Between November 14 and 16, 192 students from the communes of Melipeuco, Lonquimay, Curacautín, Vilcún, Lautaro, Cunco and Curarrehue participated in the third Meeting of Schools Located in Volcanic Risk Areas, whose main objective was to improve protocols against risks imminent consequences of living in areas surrounding active category volcanoes.
The 2023 edition, developed in Melipeuco, was led by the education department of that commune, the environment unit and the SNCAE School Environmental Education Program, together with the renewable energy company Latin America Power. All this within the framework of the “Me Sumo” project, which since 2021 aims to create different initiatives and benefits in favor of the community, on topics such as environmental education, economic productivity, tourism and environmental care.
In this regard, the Sustainability Manager of LAP, José Salgado, highlighted that “the eruption of volcanoes is an imminent danger that affects a large number of localities in our country, making it essential that communities work on new tools and techniques to reduce and face this type of risk. Likewise, the positive balance of this activity confirms that the work we have been developing for some years with the community through the Environmental Certification Program is on the right track.”
During the different days of the event, the students participated in various activities such as talks on risks and volcanic monitoring, field visits to learn about temporary shelters and evacuation routes, care workshops and evacuation drills, a volcanological Trekking to recognize geosites called “caminando sobre lavas”, a Trawún of volcanological experiences to learn stories from people who experienced eruptions of the Llaima volcano in the past, in addition to the exhibition of different school projects that some establishments are developing.
According to the Environmental Seremi of the Araucanía Region, Félix Contreras, carrying out these activities with the community is essential, given that we live in a country that has the most active volcanoes in Latin America. “We cannot expect to educate communities in the middle of an emergency when these occur, that is why these activities and field visits that the students carried out allow them to be prepared and know what to do in those cases,” added the authority.
The meeting also had the collaboration of the Ministry of Environment, the National Environmental Certification System for Educational Establishments (SNCAE), Senapred Araucanía, Mutual de Seguridad, Firefighters and the Police Department of Melipeuco.