Five launch ceremonies marked the kickoff of four solar energy projects to be run by SERC Chile together with local communities in four locations of Arica and Parinacota. In Arica, the regional ceremony was held on August 30 with the presence of representatives of Visviri, Camarones, Putre, Caleta Vitor, Valle de Chaca and authorities from public and academic spheres. Previously, local launches were conducted.
At the ceremony in Arica, at the Assembly Hall of Universidad de Tarapacá, a commitment and a pact for support were taken among all figures involved in order to successfully promote SERC Chile’s initiative, which is funded by contributions from the BHP Billiton Foundation.
The projects to be executed are the following: “Tourism in Rutas Troperas, communities connected through the sun”, in Putre; “Cultivation of river shrimp through the intensive use of solar energy”, in Camarones; “Packing and solar air conditioning systems for fruits and vegetables”, in Caleta Vitor and Valle de Chaca (Arica); And “Solar energy: an opportunity to promote products associated with camelid fiber in the Andean plateau” in General Lagos.
The director of SERC Chile and Ayllu Solar, Rodrigo Palma, stressed the importance of this activity, since it is the closing of the launches stage in the localities where each of the projects will be executed and the beginning of a stage of hard work and training.
“This is a very relevant event for our project, which we have been operating for a year, exploring the region with local and foreign teams to see the opportunities available for solar energy development. We have evaluated a series of options, based on which we have reached four alternatives through an independent selection process. These alternatives will be implemented from now to one and a half years from now”, he said.
At the ceremony there were various signs of commitment from public and private institutions. Intendant Gladys Acuña expressed the Government’s support to the implementation of Ayllu Solar in the four boroughs of the region and also highlighted the potential of solar energy.
Arturo Flores, rector of UTA and host, expressed his commitment to the project and to the region, emphasizing the work of the Ayllu Solar team in conjunction with the communities.
Launch in Camarones, August 3
The launch of the project “Cultivation of river shrimp through the intensive use of solar energy” began at 11 am on August 3 at the community center of the village, where an official reception of the 100 guests was made. Then, a Pawa (traditional Aymara ceremony) was carried out by the indigenous community and the neighbors’ board. The presentation of Ayllu Solar was conducted out by its director, Rodrigo Palma, and Camarones project coordinator, Lorena Cornejo, who referred to the positive impact of the initiative in the locality.
The president of the neighbors’ board, René Viza, the president of the Mothers’ Center, Sonia Lineares, and the president of the Indigenous Community, Sergio Viza spoke in representation of the community. The mayor of Camarones, Iván Romero, closed the round of speeches.
The ceremony culminated in the signing of a cooperation agreement and a lunch of camaraderie.
Launch in Putre, August 4
The project “Tourism in Rutas Troperas, communities connected through the sun” was started in Zapahuira, Putre with 40 guests. After breakfast, a walk of 500 meters culminating with a Pawa (traditional Aymara ceremony) by Mario Quispe was carried out.
Ayllu Solar was introduced to the community by its director, Rodrigo Palma. Doris Aguilera, president of the Corporation for Ancestral Rights and Indigenous and Native Communities (Cordacoi, for its Spanish acronym) also had a special participation. After a musical act, the guests had a typical lunch called watya, which was prepared jointly between the Andean communities and the Ayllu Solar team.
Launch in General Lagos, August 22
The project “Solar energy: an opportunity to promote products associated with camelid fiber in the Andean plateau” was launched in Visviri, General Lagos. 150 guests had breakfast and then took part in a ceremony at the square, in front of the city hall. Later they participated in the ancestral Pawa ceremony led by yatire Ignacio Ticona.
Ayllu Solar was introduced to the community by its director, Rodrigo Palma, and had the special participation of the president of the General Lagos Cattlemen’ Association, Marcelino Mamani, who made known the real needs of the group. In addition, the president of the General Lagos Indigenous Community, Rosa Maita expressed her view of the project.
Launch in Arica, August 24
The project to be implemented in Caleta Vitor and Valle de Chaca in Arica is called “Solar energy: an opportunity to promote products associated with camelid fiber in the Andean plateau”. The launch was held in the town of Vitor, with 84 guests who began the day with a Baptist religious ceremony, where Pastor Rogelio Silva blessed the community and the project.
Then the ancestral Pawa ceremony was held by yatire Francisco Mamani, who invited the guests to ask Mother Earth (Pachamama) for the success of the project.
Ayllu Solar was introduced to the community by its director, Rodrigo Palma. The president of Caleta Vitor’s neighbors’ board, Ana Carvajal, also participated and expressed the real needs of the farmers of Vitor. In addition, the treasurer of the neighbors’ board, Pedro Aravena, also made known his point of view regarding the development of the agricultural production.