Contributors: Sherly Annavita Rahim, Rita Alvaro, Jessica Coombs, Anna Haygreen, Naomi Van Boxtel, Lincoln Kern, Andrea Spinoso, Lucie Groen-O’Connor, Jenny Abello. Edited by Andrea Spinoso.
In September 2017 CERES visited Chile for the first time as part of the CERES Global program.
As the first trip the activities were intended to create new partnerships and people-to-people links to serve as assets for future engagements between CERES and communities in Chile. The group involved individuals with a variety of expertise, interest areas and perspectives on community development, cultural preservation and sustainable livelihoods.
Following the trip a report was produced as a resource for sharing the expertise, knowledge, experiences and perspectives of the participants of the CERES Global visit with the communities we met in Chile. The report features contributions and reflections from the group on areas of discussion, development and potential future engagements. Some of these and their relation to cultural preservation and sustainable livelihoods are featured here.
We would like to thank the many local community members for their time and hospitality. We look forward to developing our friendship with the communities of Chile in the near future. Finally, we wish to thank the Abello family who organised the many engagements with local communities and community groups. Without their support this unique and genuine experience simply would not have been possible.
At the core of CERES global’s ethos is the desire to facilitate group journeys to promote global interconnectedness between people and communities based on the principles of mutual learning and respect.
“Travelling to a different country, with a different culture and language has developed my sense of my own culture and where I am from. Being in a new place, navigating and learning the way other people live has given me a new appreciation for the world around me, as well as the people from other nations I come across in an increasingly globalising world. As well as increasing my knowledge of other cultures I have become further reflective and aware of my own culture, developing a deeper appreciation of where I come from.”- Jessica Coombs, CERES Global participant, Chile 2017.
Stories from Chile
The stories of communities working towards cultural preservation and sustainable livelihoods in Chile are diverse. These stories are told here through the prism of our experiences of meeting, talking and sharing with communities in Chile.
Our trip began in Santiago, where the group members met for the first time and explored the metropolis. The at times chaotic city boasts a vibrant and diverse range of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. On the surface, Chile appeared much like Australia; a modern globalising nation state with a colonial history.
The visit to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights changed that. It introduced the group to the challenging legacies of the Pinochet dictatorship that governed Chile between 1973 and 1990 after a US backed military coup. This definitive event in Chilean history, would to this day determine the direction of government in Chile.
Over the trip it would become apparent just how pervasive and divisive the period of dictatorship had become for Chilean politics, culture and society. In essence, the legacies of the dictatorship continue to shape the social and political context that informs attitudes of Chilean people to the state, development and progress.
Arriving in the rural municipality of Gorbea off an overnight bus, the group arrived early on our second day to be welcomed by the Abello family. After a brief visit to the municipal government office in the morning, the group joined the Farmers Association of Las Vegas for an introductory meeting.
The meeting was a valuable exchange of information between the community members of Gorbea and CERES. Around a specially prepar