007 San Pedro de Atacama: an alternative to mass tourism

During our fieldwork in the Atacama region, we engaged in discussions about tourism's impact on places like San Pedro de Atacama. Meeting locals and representatives from Tulor & Beter communities, we explored alternative tourism approaches. Concerns raised by community leader Daniel Chinchilla highlighted issues such as excessive resource consumption, traffic in ancestral areas, and heritage destruction. To address these, we devised a proposal centered on archeological and land stewardship tours, along with establishing a workshop hostel.
Our aim here was to share ideas and concepts that could allow the community of Tulor & Beter to manage their ancestral territory, by regaining control and access over ancestrial and archeological sites.

We see tourism as a significant economic contributor to the villages and communities near the Salar de Atacama. However, we recognize the need for a distinct approach to managing resources, space, and labor organization. This approach is crucial for preserving traditions and customs while also generating revenue opportunities without imposing on the local community.

Full interview with the leader and representative of Tulor & Beter communtity, Daniel Chinchilla. 


The hostel

The proposed accommodation is a shared living space featuring dormitories capable of housing up to 12 individuals. Its intended location is at a crossroads in the southern area of Tulor, strategically positioned for direct access to key routes leading to significant local attractions and the town of San Pedro.

Selecting a hostel as the preferred accommodation is supported by two primary reasons. Firstly, it offers an economically viable option by consolidating multiple guests within a more compact structure, facilitating better management of resources. Secondly, adobe bricks and rammed earth represent the most feasible and sustainable construction technologies, especially in consideration of potential future expansions.

Guests will actively manage and organize the hostel's amenities, including the garden and kitchen, during their stay.


Project info

type: academic, live project
year: 2020
in collaboration with: RS1 Lithium Triangle MA Environmental Architecture 2019/20

Understanding the Salar as shared resource

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