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"Cuerdas y Más", the first recreational-educational activity of Center Terre and EspeleoPatagonia in

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

Bringing the little ones closer to caving and Patagonia's Marble Glaciers is one of the objectives of the Patagonia Speleological Association. We accompany them on a journey of discovery of their territory.

The vocation of Center Terre to share what it has learned throughout our expeditions has one of its highest expressions in the educational project that, since 2010, has been adding more and more schools, classes and schoolchildren in France. This project, which brings the caving and explorations of Center Terre closer to the little ones, has led Center Terre to be recognized as an educational body by the French Ministry of Education.

G-6 Miguel Montecinos school at villa Puerto Edén.

Photos: Franz Kroeger y Natalia Morata

This recognition is a clear reflection of Center Terre's vocation to share with the little ones the passion for exploration, knowledge and respect for a unique environment in the world: the Patagonian karst.

Bringing the marble glaciers closer to the Puerto Edén walkways. Photos: Franz Kroeger, Natalia Morata

This project began in France by articulating relations with the Ministry of Education through the French Federation of Speleology (to which Center Terre belongs), which has a specific section dedicated to the integration of speleology in schools.

In Chile, caving, the common thread of Center Terre expeditions, is a practically unknown activity. Our expeditions have contributed to publicize this sports-scientific activity, but it was necessary to create a Chilean organization that would begin the path of disseminating it and bringing it closer to Chileans. With this main objective, the Patagonia Speleological Association was born, a non-profit corporation created in Chile by Center Terre and in which we articulate as part of the board of directors.

Arrival of the TABSA barge at Puerto Edén.

Photos: Franz Kroeger, María José Fernández

The Patagonia Speleological Association, which, together with Center Terre, signed the renewal of the collaboration agreement with the Ministry of National Assets in March 2019, has started draft projects on Magellan soil. The most recent was conceived during the last expedition "Ultima Patagonia 2019" as we passed through the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, when we were asked to visit the G-6 Miguel Montecinos school to share with the children of Puerto Edén our love for the exploration and what we learned in the course of our expeditions to the marble and ice glaciers. After months of work and coordination with those in charge of the G-6 Miguel Montecinos school and the La Centollita ethnic garden, finally, Center Terre and the Patagonia Speleological Association created the first educational activity for the 20 children of the school and the garden (from 3 to 13 years old).

Preparing the activity room at the Miguel Montecinos school.

Photos: Natalia Morata y Franz Kroeger

During November 8 and 9, 2019, much of what was learned by Center Terre in the Marble Glaciers, our enthusiasm for exploration and our passion for caving, was shared with the children in a didactic, entertaining and participatory way.

Karst, caving, fauna and flora of Madre de Dios.

Photos: Ronald Larenas, Franz Kroeger, María José Fernández

These are some of the presentations

Some of the activities were to make several collages about Madre de Dios, explore the immediate environment in search of plants, insects and amphibians with magnifying glasses, look for clues inside an artificial cave with catholes, narrow passages and projections, overcome a rope course and, finally, jump down a zip line installed in the viewpoint. After a full day, the children's parents were waiting for us at school with a delicious surprise.

Collages on Madre de Dios and Center Terre expeditions. Photos: Franz Kroeger

Cave simulation and ropes circuit. Photos: Natalia Morata, Franz Kroeger

Environmental exploration activity. Photos: Ronald Larenas, Natalia Morata

Zip line at the Puerto Edén viewpoint. Photos: María José Fernández

Finally, the final point of the visit to Puerto Edén was the projection of the film "Ultima Patagonia" in the presence of children and adults.

Natalia delivers the book "The Island of Marble Glaciers", the reports and the documentaries of the expeditions from Center Terre to the Miguel Montecinos school. Photos: Photos: Ronald Larenas

This educational activity, which was notified to the Municipal Corporation of Natales (Cormunat) and the National Board of Kindergartens (Junji Magallanes), had the valuable support and participation of the Ministry of National Assets of Chile. Franz Kroeger and María José Fernández (Territorial Management and Heritage Unit of the Property Division of the Ministry) and Ronald Larenas (Cadastre Unit of the Ministerial Regional Secretariat of the Ministry of National Assets in Magallanes) accompanied Natalia Morata in this first educational experience on Chilean soil.

Screening of the film "Ultima Patagonia" before the community of Puerto Edén. Photo: Natalia Morata

We are very grateful for the opportunity and trust that both teachers and parents have given us and we hope that this first educational experience will give way to many more.

Navigation of more than 26 hours through the Patagonian channels between Puerto Natales and Puerto Edén. Photo: María José Fernández

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