Public official, Marcos Barraza, learned about the progress that this project of Intercultural Education (developed jointly by the General Council of Williche Chiefs of Chiloé and the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada) has made in the Province.
As part of his visit to Chiloé, Minister of Social Development, Marcos Barraza, had a brief and productive stay at the Wekimün intercultural school this past Friday, March 13th.
Upon launching the “Chile Indígena” program in the City of Chonchi, the Minister headed to the school along with other public officials, among whom were the Seremi of Social Development of the Region de los Lagos, Daniela Praderas, and the Provincial Governor of Chiloé, Pedro Bahamondez.
At the school, the Minister was greeted by the Head Chief of the General Council of Williche Chiefs of Chiloé, Armando Llaitureo Manquemilla, along with members of the Council’s Directory, leaders, traditional authorities, students and Wekimün’s academic team.
The Minister of Social Development took the opportunity to express his interests in assisting with the development of this educational initiative and remarked on “the fundamental importance of this educational project”.
“To focus education on interculturality, human rights and gender equity is certainly important; however, the experience of integrating traditional and scientific knowledge is especially important for the preservation of the identity and culture of the Williche people.”
Minister Barraza added: “schools like Wekimün, with such strong sustainability components, make us realize that it is possible to develop projects that better not only the social integrity of people but also their overall wellbeing. Similarly, its programs make us question the nature of existing educational institutions; by successfully bringing together health, culture, culinary arts, family farms, medicine and environmental knowledge. Wekimün represents a valuable ally and learning-resource for existing public institutions—particularly, for those institutions that work to strengthen the Williche identity.”
Along similar lines, Williche Chief and Secretary of the General Council of Williche Chiefs, Jorge Guenumán said that the Minister’s visit is: “very important and interesting for the province’s traditional Williche organization and the Wekimün school, since we were able to sign some agreements. After all, together we are stronger.” He concluded by stating that the Council “will continue to work together with public authorities, with disregard for self-interest and differences”.
After a brief reception, the parties proceeded to tour the different facilities of the school; such as, the Williche Chafün, the Williche language lab, greenhouses and farm, the traditional Williche medicine laboratory, and the Mapu Ñuke center—which houses the Intercultural Health program Küme Mogen Rüpü, Bicentennial seal 2009.
“Wekimün School could become an important initiative to avoid the disappearance of indigenous communities”.