Torres del Paine National Park, located in the extreme south of Chilean Patagonia, is world-renowned for its spectacular views, formidable mountain ranges, and unpredictable weather. Prior to the late 1800s, this hostile environment was solely inhabited by the native fauna of the region, including guanacos, pumas and condors, and the indigenous tribes that braved the harsh weather. These days, a different resident is increasingly common.
The park is now a playground for explorers and a retreat for over 200,000 visitors each year. CONAF, the Chilean National Forest Corporation, expects this figure to increase by over 10% each year. This rapid growth has put an enormous strain on the resources of the park, as well as its neighboring town, Puerto Natales, which serves as a gateway for travelers who wish to experience the wonders of Torres del Paine.
The impacts from visitors over the years can be seen throughout the park. Since 1985, the park has suffered three major forest fires, all of which were man-made by travelers. These fires, uncontrollable due to strong winds and dry vegetation, burned over one fifth of the park’s 242,000 hectares. Additionally, increased foot traffic along the iconic W and Circuit treks has put the trails in need of repair and better infrastructure, but the region lacks both financial and human resource support.
There are numerous, ongoing efforts led by a diverse list of dedicated individuals and organizations to restore the health of Torres del Paine National Park, but with such a massive geographical area and increasing strain on resources, it is a long and slow process.
That is the role of the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund. Through traveler-supported sustainability initiatives, the Fund enables travelers to become a positive economic and ecological force for good in the park and in the region.
The Fund’s mission is to enhance both the visitor experience and the long-term health of Torres del Paine and its surrounding communities through action projects supported by travelers and the businesses that cater to them.
We welcome you to join us in this mission. 100% of all donations made will go directly to sustainability initiatives that support the park and surrounding communities. You can trust that your generosity will have a direct, indirect, and induced positive impact on the legacy of this destination long after your stay.
Is for Torres del Paine National Park to become a world-class destination where visitors work in parallel with residents to promote lasting conservation of natural and cultural assets through travel and tourism
Emily leads development and project implementation for the Legacy Fund, guiding investments that preserve and celebrate this spectacular destination. She has extensive experience with international development programs and has spent the previous ten years working with communities, NGOs, governments and businesses to enhance the economic and environmental vitality of rural areas. Emily's areas of specialization include protected area tourism management, project and organizational management; monitoring and evaluation; research, capacity building and training.
Prior to joining the Legacy Fund, Emily led a team of six at Green Empowerment to expand renewable energy and water access in remote regions of Latin America and Southeast Asia. She received a BA from Pomona College in international relations and an MA in international policy studies from Stanford University, where she was also a researcher at the Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law.
Emily loves fly-fishing, hiking, and camping with her family and two dogs, Wilson and Kenny. When not off exploring rivers and mountains, she is most likely watching her beloved hometown sports teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers or Penguins.
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