Home / Region + Country Categories  / Americas & Caribbean  / South America  / Chile  / CHILE: Students harvest medicinal plants

CHILE: Students harvest medicinal plants

Garden empowers students and families to care for their health


(MissionNewswire) Students and staff at the Silva Henríquez Catholic University, located in the Lo Cañas district of La Florida, a suburb of Santiago, Chile, have been planting medicinal and native plants during past semesters. Collection has now started for the fall. The work has been led by Faculty of Health Sciences members, including those in the field of phytotherapy, medicinal gardens and the production of natural products. Professor Valeska Leiva has been at the forefront of these efforts.

Through the project, students are not only learning how to grow plants but are also understanding the value of service, community well-being and integral human development. A medicinal garden at the school is a practical approach to empowering students and families to take care of their health through natural resources and ancestral methods.

The creation of a medicinal garden meets recommendations made by the World Health Organization (WHO) with regard to health and well-being, quality education, sustainable cities and communities, and the protection of terrestrial ecosystems, according to faculty members. The WHO noted that health goes beyond the traditional health care system and includes seeking to prevent disease and strengthen the well-being of the community.

“The commitment of these students also extends beyond the boundaries of campus,” explained a Salesian. “They are committed to sharing the knowledge and resources they have acquired with vulnerable communities. These harvests mark not only the culmination of their efforts over several semesters but also the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of those who need it most.

The Salesian added, “Additionally, these students are engaged in critical thinking about various dimensions of human, social and cultural experience. Such knowledge helps them identify philosophical and humanistic principles that guide their conduct. Students who are sensitive to the needs of communities work for the humanization of health.”

Salesian missionaries provide education and social development programs for poor youth in Chile. Once finished with primary and secondary school, students can advance for higher education. Salesian technical schools cater to students who have dropped out of school and are seeking a second chance. In many programs, students complete their education while engaging in internships with local employers. This increases the students’ hands-on work experience and ability to gain livable wage employment after their studies are completed.



Photo courtesy of Don Bosco Green Alliance

Don Bosco Green Alliance – University Students from the Silva Henríquez Catholic University Cultivate Environmental Awareness and Solidarity in Lo Cañas, Chile

Salesian Missions – Chile

World Bank – Chile

author avatar