CHILE

Ercilla, Araucanía, Chile
Vase placed by Magali Villena, Daniela Sepúlveda, María Eugenia Avilés, Silvana Messina, Claudia Soto, Consuelo Olivero, María Escobar Rivas and the Spirit of Hilda Rivas on January 17th, 2015

Ercilla its a small town in the Araucanía Region, about 590 km from the capital. Before, it was a beautiful and rich farming area, but now it has been overcome by a mixture of resentment, anger, revenge. There, Mapuches, forestry exploitation companies, descendants of settlers, State, and even foreign interests share this same scenario where, at the moment of this planting, in their words: you don’t know who is who anymore; grudges between communities, burning properties and vehicles aren’t a rare thing to happen in this countryside.

We got to Chamichaco just on time before nightfall, we camped under a huge old Linden with no electricity nor toilet and just listened to the sound of a fresh stream. As soon as we were done the sky was filled with thousands of fireflies. We made a big pause there to appreciate nature’s magic. The next day it took us some time to find the way to the top of a little hilltop. But there in a small and hidden native forest, with the smell of wet soil and condors flying overhead, we did some chanting of prayers and laughed a lot. The women did this planting whilst the men prepared lunch, and we celebrated and had fun during the days ahead. Hearing all kind of stories from the many sides and colors, enjoyed the seasonal fruit and the warmth, kindness and generosity of each person we met on the way there. May this good intention help and may we humans understand soon what peace is.