Alicia Haro from Don Gerardo Estate: “It is necessary to plant trees. The planet is coming to an end”.
Publicado el 10 February 2023

Don Gerardo Estate helps every tourist who visits the area sponsor 22 trees for the Carretera Austral.
Alicia Haro

Starting in the tourism business and at the same time being sustainable is always a challenge, and Alicia Haro Mardones, a tour operator in the Aysén region and part of the founding family of Don Gerardo Estate, knows it well.

Alicia works at Cultural Tourism of Experience and Reforestation Tourism in Chilean Patagonia, on projects that not only seek to highlight the culture of the area, but to also contribute with innovation in the fight against climate change.

This Estate stands out for its tourist projects such as “Patagonian Gaucho for the day,” the first tourist program of agricultural-livestock characteristics which was professionally launched on the regional market and adds value to the usual activities of Patagonian culture.

Moreover, for its hardworking work to reforest Patagonia with native trees, and thus contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.

Reforestation Tourism in Patagonia

One of the sustainable initiatives within Don Gerardo Estate in Cerro Calera in Coyhaique, it is the largest natural work of art in the world.

The idea, according to what Haro said in an interview with Trade News, is that every tourist who visits the region joins the challenge and sponsors 22 trees that will be planted on the Carretera Austral.

It is necessary to plant trees. The planet is coming to an end, and we are responsible. We must create things that do not exist, such as the carbon footprint compensation,” Alicia Haro said.

– How does this initiative contribute to reducing the carbon footprint?

– Yale University published a study that points out how many trees people need to oxygenate, which is 22. I took that information to show reforestation tourism, which is not just traveling through Patagonia to plant a tree. However, if I tell you to come here and plant 22 trees because they are what you owe to the planet for existing, things change. So, I do environmental awareness and I am culturizing with this information.

– What does this work of natural art seek to express?

– This work of art is made with sheep corrals of pine wood, which has done a lot of damage in the Aysén region, delimiting the word Patagonia and the number 22, so that people know that there are 22 trees per person (on the Carretera Austral), that the industry has to urgently organize itself to achieve this mission and brings a big heart to talk about life on the planet. It is a large-scale message on 12,5 hectares of territory.

Become a true Patagonian Gaucho

Along with offering Reforestation Tourism, Don Gerardo Estate does Cultural Tourism of Experience activities. The tourists there can become a true Patagonian Gaucho for the day.

“We have been working on this tourist program for five years, which received the National Women Entrepreneurs Award in 2015, one year after it started and we have formed an alliance with other tour operators in the region, especially private transport,” Alicia Haro explained.

– What is this experience about?

– In its beginnings, it had 5 hours of activities and post-pandemic there were 4 hours of activities on Don Gerardo Estate, specifically in the Cerro Calera.

– How is it born? 

This tourist program was born from the necessity to tell the tourists how people live in Patagonia, what the Patagonian Gaucho is, the history that surrounds this Patagonian Gaucho, and the beginning of Patagonia.

Alicia Haro Fundo Don Gerardo
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