The privilege of our location comes with the great responsibility of acting as custodians of the land we have been entrusted with, and as such, there is much to be done. Sustainability is our main purpose.
We have developed a strict environmental policy which ensures that we reach certain standards and continuously raise the bar of sustainable management throughout our operation.
Our policy consists of three main pillars:
- Commitment to the environment
- Support and involvement with local communities
Commitment to the environment
Our sustainability plan isn’t just an effort, it’s a corporate commitment. We understand the fragility of the territories to which we introduce our travelers, and believe in preserving them for future generations.
Sustainability in Recycling: explora performs a conscientious treatment of the wastes it generates, by separating, compacting and stockpiling the various kinds of materials for their later donation to local initiatives such as permaculture. In the case of Rapa Nui, explora works hand in hand with the Oritos Recycling Plant, following a highly-demanding waste-handling plan.
Sustainability in Organic Waste: At our hotels in Atacama and Rapa Nui we handle organic waste through a compost process, committing explora staff in the generation of compost and humus to be used in our organic orchards. A strategy is being developed for 2014 in order to incorporate this initiative to Patagonia, and use the compost generated to contribute to the process of restoring the Forests of Torres del Paine.
Sustainability in Electric Power: From the moment they were conceived, our hotels were designed to maximize the use of natural light which, added to a low-consumption lighting system enables us to optimize the use of electric power in our operation.
Sustainability in Water: Hydration is very necessary when exploring. explora is committed to supplying its travelers with water from the area (rivers, lakes, moisture) through a rigorous water purification system. Additionally, each hotel has a water treatment plant for its later use in the operation.
Sustainability in Leave no trace: Our guides are trained to lead explorations that have no impact at all on the surrounding environment in which we have our operations, always respecting the frailty of the eco-system to which we introduce our travelers.
Sustainability in Forest Restoration: As of 2014, explora, along with Fundación AMA Torres del Paine and the Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF), has committed to an active participation in the reforestation of Torres del Paine Park. Through an agreement generated by the 3 parties, explora will purchase Lenga trees to plant in a sector of the Park adjoining the hotel, turning travelers into active participants both in terms of contributions for the Restoration of the Forest and of milestones of voluntary reforestation along with the team from AMA Torres del Paine.
Support and involvement with local communities
We work with local communities in order to build a better future together.
Jurique Rehabilitation Center: Jurique is a children’s [physical] rehabilitation center. For years, the children attending the center have visited the hot-springs at Termas de Puritama to use their thermal water. In November of 2013 a program was first jointly generated with Fundación Andes Mágico in which children from the Jurique Center were lodged at explora, taking part in the experience along with our travelers, participating in our in-depth explorations with the help and commitment from Andes Mágico. The experience was so successful that the program will continue in years to come.
Internado Andino (Andean Boarding School): After having formed an alliance with the Atacameño People’s Council [Consejo de Pueblos Atacameños], explora annually contributes with different enhancements to the boarding school located in Calama, attended by nearly 50 local children.
Liceo Likan Antai (Likan Antai Public School): Liceo Likan Antai is located 5 minutes from explora Atacama. This public school offers upper studies in Tourism in which explora has actively encouraged Atacameño youngsters to become involved in traineeships at our hotel and influence the future of sustainable tourism in Atacama.
Commitment to the community of Cerro Castillo: explora Patagonia is set in one of the most remote spots in Southern Chile, the Torres del Paine National Park. The nearest village is Cerro Castillo. We have recently begun working hand in hand with local mayor Anahí Cárdenas, in order to carry out initiatives that seek the communitarian development of the village, making contributions and promoting activities with the local boarding school, the hostel and the clinic.
Commitment to the gaucho community: Gauchos populate the South American pampa with their century-old culture featured mainly for their horseback riding skills, tannery work and cattle herding across the territory. From its very beginning, some 20+ years ago, explora has focused on making gauchos a part of our Patagonia programs, helping perpetuate and maintain this relevant cultural figure of the area.
Support of the Tapati Festival: The Tapati is a traditional celebration that takes place in Rapa Nui, in which activities and competitions recreate the ancestral sports of the island. Year after year, explora has made a financial and logistic contribution to the organization of this activity, one of the most relevant cultural milestones on the island.
Terevaka Outreach Program: Brett Shepardson is an internationally renowned archeologist that has spent over 10 years working on archeological research projects of no environmental impact on the island of Rapa Nui. After years of research, he developed an alliance with schools on the island to carry out a 2-week workshop with young local volunteers, called “The Terevaka Archeological Outreach” (TAO). In 2013, explora joined Brett Shepardson’s program, which enabled him to do this workshop along with explora staff, setting up a campsite in the hotel grounds, allowing 15 young local volunteers to participate for 2 weeks, and live the explora experience. Among the resulting research, they gathered important information on the petro glyphs that surround the hotel grounds, and managed to geo-reference many valuable archeological spots through GPS technology. The workshop shall again take place in the following years.
As well as its active role in caring for and preserving the environment, explora works as a platform from which to facilitate the creation and communication of knowledge and research.
We use our facilities not only to introduce our travelers to the great outdoors, but also to share our experience and location with the academic community, putting forward our properties and hosting seminars or lectures.
If you have further enquiries about our Sustainability commitment, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.