History

To understand the birth of NGO Toki, we must go back to 1992 when a 9-year-old girl named Mahani Teave left Rapa Nui to travel to Valdivia to study piano and become the first concert pianist from her island. At that time, leaving her land, with the uprooting it entailed, was the only option she had to pursue her dream.

Years passed, and her talent, combined with hard work and determination, bore fruit: She became an extraordinary pianist. Nevertheless, she always felt she had an outstanding debt and needed to help other children, who loved music as much as she did, so they wouldn't have to leave their land to study due to the lack of instruments and teachers. 

In 2008, Mahani mentioned in an interview that she couldn't travel to Rapa Nui as often as she wished because there was no piano on the island, and her career required constant practice. This issue became clear, and various initiatives listened to the call and joined forces to do something about it.

Philanthropists Lily Urdinola and Lily Lanz, along with Manuel Ahumada, managed to donate the first pianos to the island through the Itaú Foundation. This was supplemented by contributions from the Council of Culture and the Cultural Corporation of Rapa Nui, allowing the arrival of the first piano teacher in history.

Almost simultaneously, Mahani and a diverse group of Rapa Nui youths came together to drive the development of three major issues they considered urgent on the island: musical and social education, protection of ancestral heritage, and environmental preservation.

In 2012, NGO Toki Rapa Nui was born, with the first concrete action being to take under our wing the piano course that had recently begun to be taught. This course would soon become the starting point for the Music and Arts School.

foto historia 3
Over time, our fledgling school began to offer classes in violin, cello, and ukulele, and although the project continued to grow, it couldn't do so fully because we didn't have our own space to bring together all disciplines.

In 2014, we built our own completely self-sustaining building, designed by renowned architect Michael Reynolds, thanks to crowdfunding efforts, the work of Desafío Levantemos Chile, Entel, and over a thousand volunteers. The construction was led by Enrique Icka, another of the founders, who also donated the land on which the entire project stands.

Over 10 years have passed, and Toki Rapa Nui has not stopped working. We have expanded our courses, developed curricula to professionalize each of the disciplines we teach, and have become one of the major actors in educational, cultural, and social rescue.

Founders:

MAHANI TEAVE WILLIAMS

MAHANI TEAVE WILLIAMS

Pianist and Cultural Ambassador of the Rapa Nui people

ENRIQUE ICKA TEPIHE

ENRIQUE ICKA TEPIHE

Construction Engineer and Singer-Songwriter

CLAUDIA FERNÁNDEZ PAOA

CLAUDIA FERNÁNDEZ PAOA

Business Engineer

JUAN BAUTISTA HAOA

JUAN BAUTISTA HAOA

Specialist in Heritage Restoration and Conservation

JUAN PAKOMIO

JUAN PAKOMIO

Master in Public Health

HINEVA SCHMIDT

HINEVA SCHMIDT

Lawyer

VAIROA IKA

VAIROA IKA

Renewable Resources Engineer

POKI PAKOMIO

POKI PAKOMIO

Architect

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