andbeyond Vira Vira is strongly committed to its local community, the Mapuche people, something that often plays out at the personal level.
This ethos is illustrated in its initiative to solve a local family’s shortage of summer rainwater, something that hampers the growing of both organic produce and baby native trees – an important thread in the Mapuche’s aim to reforest and protect its lands. Working with the Rosario family, the hotel was a catalyst to solve the problem. It approached the REIS Foundation in Santiago to develop plans for a new water collection plant. A lodge guest provided generous funding and Rising Sun, a Santiago-based leader in solar technology, donated new panels. Construction was by the family itself, with the Ruka collecting rainwater and diverting it to a new underground reservoir. Solar panels then generate electricity to pump water to a header tank for a gravity irrigation system. Vira Vira is now building on this success, with plans to raise more funds for new plants, and promote this as part of the lodge’s cultural Mapuche visit and in the school conservation classes it supports.