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A dream
Mahani’s story

At age 9, Mahani Teave faced the impending loss of Rapa Nui’s only piano and teacher, Erica Putney.  Still new to the instrument, but with an exceptional talent and a new Roberto Bravo Foundation scholarship in hand, she moved away from Rapa Nui to continue her studies at the UACH Conservatory under the tutelage of Ximena Cabello. This move marked an end to both her childhood and culture and the beginning of her dream to make it possible for Rapanui children to develop their talents in their remote homeland.

Years later she and other young islanders began talking of an Integral Developmental Center on Rapa Nui and ONG Toki Rapa Nui was created. The School of Music was to be Toki’s first project.

Building the School

From 2011 to 2014 the School of Music and the Arts functioned in the church, teachers’ homes, and other scattered spaces lent to them. It was imperative that they  start construction to meet the growing demand for classes.

Their Center for Integral Development was envisioned to be totally self-sustainable, a place to nurture and preserve the ancient culture and wisdom, to offer children new opportunities, and to protect the environment. It would be free and open to all the whole community.


In 2014, thanks to a tremendous outpouring of love, faith, and dedication, miracles began piling up, one on top of another.

A Toki crowdfunding campaign brought in messages, videos, photos, and donations from every corner of the planet, and inspired other groups to launch micro fund-raising campaigns for the project.


Enough funds were finally collected to take the first steps. 

Entel Chile and Desafio Levantemos Chile, two large and prestigious sponsors, joinedToki and in November 2014 Michael Reynolds, an American architect and creator of the revolutionary Earthship Biotecture construction method, arrived with his team to head the initial School of Music  building project.

70 volunteers from all parts of the world joined Michael and the construction. Their goals were to learn the building system which seeks a better relationship between man and nature and to turn Toki’s lovely dream into reality.


The group worked arduously for a month erecting the first part of the building. A year and four months later and thanks to an additional 340 volunteers, the Rapa Nui School of Music and the Arts was inaugurated in April 2016.

“We will always have a place in our hearts for all the people who helped us one way or another, who believed in us. Our sons and daughters will know that this center of knowledge, culture and wisdom was built by people from all over the world who understand the importance of preserving this unique legacy and our children’s path. Although we are at the center of the world in the most isolated spot in the world, they heard our message and our call for help. All of them, all of you, all of us who have dedicated time, energy, and life to this project are Toki (tools) to carve a present and future legacy. Thank you for believing that all this is possible.”

Mahani Teave y Enrique Icka

Currently the Rapa Nui School of Music and the Arts gives classes to more than 100 students in classical areas including piano, violin, cello, orchestra, and ear training and in more traditional areas such as ukulele and Re o Riu (ancestral song).

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