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Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity Onlus

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Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity Onlus

After the Tsunami, a New Center for the Fishing Community on Robinson Crusoe Island

Reconstruction on the Chilean island after the 2010 disaster reaches an important milestone

The Juan Fernandez archipelago is 670 kilometers off the coast of the Chilean province of San Antonio. Composed of three islands-Robinson Crusoe, Santa Clara and Alejandro Selkirk-it is a National Park and was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1977. Slow Food launched a Presidium here in 2005 to protect the unique marine ecosystem, preserve traditional fishing and extend the protected area around the island.

The tsunami that hit Robinson Crusoe Island's Cumberland Bay on February 27, 2010, destroyed many houses and other buildings used for public and social services, fishing activities, businesses and tourism. Many fishers lost their homes, boats and fishing equipment, as well as the restaurant and shop where they sold their fish.

Slow Food launched a fundraising campaign to help the fishing community recover from the disaster and start generating income again. Together with the Sindicato Trabajadores Independientes Pescadores Artesanales (STIPA), it was decided to co-fund a project to build a multi-functional meeting center, including new headquarters for STIPA, a room for events and meetings, and a restaurant.

Thanks to the support of the chefs belonging to the Alliance project linking Italian chefs and Slow Food Presidia, and the assistance of the Lighthouse Foundation, the building that will house the new STIPA headquarters was recently completed. Works have already started on the rest of the multi-functional center, and the island community's economic and social activities are gradually picking up again.

"This donation has been hugely helpful," said Julio Chamorro Solis, who runs the STIPA project. "Thanks to this initial intervention we again have a space where we can meet to develop future plans, gather information and communicate with the fishermen and the community in general."

You can also help the fishing community from the Robinson Crusoe Island Seafood Presidium!

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