Island of the Week: Easter Island
Easter Island can be found in the southeastern Pacific Ocean and is most famous for the 887 monumental statues created by the early Rapa Niu people. These statues, called moai, were carved out of volcanic ash and the majority are large carvings of heads. It’s history is controversial as the inhabitants of Easter Island have endured famines, civil war, colonialism and near deforestation. The island was placed under martial law by Chile in the 70’s which slowed down tourism and brought upon new military facilities. In 2007, constitutional reform gave EI the status of a “special territory” of Chile.
There are currently just over 5,000 inhabitants living on Easter Island with tourism accounting for the majority of the economy. Tourists come to visit the caves, volcanos, beaches, and statues and can also enjoy surfing, scuba diving, biking, horseback riding and island trekking.