Focus on: Martín Pastene, Executive Director of Wildlab Foundation

September 9, 2019
Communications Colunga Foundation

"ColungaHUB has opened the possibility of meeting with various NGOs to receive advice on key issues."

Inspiring an ecological look in society, through meaningful experiences and educational programs in nature, is the objective of the WildLab Foundation.

Martín Pastene, Executive Director, spoke with us to tell us about the development of this organization that has just begun.

How did you get to civil society?

I think that the first context was in my own school formation, at the San Ignacio El Bosque School, where we had early experiences that aroused our awareness of inequality and lack of opportunities for a large part of the population of our country. Then, during my first university year (2000), we created a project called Cultural Weeks, with which we approached arts and education to rural schools of high vulnerability in the VI and VII region. After seven years of execution of this project, it was born as an NGO, to give it formality. My participation in that corporation lasted until 2010, being part of the board. After eight years of absence in civil society, the concern for promoting changes and solutions to various discomforts caused by modern life once again arises: the ecological crisis, childhood health, mental health in adults, among others.

What is the organization currently working on?

Our foundation is dedicated to education and human development in nature. It was born as a response from civil society to face the disconnection of human beings with their environment, the result of which is the development of unsustainable activities for the Earth, with effects such as the ecological crisis and the climatic emergency, as well as health problems and the well-being of humanity itself. In that sense, we have developed different programs that encourage the reconstitution of this link, focused mainly on children, their families and the elderly. Promoting an education for well-being, through educational activities in nature, contributes to improving health and stimulating motor, intellectual, social and emotional abilities. We want to develop awareness in people so that the care of nature is an essential value in their lives, so that we can, as a species, sustain the resilience of the planet and allow future generations to know it as we and our ancestors did.

What is your biggest challenge?

Achieve economic solvency that allows the continuity of the professional team that is working compromised, since currently we only manage to pay fees to the extent that there are projects to be executed. The rest of the work has been held voluntarily. In this sense, our main tasks have to do with the raising of resources, allocation of funds and completion of projects. We seek to get at least one stable source of income. Other challenges have to do with solidifying our organizational and administrative structure, developing the organizational culture, a strategic plan, brand image and digital marketing.

How has your experience been at ColungaHUB?

Great! Since we are a very new and small foundation, before reaching ColungaHUB we did not have a stable place of work. In the first place, this has allowed us to have the possibility of generating weekly meetings that have greatly improved teamwork and task planning. Secondly, ColungaHUB has opened the possibility of meeting with various NGOs to receive advice on key issues for us.

What results do you hope to achieve with ColungaHUB?

On the one hand, continue to increase our networks and contacts with public, private organizations and with civil society, as a way to diversify the opportunities for financing and project development. On the other hand, advance in our organizational growth, give visibility to our work and generate collaborations with other NGOs.

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