Home Institution

Willamette University

Publication Date

Spring 2007

Program Name

Chile: Culture, Development, and Social Justice


Throughout Chile over the past fifteen years there has been a communal and legal movement to reclaim the heritage of native groups and to emphasize the importance of an intercultural society. In the past seven years, a variety of educational programs prompted by the Ley Indígena of 1993 have begun to take shape with the main goal of educating youth of indigenous origins about their ancestral societies. However, in the rural towns of Putre and Codpa in the region of Arica y Parinacota, the results of the first few years of these programs have been marginal, due to the lack of resources to properly instate an intercultural curriculum. In each case, only a handful of classes are offered that cover conversational language and cultural practices. This study specifically asks the question: Why is there a lack of economic resources and community involvement in the implementation of educational programs designed to promote the traditional Aymara culture in the public schools of Codpa and Putre? In order to research this topic, a methodology was used that primarily utilized information from interviews with thirteen individuals, including personnel involved in indigenous organizations such as the National Corporation for Indigenous Development and teachers and administrators from both educational facilities. These resources were analyzed in conjunction with specific observations and the analysis of a variety of texts outlining the plans and problems of programs such as the Intercultural and Bilingual Education of the Ministry of Education. Through the analysis of these results and in tandem with the findings of previous studies, it can be concluded that the lack of current resources in Codpa and Putre is the manifestation of a history constructed by centuries of social repression, from the arrival of the Incas to the Spanish colonization to the political policies of Chilenization during the late nineteenth and twentieth century. Many of the interviews and texts utilized highlight the difficulty of overcoming the centuries of discrimination and imposition of occidental values upon the students and community that create a general lack of interest in the topic. This, concurrent with the shortage of governmental support in the allocation of material and human resources, has caused the educational programs to be minimal in their abilities to create an indigenous identity within the youth of Aymara origin who attend the schools of Codpa and Putre.


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research


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