Friends of the Parks program

One of the most important factors in the long-term fate of protected areas is the investment of nearby communities. With this in mind, we’ve developed diverse initiatives that promote these local communities’ connection to, and identification with, this rich natural heritage.

These projects have taken many forms. But in general, they seek to foster communities’ connection to the concept of conservation and the natural beauty that surrounds them. Past projects include the creation of campsites and trails for communities to enjoy, the organization of folkloric festivals, the beautification of the town of El Amarillo, the Outdoor Education Program in Patagonia National Park, and the planting of organic gardens at rural schools near Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park.

We’ve also led diverse informational projects in collaboration with local leaders, helping to inform citizens about the parks’ different benefits. This has included radio programs, the publication of books and graphics, and more. These efforts have helped us build alliances with local people, NGOs, and government entities, working together to support the conservation cause.

Currently, we’re implementing a community outreach program all along the Route of Parks of Patagonia, with the goal of strengthening the relationships between the communities and their nearby parks. These efforts will bolster these communities’ connection to their natural surroundings, increase awareness of both natural and cultural heritage, and instill a sense of belonging and pride. Our end goal is always to empower the community so that community members take ownership and guardianship over parks they recognize as their own.