NGO TALTAL Multicultural: An initiative that unites cultures

November 3, 2016
Communications Colunga Foundation

From Monday to Friday, between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., the second and third floors of the public library of Taltal, a town in the Antofagasta region, is activated by students who want to learn English and learn about other cultures with foreign teachers, who come to this volunteer from different parts of the world.

Three years ago the Multicultural Taltal NGO It operates in this commune, with the objective of "making Taltal a bilingual city and positioning it on the map", comments Héctor Tello, founder of this organization and English teacher, who decided to make this language accessible to students between 3 and 65 years old. , children, adolescents, young people, workers and housewives.

"Until last year we were the Circus of the Chamorro, I was the one who did the class, the one who was going to buy, the one who was going to look for the teachers on the bus, the one who cleaned, the one who did everything, until we applied to this fund 1,2,3 x All and we did very well ", Hector details.

After winning the Innovation Fund 2015, "1,2,3 x Todos" by Fundación Colunga, the NGO Taltal Multicultural project has had a remarkable growth, increased the number of students from 100 to 320, and went from receiving 30 teachers volunteers, annually, to 100. "We have grown, we restructured ourselves economically and we changed the focus. Now we have an organization that delegates and has its clear objectives, "says the founder of the NGO.

Testimonials from volunteers

This year the Talc Multicultural NGO has received 600 requests to be part of this initiative, which has allowed them to have the slots ready until 2018. Each volunteer comes for a month and a half, but they always end up staying longer.

Teachers work with students individually or with small groups of 2-5 students. To be part of this experience is not a requirement to speak Spanish, since the idea is that foreign teachers can interact with taltalinos through English, you just need to want to share and get involved with the community.

Part of the success of Talcal Multicultural NGO among foreign volunteers, is because many have shared their experience in Taltal through blogs. We invite you to know some testimonies:

"Héctor has formed a sanctuary rather than a school (...) A place where students feel safe, valued and entertained a lot" Sarah Richard's blog (see more) 

"This initiative is giving a great opportunity to students and people in Taltal to learn English. (...) I am sure that this project will grow and grow, and in a few years there will be amazing English speakers in Taltal " Victoria and Nathan's Blog (see more) 

"I realized that this was a very special place, where the students are all friends and socialize together. I loved the atmosphere of the school and the town of Taltal " Victoria and Nathan's Blog (see more) 

"One of the ideas of schools is to give students the opportunity to meet people from different countries (...) I am (Denisa) the first person from Slovakia they have seen and now, because I have been here, at least some of them will know where to find this small country in the heart of Europe " Blog of Marcelo and Denisa(see more)

"One of our favorite classes was on Wednesday mornings, along with the group of housewives who attended school. The class was held on the balcony of the library and we enjoyed the local dishes and freshly baked pastries that they brought us. We share tea and conversations in a mixture of English and Spanish " Blog of Aoife Hoey and Hugh Money (see more)

"Initially we had the intention of volunteering there for two or three weeks, but we ended up staying seven (...) For anyone who thinks of volunteering in Chile, we can not help recommending NGO Talc Multicultural!" Blog of Aoife Hoey and Hugh Mongey (see more)

Hector's projections for the Talc Multicultural NGO is that the model can be replicated in other communes of the country, that English classes are accessible especially in remote places such as Taltal, so that this cultural connection between volunteers and students is generated because "it is is the instance that they have to be able to know other cultures, interact with people from other countries, "Hector concludes.

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