Project Managers: Diane Archibald & Amor Chavez
Pasos Surenos began when a four-hectare piece of land was donated right in the heart of the reservation. The first goal was to gain the natives' trust by understanding and living in the harsh, but beautiful, mountain environment. A traditional Mapuche house, known as a ruca, was built and the Pasos Surenos staff planted trees, as well as put in water, and an electrical system. Devastating storms in 2000 left many of the reservations totally isolated, and Pasos Surenos moved their base of operation to a more centralized town.
Pasos Surenos workshops includes classes allowing young people of Mapuche heritage the ability to secure a working knowledge of the English language, coupled with ways of finding gainful employment. In exchange they ask a minimum or exchange of whatever they can give us, from eggs, chicken or grains, etc.
Pasos Surenos hopes to provide a Cultural Center where the Mapuche can offer their crafts and maintain the integrity of their cultural heritage.