere communication, which made it possible to fight against diseases such as AIDS.
Tireless in her work, she discovered in tourism a space of diffusion, where she transmits her knowledge and the history of her family and her culture. She was also able to meet and exchange with many people from different cultures, countries and realities. All these stories, Graciela will share them with you over lunch, prepared with typical ingredients. You also have the opportunity to participate in a weaving workshop, because in addition to everything she does for the community, she is also an artisan.
Valparaiso: City tour with Maximo, a local poet and Comedor 421
Both activities are part of an itinerary that the community of Cerro Santo Domingo has created. This hill is part of the founding district of Valparaíso and has a lot of history. The local community, since the tourists only visited the hills of Alegre and Concepción, decided to create a tourist route in the district and thus enhance the socio-cultural heritage.
The tour begins at Sotomayor Square, opposite the port of Valparaiso, then continues in the Puerto district and “El Comedor 421″ (a social canteen managed by the neighbors). Next to El Comedor is La Matriz Church, a national monument and a meeting place for neighbors. The whole visit is accompanied by Máximo, a poet from the neighborhood and involved in the creation of this itinerary. Maximo will tell you all the details of the neighborhood, its history and what it’s like to live there.
After anecdotes, stories, conversations with different neighbors, you arrive at the house of La Chinita, another neighbor who invites you for lunch at her house, a typical dish of downtown cuisine. She worked for many years in different restaurants and when she was offered to participate in the itinerary, she immediately agreed to receive travelers at home and prepare traditional meals.
Atacama Desert – different activities with the Lickan Antay
Wildo and the cultivation of corn and alfalfa
Wildo lives with his wife in the community of Coyo. It is in this little oasis where they learned ancestral techniques to use the little water from the desert and create orchards with various plants. He will teach you irrigation techniques, show you the community and tell you all about the importance of the Malku (hills) and their meaning in cosmology.
In addition, Wilder will show you the different types of corn they use and their different preparations. Finally, he will give us an example of the typical Lickan Antay ceremonies.
Ancestral hike with Sandra and Carlos
Sandra and Carlos are husband and wife. They have lived with their lamas and other animals in the Coyo community for years. The Lickan Antay were a community that was nomadic for a long time because of their trading relationships.
During the sunsets, Sandra or Carlos tell travelers all the curiosities of this ancient custom of walking in the desert with the lamas, while each of you guides (or not?) these beautiful animals on the outskirts of Coyo, looking at the intense desert colors as the sun sets.
Pehuenche community – different activities with the Mapuche
Weaving and spinning workshop, homestay
Alex and Nataly, as well as Milla Wanglen (which means “golden star” in Mapuche), their 4 year old daughter, welcome you to this community surrounded by magnificent Araucarias and immaculate nature.
You will feel their hospitality right upon your arrival and conversation engages quickly. As a family, they lived for a while in Temuco, but after a year and a half, they felt the need to return to their place of origin. They wanted to be close to their family and their land, surrounded by mountains. Here they take care of their animals, warm themselves by the fire of their trees and share the love and culture of their Mapuche Pehuenche community.
The place is of unsurpassed beauty, teeming with native trees such as Pehuen (Araucaria), Ñire, Lenga and Coihüe, among others. In winter, you can enjoy the whiteness and calm of the snow in the mountains, which covers every corner that the view can reach.
The activities they develop are hikes along the countless paths. Precisely where ancestral wisdom is transmitted in relation to nature. Before starting each hike, they ask permission from the spirits of the hills, lakes and nature. They’ll show you the herbs they use to heal themselves, and they tell about their authentic lifestyle.
When night falls, by the fire and with a very hot mate (infusion), Don Crescencio tells the story of the community, since their expulsion. You will learn how they fought to return to their land, even risking their lives during the protests. He gives you his untold stories during dictatorship. You will be amazed at the incredible end which gives them back their land and manages to protect the Araucaria by being declared a National Monument. The conversation develops around the topics and questions raised in the discussion.
These stays in the communities make your trip a unique moment that you will never forget. These are meetings that change our lives!