Kids for Patagonia Parks will give kids from vulnerable schools access to outdoor learning experiences in the national parks of Chilean Patagonia. By introducing a new generation of Chileans to their natural heritage, this project will nurture future defenders of nature and stimulate their curiosity about the wonders of protected areas. The experience will help participants appreciate natural areas, and by doing so, create a new culture of national parks in Chile.
Chilean Patagonia holds a great treasure: 17 national parks spread over 2,800 kilometers, an area that concentrates 91% of the territory of national parks in Chile. This treasure remains virtually unknown, as in Chile there is scant public understanding about national parks and how they can help save ecosystems and mitigate the effects of climate change. As a result, there has yet to be a generation of Chileans aware of national parks and involved in their protection.
One way to promote changes in attitudes towards the environment is by direct contact with nature through outdoor experiences, allowing Patagonia's national parks to transform into open classrooms for 250 kids of different communities. Through personal experience, these excursions have the capacity to generate a close bond with nature, stimulating a sense of curiosity, empathy and responsibility in the participants, as well as a sense of unity with nature.
In the long term, this project seeks to give all children in Chile access to their national parks in order to create a new generation connected with nature and involved in the protection of wild areas. Evaluations of international experiences indicate that outdoor learning promotes the development of simpler and more sustainable lifestyles.