Blessed to be a Blessing!
Easter Island is among the most mysterious and fascinating places in the Pacific Ocean. The remote island located in the South Pacific and annexed by Chile in 1888, is 2200 miles from Chile’s western coast. Easter Island is a triangular mass of volcanic rock approximately 63 square miles in size. Huge monolithic statues called Moai, line the coastline of the island. The first settlers called the island “Te Pito O Te Henua” meaning “Navel of The World”.
The population consists of 4000 inhabitants who speak Pascuense, a Polynesian dialect and Spanish. The island is the single most populated, most remotest and most isolated community in the world.
Easter Island has a long and intriguing history. On Easter Sunday, 1722, the Dutch Admiral Jacob Roggeveen named it Easter Island.
Catholic missionaries who arrived in 1866 had converted the entire population to Christianity by 1868. But conflict between them and a French settler who established a sheep run on the island forced the missionaries to flee in 1871 with about 100 of their followers.
PROGRESSION OF RELIGION ON EASTER ISLAND
1. Polynesian religion at the time of settlement
2. Worshiping the ancestors with burial tombs and Moai
3. Fall of the Moai
4. Rise of the birdman cult
5. Arrival of the missionaries
Presently, Easter Island has one antiquated hospital with three physicians. Once a year physicians from the Chilean navy come to the island providing annual check-ups for the native community. However, with over 4000 residents it is very evident the island has inadequate medical care. Easter Island has poor water supply and visitors to the island need to carry bottled water with them to avoid drinking the water on the island.
Most, if not all of the commerce on this island occurs in the port town of Hanga Roa. There are a number of small shops geared toward tourists, as well as an open market. Tourists enjoy an open air museum showcasing a fascinating, but unfortunately lost, culture.
fascinating, but unfortunately lost, culture. The ‘Rapanui’ the indigenous name of Easter Islanders, are among the friendliest people you will ever meet, and the landscape is truly amazing - with its volcanic craters, lava formations, beaches, brilliant blue water, and archaeological sites.
Easter Island remains a Province of Chile with the Chilean President as Head of State. The Chilean peso is the nation’s currency.