- Easter Island Foundation News
Easter Island Foundation scholarships for 2015 awarded
Providing scholarships to students with Rapanui ancestry who wish to further their education is a mission objective of the Easter Island Foundation. We are thrilled, with the help of our partners and donors, to be able to award eight scholarships in 2015:
Ariki Merino Rapu (Friends of Rapa Nui Scholarship–$2000) is studying medicine at the Universidad de Chile. When he graduates, he wants to return to the island and work at the local hospital and contribute the values and knowledge he has learned from his studies at the university. He is concerned not only about health itself, but also about the health system from a cultural, political, social, and economical point of view. He believes that as a young Rapanui professional, he understands the main needs that their society has, and can work with an innovative vision and opinion to reach the sustainability that Rapanui society needs and contribute to improve the life quality of the community, while maintaining ancestral values. His interests include sports and cultural music, and he treasures the ancestral Rapanui language.
Ma'ara Teave Atam (Fraternal Order of Moai Scholarship–$2000) is studying architecture at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Valparaíso. When she graduates, she would like to return to the island and teach sustainable construction by recycling and reutilizing elements now considered trash. Her dream is to renovate a zone on Rapa Nui called Hanga Hemú, which is now being excavated for basalt rock by MOP (Ministry of Public Works) and CONAF (Corporación Nacional Forestal). Her future vision includes the creation and launching of a sustainable fish production system using natural methods and incorporating her study of architecture. As an indigenous Rapanui, she sees the development of her community primarily from the point of view of welfare, not just the growth of tourism business or development of sports and culture-related activities. She believes that as professionals of the future, the younger generation should assist with sustainable development to help their community.
Americo Loyola Edmunds (EIF Director's Scholarship–$2000) is studying agriculture and livestock technology at the Instituto Profesional Santo Tomas in Viña del Mar. When he graduates, he would like to return to the island and start a greenhouse project to grow and harvest fresh vegetables year-round to maintain a balance of the cost of fresh produce. He feels that one of the most challenging problems facing Rapa Nui today is the lack of fresh water, and as far as growing food, proposes to build small reservoirs adjacent to growing areas to maintain a water supply nearby.
Francisca Martinez Pakarati (The Mana Scholarship for Environmental Studies, supported in 2015 by Pacific Aid Australia and funds raised through Susie Stephen's "Retracing Routledge" Expedition–$2000) is studying environmental engineering at the Instituto Profesional DUOC UC in Valparaíso. Her goal is to improve local knowledge using new technologies. She would like to participate in multidisciplinary teams with local institutions, adapting technical knowledge to the special conditions of Rapa Nui. Her future projects will focus on recycling, seawater pollution, and teaching the island's children how to care for their environment. She believes the greatest challenge to Rapa Nui today is to develop a sustainable tourism industry, because tourism is the most important economic resource. The number of visitors is unbalanced with the local resources, and for that reason, environmental impacts are greater than the internal capacity of the island. Francisca believes the key to this problem is education.
Oscar Jara Pakomio (Fraternal Order of Moai Tangata Manu Scholarship–$2000) is studying physical education and health at Pontificia Universidad Católica in Valparaíso. He chose the career of education because he loves sports, [End Page 78] physical activity, and activities in nature. When he graduates, he wants to return to the island and work towards the creation of recreational activity venues to encourage healthy and active lifestyles to help lessen the effects of obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and diabetes. Oscar sees a need for better education of the Rapanui people, and hopes that those who study abroad will return to Rapa Nui to work in their chosen careers...