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Hanga Roa (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈaŋɡa ˈro.a]) (Spanish: Bahía Larga) is the main town, harbour and seat of Easter Island, a municipality of Chile. It is located in the southern part of the island's west coast, in the lowlands between the extinct volcanoes of Terevaka and Rano Kau. The population of 3,304 (2002 census) comprises 42.63 percent of the total population of the island.
|Province||Isla de Pascua|
|Commune||Isla de Pascua|
|Founded||9 September 1888|
Upon Chile's claim of the island, the Rapa Nui were gathered in Hanga Roa, and the rest of the land was leased to a sheep farm. For much of the twentieth century, the rest of the island was leased to the Compañía Explotadora de la Isla de Pascua (CEDIP) (a subsidiary of Williamson-Balfour Company) and closed to the Rapa Nui.
Some disagreements between the government of Chile and the Rapa Nui has led the locals with ancestral roots to "take over" many hotels in the city. For the locals, it is a way to draw the line between the Chilean government's policy-making in the island, and the Rapa Nui's ancestral rights on their land. In 2011, the Schiess family, owner of the Hanga Roa Hotel, donated back the land of the hotel to the Rapa Nui, but retained a 30-year management lease of the hotel. A week before, the Schiess family had personally shipped a special force squad from the Carabineros de Chile to remove the locals who squatted the hotel. A prior police intervention in August 2010 had led to 25 Rapa Nui protesters being wounded.
The island's main avenue, Avenida Atamu Tekena (formerly Avenida Policarpo Toro), is the heart of the town. Many hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and pharmacies are found alongside this road. In 1998, the road was renamed after nineteenth century Rapanui king Atamu Te Kena; it had previously been named after Captain Policarpo Toro, the Chilean Naval officer who annexed Easter Island to Chile in 1888. The island's museum, and also the Roman Catholic "Holy Cross Church", are located in the center of town. With the advent of the Internet and the expansion of communication services by the Chilean government, many internet cafes and automated teller machines (ATM) have appeared in recent years.
In 1914, the population of Hanga Roa was just 250 and the rest of the island was inhabited by large populations of sheep.
It is estimated that 90% of the island's population live in Hanga Roa.
The town has a number of hotels and guesthouses which cater for tourists who come to see the island's World Heritage Sites, in particular the famous moai statues. Hanga Roa and the surrounding area have a number of impressive moai, but there are larger ones elsewhere on the island. The actual hotel capacity is about 600 beds, ranging from hostels to luxury hotels.
The Ahu Tahai archaeological complex is within a walking distance from the city's center. Every year, the city is home to the farandula cultural festival, a months-long event when the locals sculpt giant wooden statues. The celebration includes a habit where people get nude and bath in clay that covers their bodies.
In addition to tourism, other businesses in Hanga Roa include fishing, farming and administration. Several Chilean government departments including the Chilean Navy maintain a presence on the island.
The harbour has a shipping service to Valparaíso, Chile. In April 2018, the freighter Lago Icalma, parked in the port of Hanga Roa, was struck by a barge. A fuel tank was ruptured, leaking diesel fuel in the waters of the port. The surrounding beaches were also blackened by the spread of the black liquid.
The island's only airport, Mataveri International Airport, is served by LATAM Airlines, Chile's national carrier, which offers direct 5-hour flights from Santiago and weekly flights from Papeete. It is the only commercial carrier that regularly serves the island.
A new hospital was opened in 2013, replacing an older one donated in the 70s by the United States. The hospital has a capacity of 16 beds, and includes a delivery ward designed to also allow the practice of folk medicine. It is the only healthcare facility on the island.
Among several schools are the Colegio Lorenzo Baeza Vega, which offers primary education with a focus on teaching traditional culture and language, and Liceo Aldea Educativa, which offers qualification in the areas of humanist studies, tourism and agriculture.
Access to foodEdit
The regular consumers brands sold in grocery stores are expensive due to the costly trip required to import those products. Locals informally sell fish, meat and vegetables. The tuna empanada is the city's favorite snack.
The Roman Catholic Holy Cross Church
- Hanga Roa on mapcarta.com
- Hanga Roa, Imagina
- Annie Murphy, For Chile, Colossal Trouble On Easter Island, Npr.org, 9 September 2010 (accessed on 31 May 2019)
- (in Spanish) Héctor Aravena, Familia Schiess decide donar terrenos de Hotel Hanga Roa a Isla de Pascua, Emol.com, 18 February 2011 (accessed on 31 May 2019)
- (in Spanish) Desalojan a pascuenses de hotel Hanga Roa, Elmostrador.cl, 6 February 2011 (accessed on 31 May 2019)
- Easter Islanders' battle for their ancestral land ends in bloodshed, France24.com, 12 August 2010 (accessed on 31 May 2019)
- Steven R. Fischer: The island at the end of the world. Reaktion Books, 2005, p. 248. ISBN 1-86189-282-9
- Samai Haider, Hanga Roa – Launching Pad for Visiting the Moai, Thedailystar.net, 17 August 2018 (accessed on 31 May 2019)
- (in French) Mike Leyral, Farandula: le carnaval de l'Île de Pâques ou l'exubérance des corps, Lepoint.fr, 19 February 2015 (accessed on 31 May 2019)
- Gallery: Easter Island's Carnival magic seduces locals, tourists, Enca.com, 21 February 2015 (accessed on 31 May 2019)
- Photos: Fuel Spill at Easter Island's Main Harbor, Maritime-executive.com, 26 April 2018 (accessed on 31 May 2019)
- "Inauguran Hospital Hanga Roa en Isla de Pascua" (in Spanish). Infraestructura Hospitalaria. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015.
- "Colegio Lorenzo Baeza Vega, inaugura sector especial para clases de Interculturalidad" (in Spanish). Municipality of Rapa Nui. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
- "Educación DAEM" (in Spanish). Municipality of Rapa Nui. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
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