“The completely eco-sustainable structures of the workshop were completed in 5 months, with the direct participation of 50 people from the Baquedano community.”
The Taller came into being through collaboration with the Sembra Association, a Chilean organisation that promotes sustainable development in rural communities by engaging them in professional training projects to start up small artisanal businesses.
The cinema that runs on pedals
The Eco-Technological Workshop is a place of gathering and training aimed primarily at female heads of households and elderly members of the community.
In the centre’s space, the Sembra association organises workshops of eco-carpentry, to produce doors, windows, tables and chairs, and of bio-construction, in order to teach how to create infrastructure with low environmental impact, using the land, recycled plastic, cardboard, cotton and discarded wood.
“The most important result of the eco-workshops is the centre itself: the rooms, the furniture, the fixtures and even the lights were made by recycling waste materials.”
The visitors to the Eco-Technology Workshop will immediately notice three tandem bikes placed under the arbour of the central courtyard: they are the bicycles that help power the centre’s Bike-Cinema.
The pride and joy of the Taller’s creativity, the Bike-Cinema uses the kinetic energy produced by pedalling on the tandems together with energy taken from photovoltaic panels installed on the roof.
The cinema itself, which will host its first film festival in 2017, is also a sort of showroom for the products made in the workshop.
Besides the benches built with pallets and the light fixtures made from bicycle rims, the space is decorated with large posters on wood showing movie characters like Harry Potter and Charlie Chaplin.
Furniture, Toys and Jewellery
Used shirts, plastic bottles, wooden pallets and cardboard make their way to the Eco-Technology Workshop: all materials that would end up in the dump that are instead given new life through the hands of the aspiring artisans of Boquedano.
“The activities hosted at the centre involve 30 female heads of families and 21 elderly members of the local community. ”
The Taller’s rooms fill up every day with people attending courses, learning to transform recycled paper and other sub-products into notebooks, lamps, rings and earrings.
The first weeks of operation in 2016 were a great success. For 2017, in addition to the courses already in progress, there will be workshops for the production of stoneware and ceramics, to be transformed into eco-sustainable jewellery, and of wood, to be used to create furniture, fixtures and even toys.