Families of the remote Potrerillos sector renew equipment for their rural post and social center
Residents of this corner of Puchuncaví developed a project in conjunction with the transmission electric company ISA InterChile
Potrerillos is one of the 22 localities belonging to the commune of Puchuncaví. It is located 5.5 kilometers from the city center, amidst forests, mountains, and ravines. To get there, visitors must travel along Route F-30-E to the El Rungue sector and then take the right turn onto F-126, which changes its name to F-132 a couple of kilometers later.
The road is winding and constantly ascending. In some points, the curves are extremely tight, so caution must be exercised while driving. There are no constructions along the route, only huge pine trees, eucalyptus, and native species that give a special greenness to the hills. Just over three minutes from El Rungue, the first thing you see is an imposing white building: the health center.
Passing that curve, you can see the houses of the neighbors. Many of them have a vehicle and can connect with the city in just over seven minutes. However, those who have to travel on foot need almost an hour.
About 25 families live in this remote place. Many of them have come from different points in the region and the country in search of tranquility. There are natives of Chanco -Region of Maule-, as well as Quintero, Quillota, and other nearby cities.
The vast majority of residents are elderly, for whom the distance and abandonment weigh more than the rest.
For this reason, within the framework of the construction project of the “Cardones Polpaico” electric highway, a joint work was initiated between this community and the ISA InterChile company, aimed at generating relevant changes in the quality of life of these families.
On the afternoon of Friday, December 27, the ceremony for the delivery and compliance of the measures established in the Environmental Qualification Resolution of the aforementioned project was held, where the implementation of furniture and equipment was considered for the social center and the rural health center in the town of Potrerillos.
In addition to being a moment to learn about the result of the work between the company and the community, this meeting represented an important step in building mutual trust.
THE PRIDE OF THE SOCIAL CENTER
The neighborhood association of Potrerillos has been functioning for 30 years and has a modern and comfortable space for meetings and other activities. However, it is a recent building, as it was built two years ago. Before, they met under a ramada that provided slight shelter from the sun and rain.
They applied for government funds to make the construction possible, but there was a lack of implements and furniture.
In 2015, ISA executives visited Puchuncaví to present the community with the scope of the electric highway project and establish a series of commitments to support the community.
After several visits, agreements were reached, and once the operation of the electric highway began, different implements were gradually delivered. In the case of the social center, the company contributed an investment in chairs, tables, gas oven and stove, freezer, water heater, various appliances, pots, plates, and cutlery.
The president of the Potrerillos neighborhood association, Juan Mena Palma, acknowledges that, as is often the case with these projects, they went from doubt to trust.
“At the beginning, honestly, we didn’t expect much. But in the end, we decided to talk and express to the company the needs of our town. We are very grateful for what the company has done for us, satisfied and grateful, as now our social center and rural health center are in better conditions,” says the president.
“Now we have a phenomenal furnishing, and I proudly say that we have the most beautiful social center in the commune,” Juan celebrates.
This leader has dedicated more than half of his life to social and neighborhood work. A native of the San Isidro de Quillota sector, he has been in charge of several projects. Even before arriving in Potrerillos 30 years ago, he was a leader in Santa Rosa de Colmo, where he also left his mark.
“I have always liked to see people rise and I feel satisfied with what I have achieved,” expresses the leader.
Alejandra Salazar Vicencio is the secretary of the neighborhood council. She arrived in Potrerillos almost 30 years ago from La Quebrada, another rural town in Puchuncaví and, commenting on the results of the joint work with ISA, she said that “it is good to have these new spaces”.
“We are a countryside town that unfortunately is far away, where it is difficult to receive help. Hopefully the company can collaborate with us more,” she added.
COMFORTABLE RURAL HEALTHCARE CENTER
In the mid-1990s, the Rural Health Center of Potrerillos was also built with contributions from the Regional Government. It is installed on the same land as the social headquarters and is the first building seen when entering the town. Currently, it operates with a doctor, a physical therapist, and a paramedic technician, who come from the Puchuncaví Cesfam, and attend every last Thursday of the month, starting at 2:00 p.m.
As most of the inhabitants are elderly, its operation is very necessary. Although the Municipal Health Department worked hard to keep it in good condition, resources have not always been sufficient.
That is why, when the neighbors met with ISA InterChile, they did not hesitate to expose the need to have more and better equipment for this healthcare facility.
Olga Basáez Osorio, in charge of its maintenance, states that the contribution from ISA InterChile will allow them to work in better conditions: “Before, the healthcare center was not so comfortable. We had very old equipment, but now we have more modern elements. With this, the doctor will have comfort to deliver his service and the patients will also have a better place to receive their attention.”
The company’s contribution consisted of 10 multifunctional chairs, a 40-inch Smart TV for the waiting room, three large and one medium-sized separating curtains, a one-meter long by 80-centimeter wide bulletin board, and a modular piece of furniture.
In addition, glasses and plates, light bulbs, long LED bulbs, a desk, a stretcher, paint buckets, and a small ladder were included in the deliveries.
The president of the neighborhood association of Potrerillos comments that this marks a before and after, in things that seem simple, but are very significant: “As there were no separating curtains, even the neighbors could not undress peacefully to be examined. But with this contribution, we can enable special spaces for doctors and patients.”
Hugo Basáez Osorio, a neighbor born and raised in Potrerillos, is a builder and values these changes: “We have had a good relationship with the company, beyond the difficulties that we have had to face. The important thing is that we have received what we asked for, which will undoubtedly help the neighbors. For this reason, we are grateful”.