“No one who is constantly attached to nature will have bad instincts and negative thoughts” – Diario La Quinta

(From songs by Gina Landazzuri)

“It is too important to connect with the environment, we want to connect the neighborhood where our faculty works so that they will use our facilities in the future and thus be connected to the environment” (Professor Jorge Gálvez).

It was a cold afternoon in Viña del Mar, but over a cup of delicious hot coffee I struck up a very interesting conversation with Jorge Gálvez, a professor at the School of Physical Education at the Catholic University of Valparaiso. He has 38 years of professional experience, 45 years of mountain guide and skier training.

He tells us that in the late 1990s, when university curricula depended on the guidelines of the Ministry of Education and proposed the insertion of environmental education, he already had complete curricula ready and the Ministry already added the mentioned career as a compulsory educational part. supporting, preparing teachers to be environmental educators, such as trail-leading, nature-leading teachers.

“So my previous knowledge helped me,” says Jorge. “Thus, in those years, this career was already established in the community axis of working with nature as something necessary to this day. We started to have a presence in the country and the teachers who already had this training, we started to train a few more from all over the country, to apply motor guides in contact with nature”, adds the academician.

“There are institutions that have already made forays into the mountains, into climbing and skiing, but that was the bare minimum.” Our career had a great advantage in the training of physical education teachers from all over Chile through our university, which was maintained until 2017,” he points out.

In addition to pedagogical training, they also carry out other community-oriented activities. Tell us a little bit about that.

-Many activities were given with the support of the Ministry of Sports with training and rehabilitation camps for example for vulnerable children among others. We started to carry them out between 1997 and 2007. However, these projects were resumed in 2012 with the Viña del Mar School for the Blind, conducting motor stimulation and climbing workshops for boys and girls, and thus doing research of how these little people can motivate themselves by learning didactically to replicate in other types of children with different abilities with this type of motor activities.

We were pioneers despite the lack of facilities and yet they were successful activities.

How did they manage to finance these projects?

-For this type of activity, we resorted to the support of private companies and the university itself, applying for environmental education funds, student initiatives, etc., in order to have access to funds. There are also volunteers among young students and companies, such as R-Acciona and Ecostandard, with whom we have achieved a magnificent synergy to achieve environmental goals.

We carried out social activities, for example, with children from Barrio Puerto (Valparaiso), who we took to have contact with nature, supported by private companies like the ones I mentioned, in addition to seeking competitive means to achieve our goals.

How do you deal with the inclusion problem?

We are concerned about this issue as we have students with disabilities. For example, we had a student who at birth had birth problems (perinatal hypoxia), which due to a lack of oxygen in general or in various organs, which contributed to the appearance of cerebral palsy and mental retardation, but still won the competition. At the moment we have a blind student in the first year, with whom the teachers had to adapt to know how to act with him, to treat him in the same way as others; We did research on people with quadriplegics who built a special chair to move these people with this disability to enjoy the natural environment, we achieved it with students helping to move, this with a chair. It’s not perfect, but thanks to the invention of a French chair model known as Joliet, who is all-terrain, adapted for people with reduced mobility and who designed it because he has his son with quadriplegia and he gave the idea to create this chair. Fortunately, he released his patent so that it can be copied anywhere in the world, therefore we reproduce the model that we have perfected since its construction was made by us. The model is not perfect, but it helped us a lot.

We made the second version with students from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and they managed to lighten the metals, making it possible for the user to manipulate them mechanically, and even came up with a design for a third level, adding an electronic device to make it easier to use. And this was created using only university funds.

What is business assistance?

-For example, with R-Acciona we have voluntary help in trekking activities on outings with children, reforestation in the facilities of the Laguna Verde Interuniversity Foundation for Territorial Sustainability, which was very satisfying.

There is much to do, much to deliver, much to learn, the environment needs to be cared for and loved. Due to lack of access to culture, there are many boys and girls who cannot learn to physically engage in it, so we want to train down, aspergers, blind children and others, be climbing instructors and make them happy people ..

There are no companies that want to hire such young people, so we give them certificates that they are prepared for this, because they are people who can develop normally and can not only learn to guide in physical activities, but also in intellectual fields.

People who perform physical and motor activity in contact with nature have better self-esteem, better academic achievements and the ability to communicate with their peers. In this contact with the environment, people have an instinct for self-care and care for others. No one who is constantly attached to nature will have bad instincts and negative thoughts; on the contrary, they will even learn to develop patience, reflection, respect for the planet and man.

That’s why it’s important to be active and manage to combine it with other activities. I invite you to volunteer with us, the School of Physical Education.

It is too important to connect with the environment, we want to connect the neighborhood where our faculty works so that they will use our facilities in the future and thus be connected to the environment.

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