In early 2010, much of Chile was devastated by an earthquake of 8.8 magnitude. Pichilemu, a coastal town three and a half hours from Santiago the capital, was hit extremely hard by the subsequent tsunami following the earthquake.
Since 2010, Misfit Aid has been working with a local organisation within Pichilemu known as Pura Vida, to create an action plan that would see the re-construction of people’s homes and community infrastructure, community development initiatives and training in micro-finance programs, thereby allowing local businesses to support themselves and inject money back into the community of Pichilemu.
Pura Vida means Pure Life and has set itself up as a community centre that gives back to the local community as well as running Homes of Hope Chile. By coming alongside Pura Vida, Misfit Aid will help Pura Vida become a self-supporting entity, allowing them to become ever more effective in serving the community’s needs.
To date, Misfit Aid has sent six teams over to Pichilemu, close to 60 people who have worked with Pura Vida. Together the following has been achieved:
- Construction of three new homes for local residents who lost theirs in the earthquake
- Assisting with the construction of community infrastructure such as an Olympic size swimming pool. The pool allows for local events to be held and also holds regional importance with the National Swimming titles also being held there
- Development of small businesses within Pichilemu community. Together with a micro-finance loan and professional business mentoring, these businesses will become self-sufficient, paying back their loan and eventually putting back into the community.
- Assisting with the construction of an aquaponics system that will sustainably feed up to 100 people within the Pura Vida community.
Misfit Aid could not have achieved any of this without LAN Airlines. LAN Airlines have provided significant support to Misfit Aid; sponsoring flights for our volunteers teams travelling to Pichilemu, greatly assisted Misfit Aid in its endeavours to date, and will continue to be a significant support in enabling us to providing ongoing assistance to communities in Chile over the coming few years.
Each trip to Pichilemu will see the Misfit Aid team focusing on three areas. These being:
- Building and construction of community housing and infrastructure.
- Training in small business management and basic business mentoring.
- Assisting with other community development initiatives such as aquaponics.
At the end of a hard working day, some of the team chose to capitalize on the world class surf breaks surrounding Pichilemu, including Punta De Lobos. Punta de Lobos is a left-hand break that runs for several hundred metres, rapping itself around barren headlands covered in cacti. If you are lucky enough you can get a wave that will ride form the furthest point all the way through to the beach.
If you want to know more about individual trips and what has been achieved you can visit our blog or to check out what the latest projects Misfit Aid are working on alongside Pura Vida please click on “latest news” tab.