Pehuenche communities of Alto Biobío and Enel Generación inaugurate the intercultural school of Quepuca Ralco

Published on Friday, 24 May 2024

Escuela Quepuca Ralco
  • The children of the Quepuca Ralco area are now able to enjoy their new school, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Enel Generación and the Mapuche Pehuenche communities of Quepuca Ralco, El Avellano, Kepuka Ralko 2, El Barco, and Guayalí.
  • The new school, named “Ñebun Degiñ Pehuen” or “Avellana Volcán y Araucaria” in Spanish, was co-designed by the communities and Enel Generación. It incorporates aspects of Mapuche Pehuenche cultural belonging, both architecturally and in its educational program. These characteristics make it a unique educational space within the district of Alto Biobío.


Alto Biobío, May 24, 2024: "It's wonderful to have a school with this level of construction and design," said one parent. "The school is spacious, and the rooms are large," commented another. "Having a school in good condition means that the children feel motivated to study every day and are eager to come to school in the morning," expressed a member of the educational community of Quepuca Ralco School. These were some of the reactions of children and parents after the inauguration of their new school.

After nine years of collaboration between Enel Generación Chile and the Mapuche Pehuenche communities of Alto Biobío, a cycle has come to a close with the inauguration of a new school. Thanks to constant dialogue and mutual trust, this marks the beginning of a new chapter filled with optimism and growth opportunities for future generations.

"I am proud to inaugurate this new educational infrastructure, which is part of an important commitment made by Enel Generación to the communities of Alto Biobío. I want to congratulate the team, which includes people from our company, members of the communities, and representatives of the companies responsible for constructing this new school. It was not an easy challenge, especially considering the difficulties posed by its location. Nevertheless, this project demonstrates that Enel's commitments and sustainability plans in the region are not just theoretical, but are being realized," said James Lee Stancampiano, general manager of Enel Generación.

The Quepuca Ralco school is a significant project for the communities and Enel Generación. Thanks to this commitment, both parties could co-design the space to incorporate elements of cultural belonging, including the cosmovision of all the communities that make up its educational community.

Given the area's climatic conditions and low temperatures and the difficulties these factors often pose to families, a new educational space of more than 3,500 square meters was built using materials and construction techniques that ensure thermal insulation in ceilings, floors, and perimeters. This allows for the ideal thermal conditions for the educational development of the 120 boys and girls who will study in it daily. The space features an iconic, circular design.

"In 2015, we had a conversation with Enel's Sustainability team, and they were willing to form a dialogue table in all the meetings. We are proud that the children feel comfortable and happy to have a decent school," expressed Fernando Curreao, president of the El Avellano community.

The establishment also plans to construct a 350 m2 boarding school to accommodate 20 students. The facilities will include dormitories, bathrooms, and study spaces to support the students' educational development. Additionally, to promote holistic development, the new Quepuca Ralco School will feature a fully equipped 840 m2 multipurpose gymnasium for sports and leisure activities for children and parents in the educational community.