Through training in Organic Cultures of medicinal plants, the "Centro Occupational Hortiterapéutico" improves the social inclusion of people with disabilities in a northern neighborhood of Santiago, Chile.
In the northern sector of the city of Santiago there are towns such as La Pincoya, Conchalí or El Barrero, which have important pockets of poverty and inequality. Here People in Disability Situation of limited resources are usually invisible and are in isolation in their homes, without receiving the appropriate stimulation and treatment.
COH wants to achieve the social inclusion of People in Disability Situation with limited resources, through their active participation in the community.
It seeks to improve the physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being of these people through their training in reproduction and propagation of medicinal crops.
Through this therapeutic tool with its beneficial effects promotes contact with nature and peoples with Weekly workshop on reproduction and harvest medicinal plants for later commercialization.
the Allinmapu Club, composed of People in Disability Situation who have carried out in the previous years the Tal ’Workshop on Training in Organic Cultures of Medicinal Plants’.
Its objective is to maintain itself as a social network and continue with the practice of the cultivation of medicinal plants as recreational gardening and healing indefinitely.
Also composed of participants graduated from the Crop Workshop, it seeks to offer new employability opportunities to its members through the commercialization of some of the products produced by the COH.
Educational Visits Coming from various social organizations, colleges and universities of Santiago, which allow to publicize the program, generate social awareness about disability and be a good socialization exercise for participants. Support is given to the eventual labor insertion of graduated participants.
"Centro Occupational Hortiterapéutico" works closely with the municipalities of Huechuraba and Recoleta, the two closest communes, as well as with the Cristo Vive Foundation from which many participants arrive. It is also linked to various private schools and universities in Santiago.
In 2018, about 32 people participated in the organic farming workshops. The Allinmapu Club currently has 17 members; the cooperative, just starting, with five members. Educational visits reach an annual audience of an average of 50 people. Since the beginning of the program, four participants have managed to insert themselves professionally.
A healing work, to help the others to heal
COH wants to achieve the social inclusion of People in Disability Situation, with limited resources, through their active participation in the community. It seeks to improve the physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being of these people through their training in reproduction and propagation of medicinal crops.
“I arrived at the Fondacio Horticultural Therapy program guided by the need to share with other people, to reintegrate myself into the rhythm of society. At that time I was going through a deep depression and didn't want to leave my room. One day my mother told me that I was invited to a Horticultural Therapy workshop.
That's when it all began. I was struck by the fact that I saw people with disabilities that were much more complex than mine and yet they attended the workshop much happier than I did. The activities aroused my curiosity: dealing with plants, putting my hands in the ground and getting dirty, learning the qualities of those plants.
Everything was very gratifying to me. In this process, the group prayer was fundamental and made a "click" inside me. At first it was very difficult for me, but finally I opened myself and let out everything I had inside. Today my life is intense and wonderful and I want to live step by step what I started from the earth.”
Adrián Martínez, participant in the program “Centro Ocupacional Hortiterapéutico”.
The Hortiterapeutic Occupational Center project is attached to the Social Purposes Donation Law, of the Ministry of Social Development, allowing the donor, company or individual, to receive a tax benefit of up to 50% of the total donation.