Torres del Paine Legacy Fund Projects

The Legacy Fund selects projects based on their ability to enact positive social and environmental impacts in Torres del Paine and Puerto Natales.

We are very thankful for the continued efforts provided by local leaders who are managing the day-to-day activities of each of these projects.

Current Projects

  • Repair the ecosystem and minimize visitor impacts
    • Reforestation in Torres del Paine

      Reforestation in Torres del Paine

      A coordinated effort, on behalf of both public and private landowners, to restore and strengthen the native ecosystem of the Torres del Paine National Park after the damage caused by the three devastating fires since 2005.

      Known for its immense beauty and varied landscape, the Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most traveled to destinations in Chile. However, since 2005, environmental tragedy has struck the park three times. Three different man-made fires have scorched the park and resulted in the loss of over 30,000 hectares of land or 1/6th of the entire park land.

      Read more
  • Update and improve tourism infrastructure
    • Torres del Paine Trail Restoration

      Trail Restoration in Torres del Paine

      Providing needed maintenance to the trail system of Torres del Paine

      Voted as the 5th most beautiful place in the world by National Geographic, Torres del Paine is a trekker’s paradise. Walking the Park’s famous W and O circuit trails is a must for any traveler to the region, providing some of the most incredible and iconic views that Southern Patagonia has to offer.

      These hiking trails are a major draw for the region, attracting over 200,000 visitors each year — a number that is expected to increase up to 15% annually.

      As a result of the concentrated and frequent use of the trail systems, repairs and upkeep are desperately needed. Throughout the Park, there is evidence of places where trekkers have created their own paths in parallel to the official ones. Also known as “shadow trails,” these visitor made paths are often due to a lack of solid infrastructure and impassibility on the main trail. However, both Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF) and Agrupación Medio Ambiental (AMA) Torres del Paine stress the importance of staying on existing trails, no matter their current state. By veering off the trails, visitors can disrupt the natural environment of the park and negatively impact its ecosystem.

      A lack of funding and trail development skills has led to the increased need for repairs on the Torres del Paine trail system. On average, restoration of 100 meters of trail paths costs 20,000,000 CLP, or nearly US $32,900. This includes clearing trails of rocks and fallen branches, as well as the construction of walking bridges to secure safe passage over gullies that are heavily flooded in the spring.

      Support for The Legacy Fund will help to ensure that the trail systems are protected and that new trails are developed in a way that allow for the hundreds of thousands of visitors each year can enjoy the unique and astonishing beauty that is Torres del Paine.

      Torres del Paine Trail Restoration
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  • Support community development
    • Torres del Paine Recycling Project

      The Puerto Natales Recycling Project

      Southern Patagonia’s first-ever long term recycling and reuse system.

      Puerto Natales is home to 20,000 people and welcomes over 200,000 visitors annually. Up until 2010, all of the waste produced from locals and visitors was sent directly to local landfills due to a lack of education and attention paid to waste management and a lack of other available disposal options.

      That is when two owners of a local hostel decided to address the problem. Having seen successful recycling programs in other destinations, they decided to convert a space on their property to serve as a temporary storage facility for the town’s recycling.  Organizing regular recycling days each month, the hostel owners drove throughout town collecting bottles and cans from local tourism businesses. When enough material was available to fill a shipping container, it was brought down to the local port to be added to existing cargo headed weekly on a ferry to Puerto Montt - home of the closest recycling facility, over 2,000 kilometers North.

      The project has been so successful that the Puerto Natales Municipality has now assumed management of it. In addition to the recycling program, reuse efforts are being developed including a project that converts old tents into shopping bags, thereby limiting local plastic bag consumption.

      The short-term goal of the project is to increase residents’ awareness of the program, including why it is important to participate, and how to get involved. As participation increases, the volume of recyclable materials will grow, so plans are also in place to create a larger temporary storage facility in town and increase the frequency of shipments to the Puerto Montt facility.

      The long-term goal of the project is develop a modern recycling facility in Puerto Natales that will service the entire Magallanes region.

      As tourism continues to grow in the region, it will become more and more important for the area to have systems in place to be able to manage the influx of people and the waste that they create.

      UPDATE: The Legacy Fund provided a $2,500 grant to Muninatales in June of 2015 to purchase and install the first five clean points in Puerto Natales

      Torres del Paine Recycling
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  • Enhance recreation opportunities and tourism product
    • Torres del Paine Cultural Center of Art and Gastronomy in Puerto Natales

      Cultural Center of Art and Gastronomy in Puerto Natales

      El Centro Cultural Galpón Patagonia is the first ever local art and cultural-based community events venue in Puerto Natales.

      Overlooking the Golfo Almirante Montt, the Galpón is located in the historic Braun-Blanchard warehouse. This warehouse holds historical significance to Puerto Natales. In 1919, local leaders gathered here to orchestrate the “Worker’s Revolt in Puerto Bories and Puerto Natales” - a meeting that would ignite the 1920’s Patagonian Rebellion.

      Since that time the building has served many purposes. Now, almost a century after the historic meeting, what once supported the worker’s uprising now provides invaluable arts and cultural opportunities to the region.

      The Galpón is curated by Marcela Romagnoli, a Chilean sculptor known for her work including a sculpture of two people swinging in the wind on the Puerto Natales coastline, titled “Amantes de Viento en Natales.”

      After returning to Puerto Natales in September 2014, to participate in the Patagonia International Marathon, Marcela came across the empty Galpón and was inspired to transform the almost forgotten warehouse into a new cultural asset for the community. She enlisted the support of Hernan Jofre, a business owner in Puerto Natales and founder of Fundación Patagonia, to secure the space and began contacting artists throughout Chile to donate works of art to be shown on display there. In December of 2014, El Centro Cultural Galpón Patagonia held its grand opening, celebrating the artwork of seven artists from all around Chile. The opening was supported by the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund.

      The Galpón has plans to expand in order to host theater, dance, and cultural events in the space, in addition to the art gallery. This is the first time both visitors and residents of Puerto Natales have had a place to enjoy the culture and arts of the region together. The Torres del Paine Legacy Fund is helping to support the continued growth and development of this center, ensuring it continues to thrive and grow for current and future generations to enjoy.

      UPDATE: The Galpón was the first project supported by the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund, receiving $1,000 in December 2014.

      Torres del Paine Cultural and Arts Center
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Are you interested in having your project supported by the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund?

Our projects are all led by local leaders within Última Esperanza, and we welcome interested individuals and organizations to submit their ideas for us to support. If you are interested in working with the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund please read and submit the attached grant guidelines and application form.

Projects

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