Home Institution

University of Richmond

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Chile: Cultural Identity, Social Justice, and Community Development


The term tourism may carry certain negative connotations, particularly when discussing tourism of an indigenous culture. Anthropological research has before studied the foundation of tourism in and the effects of tourism on a community, but the perspective of the community is often absent in this work. This paper contributes to previous said research with an account of the origins and effects of the tourism project named “Naturaleza y Cultura Ancestral en El Lago Budi” of the Mapuche community of Llaguepulli located on the Lago Budi in the Araucanía Region of Southern Chile. The information of this essay was acquired through interviews with community members, seminars of the SIT semester abroad program, and secondary sources. This paper is founded upon descriptions of the terms cultural identity, indigenous tourism, and cultural development with relation to the Mapuche community of Llaguepulli. The investigation illustrates that the community has been able to strengthen their economy to be more self-sustaining and grow more autonomous. The community has reassumed power of their school and now has sovereignty in the curriculum, has reinitiated a commercial exchange with neighboring communities, and plans to construct a medical center and a community bank. Themes of continued investigation of this community tourism project might include the most current development and evolution of the project or the history of the school and its development as an intercultural learning environment.


Community-Based Research | Latin American Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Tourism


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