Omora Ethnobotanical Park | Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program

Omora Ethnobotanical Park

The Omora Ethnobotanical Park is located 3 kilometers west of southernmost city of Puerto Williams on the north coast of Navarino Island. Within the park interpretative trails explore the major habitat types of the region: coastal coigue forests, lenga parks, ñirre forests, peat bogs, invasive beaver wetlands and alpine heath. In addition, the Róbalo River, which also provides drinking water to Puerto Williams, runs through the park. The Omora Park aspires to be a natural laboratory, an outdoor classroom, and a public space to experience the many ways of living together based on solidarity and respect between human beings and other biological species.

The Omora Park, administered by the Omora Foundation and the Universidad de Magallanes, is dedicated to biocultural conservation the extreme southern tip of South America. The park was named as a homage to the tiny hummingbird that inhabits these sub-Antarctic forests. Sephanoides sephanoides, is it's Latin scientific name, Omora in the Yagan language. In Yahgan cosmology Omora was more than a bird; he was also a revered hero. In ancestral times, when humans and other animals lived in the same society, little Omora would settle disputes of the community, maintaining a dialogue between society and nature.

The holistic meaning of Omora symbolically bridges the divide between humans and other living beings. The Omora Park strives to embody this broader definition in its mission to "integrate biocultural conservation with social well-being at the ends of the Earth."

Listen to the story of Omora as told by the Yahgan grandmothers Cristina and Ursula Calderon