As part of the community relations work that the company is carrying out in the region of Antofagasta, Mainstream is carrying on the yearly tradition of supporting the “Viajando Conocemos Chile” initiative which was designed by the school community of the Pukará Rural Primary School in northern Chile. This initiative hinges around three pillars: education, cultural heritage and the environment. These values underpin the school’s ethos and form an integral part of the school curriculum. The idea behind this project is to give students the opportunity to visit new places and experience the world outside of their small town. Last year the children visited the neighbouring region of Tarapacá, but this year the group ventured further afield to the northernmost region of Arica and Parinacota. The trip involves all students, as well as their teachers, parents, siblings and assistants. This experience is extremely valuable as it allows the students, some of whom have never left the region, to visit new places and spend time with other members of the school community in a different setting.
As in previous years, the itinerary included visits to different sites of educational, historical and cultural interest. The trip took place over four days, during which the group visited historical archaeological sites and also got the chance to visit the city of Arica and its surrounding attractions. The group set out from the small desert town of Lasana in the region of Antofagasta towards the coastal city of Arica. As part of the trip, the students and their companions visited the geoglyphs in the Valley of Lluta and the Valley of Azapa. They visited the communities of Poconchile in Lluta and San Miguel in Azapa, where they also took in the University of Tarapacá’s Archaeological Museum. Then they continued with the historical portion of their trip with a visit to the iconic “Morro de Arica”. This coastal hill played host to the Battle of Arica in 1880 and is now one of the city’s most symbolic tourist attractions. The rest of their time was spent exploring the coastal walkways and beaches of Arica, visiting the famous “terminal agropecuario” food market, the Fishermen’s Pier and the 21 de mayo shopping district.
Margarita Jaque, head teach of Pukará Rural Primary School talks about the importance of this initiative for the school community. “The Viajando Conocemos Chile” initiative is of great importance to both the school and its students. It gives them the opportunity to visit new places and gives them a glimpse of the world outside of their small town. It also allows us to reinforce the subjects that we work on during the school year, such as geography, history and culture, as well as promoting good relationships between the students, parents and other members of the school community, as the trip involves not only the students, but also their parents and teaching assistants as well.”
Mainstream is active in the region with the 108 MW Ckani Wind Farm Project, which will be built in the commune of Calama in the El Loa province in northern Chile.