Page 1


Un Alto en el Desierto Foundation

N°4 / November December 2016


FOUNDER’S WORDS As we approach the end of 2016, it is time to realize the balances. And for Un Alto en el Desierto Foundation (FUAD), 2016 has been a year of growth and consolidation. For the sixth consecutive year, we’ve managed to realize the Un Alto en el Desierto environmental education program (ENGIE/ Catholic University of Chile), reaching more than 2,000 students from the Limarí Province (Coquimbo region) as well as Paine (Metropolitan Region), which has become a new FUAD territory thanks to an alliance with the HospitalChampa Rural Drinking Water Cooperative (Paine). We’ve also realized various community support projects, such as

the Plan of Community Consolidation (EMP company), the Talinay Wind Farm Development Fund (ENEL company), the project of drinking water in the sector of Las Pajas (Avina Foundation/ Sustainable Chile program/ Las Pajas committee), all of these projects being fully working today. For 2017, we have defined working lines in order to realize the Un Alto en el Desierto 7 program (ENGIE/ Catholic University of Chile), to carry on with community support projects in social, productive and sanitarian areas, to create a professional service of study of the hydric potential of the fog, to execute a project of recovery of the Cerro Grande Reserve ecosystem, in Peña Blanca, with the Forest National Corporation (CONAF) of the Ministry of Agriculture, to carry on with

Institutional growth, and finally, the most important : to consolidate a working network with both institutions and people working or willing to work on nearby issues, which want to contribute to a fairer country, more efficient in water and energy use, which would preserve its natural resources and be attentive to its inhabitants’ needs. We wish you all a happy and a beautiful 2017, hoping you will be able to carry on, with us, with the struggle against desertification ! Nicolás Schneider

SUMMARY Interview of Pablo Villarino

p. 5

News in brief

p. 7

From Paine to Ovalle

p. 8

Las Pajas : water has finally arrived !

p. 11

UAD 6 final seminar

p. 13

The 2016 UAD projects

p. 17

El mural realizado por los estudiantes de la Escuela Fray Jorge

The UAD students visiting the Bio Garden of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, in Santiago, after the UAD 6 final seminar.


INTERVIEW OF PABLO VILLARINO In 2011, the founding member of Un Alto en el Desierto, Nicolás Schneider, and Pilar Cereceda, teacher at the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) of Chile, met Pablo Villarino, the ENGIEEnergía Chile General Affairs Manager, in order to propose him an educative environmental project in the framework of the corporate social responsibility program of the company. This was the starting point of the first version of Un Alto en el Desierto, as well as of a beautiful history of cooperation.

Pablo Villarino (ENGIE) and Natalia Robert (FUAD Executive Director)

In 2016, thanks to the continuity of the ENGIE founding, as well as of the collaboration with the PUC, the UAD project has consolidated itself as a stable educative program.

For the nature of its activity, ENGIE plays an important role regarding climate change. What is the company’s position on this issue? Pablo Villarino: The recent change of name from GDF Suez to ENGIE reflects the change in the company’s vision on business: a more sustainable, decarbonized, decentralized and digitalized energy production. This means a desire, on the part of the company, to adapt itself to our times and to accompany the energy transition we are living at both national and global levels.



Why did ENGIE choose to support the Foundation? At a national scale, we sponsor a series of projects focused on two areas : culture, and education, whose most complete example is the Un Alto en el Desierto Foundation, always involving more the communities. We have already undertaken other projects on this subject, as an educational book on energy, in collaboration with the PUC. But why education? The energy world is fundamental for the life and the development of the countries. If we think about it, everything works with energy. This is why it is very important to know and to be aware of what this world is and how to develop

it in the coming years ; to be aware of environment, energy, water, which are all linked. However, on a world scale, there are many slogans, sometimes destructive, which are very easy to introduce in the societies. Here, our small contribution is to pass the most objective information on. For that reason we realize all our projects in collaboration with foundations and universities. What is your vision regarding the FUAD project ? For every project, as for every business, it is essential to progress step by step, in order not to loose in quality in the growth process. That being said,

if the program could be reproduced in other regions, we can only welcome that. I think that it is an excellent project, and that is why we have supported and encouraged it so much.

ENGIE (formerly GDF Suez) is a French company which is present in Chile since the eighties. Specialized in the production and the transport of electric energy, it owns the Monte Redondo Wind Farm, located in the surroundings of the Cerro Grande Reserve and Ovalle. From there was born the link with the Un Alto en el Desierto Foundation.

NEWS IN BRIEF 4th Environmental Sustainable Resources Fair at the Gabriel Mistral Cultural Center On November 9th, the Gregorio Morales Miranda school (Paine) was invited to present in Santiago its projects in relation to efficient water use and recycling : a drop-catching garden, a rainwater collecting system settled on the gymnasium roof, and a fog study.

Yungay special school’s birthday On November 24th, we were invited to the Yungay school, in Ovalle. The teaching staff gave us a distinction for being a member of their

Congratulations to the students Vladimir and Kiara, who did their hardest to pass their knowledge on to the public.

support network and for the work which has been done this year in relation to handwashing water recycling. Many thanks to the educational team for having allowed us to work with you, and to know the huge capacities of your students !



FROM PAINE TO OVALLE On November 28th, the Club Explora students of the Gregorio Morales Miranda school of Paine (Metropolitan region) travelled to Ovalle, in order to know the Cerro Grande Ecological Reserve and its fog catchers, and other places of interest.

The Enchanted Valley, declared a historic monument in 1973, was the first stage of their trip.

The children could admire the archaeological treasures inherited from the preColumbian Molle culture. Hand-cut rocks, petroglyphs, in the midst of landscapes very different from those of Paine : cactus, pine trees, guayacans, thus offering a beautiful color palette. A wonderful walk !

There, the students could discover the history of the Reserve and the excellent results of water collection of its fog catchers.

The second day, the students visited the Cerro Grande Ecological Reserve of Peña Blanca.

A beautiful fog cape called “camachanca” welcomed them when arriving at the top of the Cerro.


The student also learned, in the « Pilar Cereceda fog study center », that the type of mesh influences the quantity of collected water.

First meeting between the Paine students and the PeĂąa Blanca fog catchers.

On November 25th, we received the Avina Foundation and the Sustainable Chile program, which supported us in the development of projects in the Cerro Grande Reserve (settling of fog catchers) as well as in the settling of a drinking water network in the sector of Las Pajas, located within the agricultural community of PeĂąa Blanca.


The tests were concluded successfully, and to our great joy, 22 homes now have access to drinking water, while until now they were depending on water tankers.

We are very happy with the commitment of all the people who made this dream a reality.

This project, whose construction started in 2015, could not have been possible without the funding of the Talinay Wind Farm Development Fund, the Avina Foundation and the Sustainable Chile program, as well as the collaboration of the Ovalle municipality and the Cabala company.


The solar bomb extracts water from a well before propelling it until a El mural tank located realizado in an elevated por los place. estudiantes de la The Escuelapressure Fray Jorge allows water to circulate in a 6,9 kilometersnetwork, thus reaching 22 homes.

FINAL SEMINAR UAD 6 On December 2nd, in the auditorium of the Department of Geography of the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) of Chile, was held the final Seminar of Un Alto en el Desierto 2016 program. The students presented to the UAD 6 network (teachers, students’ parents, university volunteers, as well as ENGIE, the PUC, the Hospital-Champ Drinking Water Cooperative and the National Federation of Sanitarian Services) the results of their projects, synthetized on scientific posters.


While generating an impact at a local scale, in relation to a more efficient water use ; stimulating the learning process of the children, through environmental education and scientific investigation ; and recovering spaces affected by the desertification ;

spreading the knowledge developed within the schools, inside and outside of their localities, is one of the fundamental objectives of the UAD 6 program. Patricio Berdano (PUC), Pablo Villarino (ENGIE), NicolĂĄs Schneider and Natalia Robert (UAD).

We invite you to read the article published by the PUC ! (in Spanish)


Yungay school (Ovalle)


El Guindo school (Ovalle)

Gregorio Morales Miranda school (Hospital-Champa, Paine)

ValentĂ­n Letelier school (Villaseca)

Las Ă guilas school (Alcones Alto)

San Antonio de la Villa school (Barraza)

15 El Llanito school (Punitaqui)


Pedro E. Alfonso Barrios school (Cerrillos Pobres)

Teresita de Los Andes school (Ramadas, Punitaqui) Manuel Espinosa López school (Ovalle)

Fray Jorge school (Ovalle)

Claudio Matte de Manquehua school (Combarbalá) P. Pablo Diehl Hartman school (Mantos de Hornillos)

Alejandro Chelén school, Chañaral Alto (Monte Patria)


The trip to Santiago for the seminar has represented the opportunity for the students of the LimarĂ­ province to know places which could stimulate their learning process, as the Natural History Museum and the Planetarium.

Further to the seminar, the students also attended various workshops within the PUC, hold by physics, forest engineering and agronomy students.

The dedication shown by the students while presenting their scientific projects and passing their knowledge on to the public during the 2nd of December final Seminar is a fair representation of all the efforts and the incredible energy they invested throughout the year.

In gratitude for their commitment, we dedicate a chapter of the last 2016 FUAD news bulletin to their projects and achievements.





The Yungay special school, located in Ovalle, integrated the UAD network this year, with the project of recycling its hand-washing water. With it, the students water the school fruit trees, through a drip irrigation system, as well as a vegetable garden, in order to sell the final production. 88 students


The Yungay special school students

Recycled grey water (Sept-Nov) : 8,700 liters




Hospital, Paine

100 students Recycled grey water (Aug-Nov) : 25,000 liters

The El Guindo school, which entered the network in 2016, is already recycling its hand-washing water to reforest the school with native trees, flowers and medicinal plants. The students presented their work to other classes, so that all the students can appropriate the ongoing project.



The Gregorio Morales Miranda school joined the UAD program in 2016, with 3 projects executed in cooperation with the HospitalChampa Drinking Water Cooperative: a drop-catcher, to irrigate a vegetable and ornamental plants garden, a fog catcher, to study the hydric potential of the area, as well as a rainwater collection system settled in the gymnasium roof.

440 students Collected rainwater (October) : 4,000 liters

The Club Explora students of the Gregorio Morales Miranda school, cultivating carrots and lettuces in the dropcatching garden.




142 students Treatment plant and grey water (Jan-Dec) : 842,000 liters

Alcones Alto

The Valentín Letelier school integrated the UAD network in 2011. Today, the school has a wastewater treatment plant, which allows the students to reuse the water so as to restore and make the school underused areas more beautiful, thanks to a garden center.



It has been since 2011 that the Las Águilas school is member of the UAD program. In 2016, the students chose to develop a project of compost, in order to restore the soil and to help the growth of the medicinal plants in the school pharmacy. 6 students Rainwater: 1,700 liters Grey water: 83 liters (April-Oct)




Ramadas, Punitaqui

33 students Irrigation water consumption: 5,360 liters (November estimation)

Member of the network since 2016, the San Antonio de La Villa school has already introduced a rainwater collection system on the school roof, as well as a hand-washing grey water recycling system. Thanks to this water, the students created a flower-shaped garden. Each class level is in charge of a petal.



The Teresita de Los Andes school entered the UAD program in 2014. Having a grey water treatment plant already working, it dedicated this year to build the Enchanted Square, designed in 2015, and to irrigate it with the water of the wastewater treatment plant.

108 students Treatment plant water (Mar-Oct) : 183,540 liters

El mural realizado por los estudiantes de la Escuela Fray Jorge

The Enchanted Square of the Teresita de Los Andes school, in Punitaqui, is the result of the common work of the teachers and the students’ parents.




Cerrillos Pobres A UAD member since 2011, the Manuel Espinosa Lopez school led this year an awareness campaign on the importance of water and its efficient use. The students presented their project to all the classes to pass their message and launched a poster competition.

600 students


A UAD member since 2011, the Pedro E. Alfonso Barrios school dedicated this year to know the functioning of the recently settled wastewater treatment plant, to plant trees to finalize the Fray Jorgito Square and to extend the area watered by drip irrigation to the whole school and to the Little Crickets public garden. 96 students Recycled grey water (October) : 4,000 liters




4 students Rainwater: 10,159 liters Grey water: 610 liters (April-Nov)


The school is a UAD member since 2011. While keeping on collecting rainwater, the students carried out an investigation project on the native plants which grow in the surroundings, inventorying them in a file, before transplanting them in a cactus garden, so as to introduce in the school garden vegetal species which don’t need to be permanently watered.


The Fray Jorge school entered the UAD program in 2016. The students led an awareness campaign on saving water to the educational community, in order to reduce the school water consumption.

640 students

The fresco realized by the Fray Jorge school students.




Chañaral Alto, Monte Patria

47 students Collected rainwater (Jan-Oct) : 4,950 liters

The Claudio Matte de Manquehua school, a UAD member since 2014, has developed this year a project of reforestation of the schoolyard, through the production of a natural fertilizer from compost, in order to recover the soil, as well as rainwater collected from the school roof, to water the trees and the plants.



It is two years that the school joined the UAD network. After having introduced a grey water recycling system, the students decided in 2016 to improve the water filtering and storing system as well as the route of the drip irrigation system.

380 students Recycled grey water (JanOctober) : 154,000 liters

11 students Collected rainwater (April-Oct) : 6,600 liters

The P. Pablo Diehl Hartman school joined the UAD program in 2014, with the project of creating a medicinal garden irrigated with rainwater. Thanks to to the good water collection results, the students decided in 2016 to create another vegetable and medicinal plants garden in an area of the school without use.


The first garden realized by the P. Pablo Diehl Hartman school within the 2015 UAD program.



November December 2016

Edition, redaction and photography: Coralie DUBOST-MATTUTZU


FUAD news n4 november december 2016  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you