El Abra Donation Helps Towns Recover from Devastating Forest Fires

April 4, 2023

El Abra’s donation will help the local government with recovery efforts in two small towns in the Araucanía region of Chile.

The company’s El Abra operations joined other mining companies and the regional government in Araucanía to fund the rebuild of 50 homes destroyed in recent forest fires. 

El Abra donated $100,000 to the project that is building 44 houses in the town of Puren and another six in Vilcun, communities made up largely of indigenous families. Several companies that are members of the Chilean Mining Council also donated to the effort. 

Forest fires in February destroyed about 2,000 houses, affected 500,000 hectares of land and left 25 people dead. The reconstruction of the houses began in March.

A total of $2.5 million was raised, half of which came from the mining companies’ donations and the rest from the regional government of Araucanía. The industry donations were coordinated by the Mining Council. Construction is being managed by the Fundación Desafío Levantemos Chile (Let’s Raise Chile Challenge Foundation). The homes are being built to area standards and will be donated fully furnished to families later this year. 

“In the same way that we have done with other emergencies and situations in Chile, we are beginning the construction of new homes for families that lost everything in the forest fires,” Claudia Corvalán, Manager-Public Affairs in Chile, said during a recent ceremony marking the onset of construction. “We value the collaboration of public and private sectors in this huge effort to come together in solidarity.” 

Viviana Riffo, president of Puren, also praised the quick response from the mining industry. 

“We didn´t think that this could happen,” Riffo said. “But I am excited because this donation has brought us hope that each neighbor is now going to have a house very quickly.”

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