Educational outing of the Centro Educativo Salesianos de Talca national parks (Chile)

Salesianos de Talca Educational Center went on an educational trip to two national parks in Chile. They organized a visit to the Los Ruiles and Federico Albert National Reserves, where they explored the beauty and importance of native and exotic forests.

The Los Ruiles Sector is located in the Maule Region, province of Cauquenes and commune of Chanco. The sector is located immediately to the north side of the road that connects Cauquenes with Chanco, at kilometer 29 of the route, all paved. Its main hiking trail is Los Ruiles, 1.5 km long and the walking time along this trail is 3 hours. This trail runs through part of the reserve, under a centuries-old forest of Ruiles, hualos and coigües that give it great beauty and educational importance.

The trails were guided by a CONAF ranger, indicating the species present (native and endemic) in the reserve and the importance of the reserve to the ecosystem. Students will ate a cold snack and brought their own water. The garbage generated was taken out of the reserve in bags that was previously taken from the establishment.

The Federico Albert unit is located in the Maule Region, province of Cauquenes, commune of Chanco, where they had lunch at the reserve's facilities. The trails were later developed according to the indications of the park rangers.

Guided tour by park rangers, indicating the ecosystemic importance of the reserve and its main species, enhanced the learning experience of all who were part of this trip.

These were the main trails that they walked -

- The Path of the Senses: 300 meters. Walking time: 20 minutes. It is located under eucalyptus and pine trees and allows blind people to walk safely through the area;

- El Eucalyptus: 300 meters, three interpretive stations. Walking time: 40 minutes;

- Las Dunas de Federico Albert: 1.4 km, with 7 stations. Walking time: 1 hour. The trail allows to visualize the works carried out since 1900 to control the dune;

- Path to the Forest: 2.7 km. With 10 interpretive stations. Walking time: 1 hour.

The trails of both reserves were developed according to the weather conditions and abilities of the students and teachers. It was recommended and coordinated by the National Forestry Corporation.