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CHILE: Students help create native forest

Salesians and students with the Salesian Educational Center Talca, Chile

Salesian Educational Center Talca focusing on environmental efforts


(MissionNewswire) Salesians and students with the Salesian Educational Center Talca, Chile, have been focusing on environmental efforts, including the development of an educational native forest. Recently, a group of third- and fourth-year students planted 20 native trees. Land was cleared, the ground was leveled, weeds were removed and the planting site was organized. The students planted Quillay, Peumo, Molle and Canelo trees, with the latter in danger of extinction.

Dylan Morales, a student in the electricity specialty, participated in this activity. He explained, “We are all capable of taking care of the planet. We all can. I found the experience very enriching. It teaches us many values, how to take care of the land, know how to work the land, protect and conserve.”

Morales noted that youth can use the skills and specialties that they have to care for the environment. He said, “If someone knows electricity, they can focus on how to use that energy effectively, using sustainable and reliable sources while encouraging talks and teaching children the good use of electricity.”

Nicolás Ulloa, the science teacher in charge of the project, said, “The implementation of this educational native forest is an initiative that combines environmental conservation, education, social inclusion and community well-being.”

He added that its importance lies in the ability to inspire care for the environment, promote environmental awareness, encourage inclusion, and strengthen ties between the school community and its natural environment.

The forest is in its first phase of implementation. The school’s Environmental Care Committee will continue with the initiative. The inauguration of this new environmental space is planned for July 12.

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

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