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  • Easter Island Foundation News

With the help of our members and donors, and especially due to the generosity of the Fraternal Order of Moai (FOM), the Easter Island Foundation was able to award ten scholarships to Rapanui college students for the 2016 academic year.

Award winners who are continuing students in their final year of study include: Oscar Jara Pakomio (Physical Education – FOM Roger Danger Carlson Scholarship); Pechquinco Paola Passalaqua Hucke (Education – Rosita and Nicolas Haoa Haoa Scholarship); Ghislaine Rebecca Tepano Tepano (Commercial Engineering and Finance – FOM Ohana Scholarship); Ma‘ara Teave Atam (Architecture – FOM Scholarship); Americo Loyola Edmunds (Agriculture – FOM Scholarship); and Francisca Martinez Pakarati (Environmental Engineering – The Mana Scholarship for Environmental Studies). Biographies of these continuing students can be found on our website,, and in Rapa Nui Journal 29(1).

Three new students were awarded scholarships for 2016: [End Page 64]

Marari Riroroco Cabezas (Fraternal Order of Moai Scholarship) is studying agronomy at the Universidad de Viña del Mar. Her choice of agriculture as a career was strengthened as a result of studying of professional agricultural technology at the Aldea Educativa on Rapa Nui. The importance of agricultural work caught her attention at an early age because on Rapa Nui, the bulk of both vegetable consumption and livestock comes from abroad (mainly Chile); she feels that it is extremely important to acquire the necessary knowledge so that the Rapanui people can become their own food producers and decrease the amount of food imported to the island.

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Teresita Mihi Tiare Manu-tomatoma Hotus (Fraternal Order of Moai Tangata Manu Scholarship) is studying Engineering in Business Administration and Finance at Universidad Tecnológica de Chile INACAP in Santiago. Teresita’s goal is “to help and contribute significantly to my island and always protect, preserve, and respect our ancestors in our cultural identity.” One of her concerns is controlling immigration without changing the natural, social and cultural environment of the island.

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Francisca Pakomio Maeva Tipanie Villanueva (Haka ‘ara Scholarship) is studying archaeology at the Universidad SEK in Santiago. Francisca has great respect and admiration for her culture and the legacy of her ancestors. “From my childhood I learned how important it is to keep the old traditions of the Rapanui people, and I carry this knowledge wherever I go. During my life I spent time shared with people who have taught me how important it is to keep a deep understanding of our traditions, but since modern times, with increasing transculturation, the Rapanui culture is in danger of getting lost. After experimenting in different fields of study, I decided to pursue archaeology because it is a career path that will preserve the knowledge of ancient cultures. It is also a career that allows field work that is in contact with nature and direct sources left by the ancestors.”

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We are eternally grateful to everyone who donated to our successful EIF Scholarship Program; since the program began in 2002, we have awarded over $150,000 in scholarships to college students of Rapanui ancestry. We want to extend a special maururu to the Fraternal Order of Moai, whose luau at the lake, luau by the Sea, and Chicago Area Tiki Tour events raised funds for six scholarships in 2016. All of our student scholarship winners represent the future of Rapa Nui; the Easter Island Foundation is pleased to be able to help them move forward towards their future career goals.

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EIF and Island Scholarship Committee members with some of the 2016 award winners, (L to R): Americo Loyola Edmunds (Fraternal Order of Moai Award); Viki Haoa (Island Scholarship Committee); Marla Wold (EIF Scholarship Committee Chair); Marari Riroroco Cabezas (Fraternal Order of Moai Award); Teresita Manutomatoma (Fraternal Order of Moai Tangata Manu Award); Natalia Tuki (Island Scholarship Committee); Kiva Teave Atam (sister of Ma‘ara Teave Atam); (Fraternal Order of Moai Award); and Oscar Jara Pakomio (Fraternal Order of Moai Roger Danger Carlson Award).

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