The celebration of Astronomy Day, future training for entrepreneurs in the rural sectors of Domeyko, Incahuasi and Cachiyuyo, or actions to avoid light pollution, were some of the topics that the mayor of Vallenar, Armando Flores, discussed with the director of Las Campanas Observatory, Leopoldo Infante, and which will be fundamental for the collaborative work of development in the territory.
An instance in which they agreed on the relevance of exploring new potentialities and opportunities for the commune.
In this context, Leopoldo Infante, director of Las Campanas Observatory, described the meeting with the communal authority as positive, emphasizing that “we are very interested in approaching Vallenar, especially the municipality and the interests that the municipality has in taking astronomy to other areas, so the meeting was very interesting in that sense, the mayor makes his resources available for us to be able to extend astronomy in the commune”.
For the time being, and in the framework of Astronomy Day, a bus trailer will visit the city on March 25 with astronomical experiments to interact with students and the community, as Infante explained. “And as we were talking about, we are going to start Astronomy Day in Vallenar with a new equipment that we have, it is a bus trailer with astronomical experiments that we are going to take and invite people to participate in this”.
Undoubtedly, an alliance that was valued by Mayor Armando Flores, who referred to this bus that will arrive in Vallenar, which brings samples with an interesting inclusive seal. “We have agreed that a vehicle conditioned in a special way to be able to generate training and interact with the community, that vehicle will visit us together with a team of the observatory to interact with students in the first place, but also with our community in the area. As it is already a common practice of our management, generating spaces for inclusion and that different people can have access to visualize this equipment, that they can approach and interact with the technical team, is also part of what is being projected for this astronomy week that we are going to have in our community of Vallenar”.
This common vision allows projecting actions that consolidate the area as a point of tourist interest, which would generate an important development of the local economy, as stated by Mayor Flores. “We are agreeing on the need, in order to promote tourism in these sectors, to train our local entrepreneurs, especially in these localities, to provide stargazing and firmament observation services and thus generate an economy linked to our skies, which is important to project special interest tourism in our area. One of the things that interests us in the future is to be able to certify our skies, that purity that they have to facilitate the astronomical observation but that that is certified, but for what effects, that would allow us to bring even more visitors who seek this type of spaces for viewing the stars”.
A work plan that brings with it important opportunities for Vallenar, having as a starting point this activity in the framework of the Astronomy Day, -details will be informed soon-, but that extends to deeper actions that have to do with training and empowering entrepreneurs in the localities near the Observatory, to have infrastructure and equipment to enable the Environmental Technology Center (CTA) as a space to live observation experiences, or to work from now on together with Las Campanas, Fundación Cielos de Chile and the OPCC to have a city without light pollution by the end of 2030.