Mapuche is a youth association, free and open to everybody, whose purpose is to promote voluntary work and raise awareness about environmental, cultural and other matters of common interest through exchanges and contacts between people and associations.
The association was founded by a group of young people actively involved in environmental and social issues in their home territory. The Mapuche team wishes to promote participative citizenship, youth initiatives and cultural exchanges and to do so with enthusiasm and positivity.
Mapuche has the following specific goals:
- Promotion of voluntary work;
- Awareness-raising of matters of common interest, environmental and cultural issues by establishing contacts between people and organisations;
- Training of teachers and social workers in voluntary and environmental areas to equip them to pass on a love and respect for the environment to society and individuals;
- Serving as a melting pot of ideas and encouraging lifelong learning;
- Promoting the concept of European Active Citizenship.
Mapuche is the name for native Amerindian inhabitants of central and southern Chile and southern Argentina (Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia). The name derives from the fusion of two terms: Mapudungun, meaning "People" and Mapu, “of the Earth."
Mapuche people have an agriculture-based economy. Their social organisation revolves around enlarged households, under the direction of a “lonko”, or chief. In fact, they are a varied ethnic entity composed of many different groups but who share the same social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic inheritance. Mapuche people successfully withstood many of the a Inca Empire’s efforts to subjugate them despite them not having a state-government organisation. They even fought against “conquistadores” and, using the Bìo-Bìo river as a natural border, succeeded in withstanding the colonisation attempts in the period from 1500 to 1800.
We chose “Mapuche” as the name for our association to emphasise the close relationship that we have with our homeland, which we hope will benefit from activities organised under the framework of our association. Mapuche wants to embody the spirit of “People of the Earth”, both in the sense of devotion to the territory and attention to the value of exchanges between people and cultures of the world. “People of the World”, without borders or divisions, just nuances and varied cultures to be understood.