Wekimün: A school for and with Indigenous Youth & Communities in Chile

(DFATD, 2012-2017)

Project:  In the Mapuche language of Mapudungün Wekimün means the integration of new knowledge with traditional knowledge. Wekimün School, based in Chiloé, Chile, will integrate Mapuche (and within that, Williche) cultural knowledge, relating to daily life and livelihoods, with modern knowledge to produce a unique educational program that will serve the needs of rural Williche communities. The Wekimun Project’s Ultimate Outcome is a better the quality of life of Williche youth and communities by strengthening their culture through education that is faithful to the spirit of Wekimün. Each of the Project’s goals are gender inclusive, youth-attuned, and based upon principals of youth engagement and gender equality in all activities

Background: By working with the Williche Council of Chiefs (WCC) of Chiloé in determining the needs of the people in the Williche Territories this Project will construct a completely unique curriculum which will offer education and training best suited to support these youth for success in their communities. Wekimün School will continue to adapt to community needs while always respecting and reinforcing traditional Indigenous cultural knowledge and practices.

Objective: This project will reinforce, deepen, and expand the WCC’s current efforts to improve socioeconomic conditions and community well-being in their territories. Wekimün School will provide Williche youth with opportunities to pursue education and develop skills in a program which respects and incorporates Indigenous culture, while focusing on gender equality and community development.

Wekimün Project Website