CERRO VIEJO ECOTOURISM Watershed basin restauration in in Mediterranean Central Chile.

CERRO VIEJO ECOTOURISM Watershed basin restauration in in Mediterranean Central Chile.

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

It is one of the most threatened ecosystems by the desertification in South America- the Mediterranean of Central Chile- hence we have started a eco touristic project, Cerro Viejo at the Cuenca del estero Puangue, based on a degradated territory, integrating the restorations of the environment, scientific investigation, enviromental technology, public and private management and education of the territory and the conservation of this important continental aquifer. The proyecto is based on generating a quality space of recreation and education outdoors, accesible for the national community. Incorporating the local communities and the general population.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Based at the heart of the vulnerable ecosystems of the mediterranean central Chile, Cerro Viejo has aquifer natural characterustics of great ecological value, making it onw of the most representative naturalmediterrenan ecosystems of Southamerica. Despite the excellent conditions of the waters and its biological richness, this area has been affected by the intense use of its natural resources by the local and natural population. Given the intense agricultural activity, the pasturing and the use of carbon, there has been a loss of forest ecosystems. Hence, these have become more aris, and there has been a loss of wáter which will greatly affect the local communities in the years to come. In 33 years, a 99% of the native forests have developed serious problems of water availability.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

This project provides an innovative model of managing public-private ecotourism, whose objective is to revert the deteriorated process of the hydro biological ecosystem of the Chilean Mediterranean, promoting the difficult situation of the aquifers, providing the opportunity to the visitants and hthe locals to benefit from this type of tourism, taking valuing these sites like a natural unique, vulnerable, scenery that requires the active participation of the community. The initiative has been able to transform the place into a referent of conservation of biodiversity, providing the opportunity to reflect upon the consequences of the desertification of Central Chile, serving as a model of sustainable management for these types of environments. The project counts with the eco-touristic infrastructure, a center of investigation and edication for the Biodiversidad y Prevención de la Desertificación (CIB), where studies are developed and supported related to ecosystems –both aquatic and terrestrial, executing educational programs for the community based on the Exploración Naturalista (model designed by the author in 1990). By means of this management, it is expected to increase de availability and quality of the natural waters and the streams that feed Estero Puangue and its biodiversity. The initiative is based in the development of a eco-touristic strategy of conservation of waters and biodiversity, attracting participation of private and public actors, as an unique alternative to stop de deterioration and hence the threat that lies on the quality of life of the local communities.
About You
Ecoturismo Cerro Viejo
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Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



Cerro Viejo


, VS

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Ecoturismo Cerro Viejo

Organization Phone

56 2 835 97 20

Organization Address

Ohiggins 1136, Curacaví, Región Metropolitana Chile

Organization Country

, VS

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, VS

Would you like to participate in the MIF Opportunity 2010?


Do you have a patent for this idea?

What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?

The impact has been very important given that many people that did contribute to the deterioration of the venue through a non-restricted visit, have been incorporated in the process of improving the enviromantal aspect of the place, as a part of the proposal and are being benefitted by the services of low economic value and high quality (like Kayak, trekking outdoor education amongst others).
One important contribution is related to the fact that Cierro Viejo is an eco-touristic project with all its attributed linked to two main cities of Chile (Santiago y Valparaíso), this being an initiative of unique characteristics for this type of ecosystem and with a coverage for all publics, without leaving aside people with lower incomes that see eco tourism being publicizes in other regions of the country, but regard it as economically restrictive for them.
On the other hand, the project provides an instance by which people can get closet o tourism, in a way that it they educate themselves on sustainable services In this matter, the impacto n relevant actors is emphasized such as tourism agencies, local operators, local communities and specially universities and technical institutes that are places where people are formed on tourism and sustainability, with a real connection to the activity of eco tourism.
Another important impact has been the re-valorization of the touristic area, which has benefited the local communities of the project.


• Asume the responsibility of organizing a territory emphasing the participation of local and regional authorities;
• Study of the process of deterioration and posterior cleaning of the Estero.
• Launching a municipal bill.
• Solicitation and achievment for the first “ Ribera para Ecoturismo del país”;
• Postulation for State and Private funds for the construction of infrastructure;
• Integration of science and technology;
• Development of education and restauration programs;
• Quality Services for Eco Tourism;
• Coordination between tourist agencies and universities and centers of technical formation;
• Elaboration of a eco-marketing program, as well as participation in seminars and courses;


• Riberas del estero Puangue en la V Región, regulated by Ecoturismo;
• Good quality infrastructure, coherent with the principles of sustainability and ecotourism;
• An important quantity of people visit the year annually and recognize the efforts made in terms of conservation;
• Important links with the centers of investigation and education;
• Referent of the conservation in the “mediterráneo en Chile”;
• Contribute to the diffusion of the effective values of ecosystems, the importance of climate change and the effect it has on ecosystems and the human population.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

YEAR 1.- Improve the difusión. Explain the benefits to a larger public. Improve the scientif and educational equipment.
YEAR 2.- Generate an increase in the productive networks related to the project, to a larger number of tourist operators and local communites. Improve the access to Santiago
Año 3.- Replication to the model in the lower area of the “estero” corresponding to the Región Metropolitana.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Aplication of minery exploitation or the construction of a tank that would benefit only a few.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$100 ‐ 1000

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy or introduce models and tools that benefit the tourism sector in general?


What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.

Bioma - Cerro Viejo

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

They are essential given that they sustain the project in the legal areas in the case of the regional government, and the productive side in the case of the tourism sector which are firms and small operators.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1.- Improve the diffusion of the project –nationally and internationally;
2.- Improve the education and cientific equipment;
3.- Have support to develop social programs;

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

I had been working in the conservation of the South of Chile and once I visited Cerro Viejo I couls see for myself the terrible state of the conservation and the high vulnerability it was in –and hence how the mediterranean ecosystems in Chile were highly affected. It was then when I decided to accept the invitation of the Montes Lahaye family to start the recuperation and valuing process of these territory.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Luis Valladares, biologist, enviromentalist, has developed sustainability projects in 5 regions of Chile. He studies at the Universidad de Talca and a specialization at the Universidad de Santiago. He has been an environmentalist consultant for 15 years and a university profesor, forming professionals in Ecoturismo.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Web Search (e.g., Google or Yahoo)

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

No más de 50 palabras

MIF Opportunity 2010
Has your organization been legally constituted or registered in your country or one of your target countries for at least three years?


Does the applicant organization have sufficient financial resources to guarantee the co-financing required by MIF during the execution period of the project? (This amounts to at least 50% of the project’s total budget with 25% in cash and 25% in-kind.)


Does the applicant organization have experience managing projects co-financed by international organizations? Please describe below

No, only national ones (CORFO)

Please classify the applicant organization according to the options below

Research Institution

What problem-area does your project address?

Access to markets, Access to financing.

How will your project address this problem?

Given today’s threats on “dulceacuícolas” ecosystems in Chile, given the lifting of tanks, the hydroelectrically dams, etc it is necessary to demonstrate that the conservation by means of eco tourism is an efficient tool that gives way to sustainability and generates economic permanent value.

Who is benefited by the initiative? (Please highlight the type and number of beneficiaries, and their role in the tourism value-chain.)

All the comunities in the Región Metropolitana de Valparaíso, two of the most populated centers of Chile, for which Eco Tourism is not accesoble given that the eco touristic projects lie in other regions and are economically restrictive. Institutions that require natural spaces with recreational and educational projects that value enviromental issues, such as universities with technical courses, families and tourists who are nature lovers.

How will the project's results assist the region’s tourism sector and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises?

Today Cierro viejo is a project that is recognized as a center of conservation and restauration of the native ecosystems. Its strengthening generates an Eco Touristic cluster unique in the country that will integrate all the local communities in a decisive manner.

A. Total Budget (100%)


B. MIF Contribution (up to 50% of total budget and US$. 500.000 max)


C. Cash co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)


D. In kind co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)