Meet Victoria – she’s a brightly-colored 1987 Mercedes Benz van that runs on vegetable oil – and she’s traveling across Chile to schools and fairs to raise awareness about the environment, entrepreneurship and education.
Victoria is the home of the Ecomicro project, an initiative of the multinational conservation effort MOVE Latinoamérica. Ecomicro is transporting a crew of different nationalities around Chile to educate the public about caring for nature, promoting sustainable initiatives, and participating in their local communities, according to Gabriel Roa of Ecomicro.
“The Ecomicro of MOVE Latinoamérica is a platform for various institutions, companies, and creative people to share their sustainable projects throughout the country. In this way, the Ecomicro seeks to be a demonstration platform, and simultaneously, a strong educational tool that generates real changes in consciousness in all ages, regionalizing and bringing technologies and environmentally friendly practices to the people,” Roa told Emol.cl.
Inside the Ecomicro
Victoria is traveling the country with a sustainable sound system powered by solar energy panels and a pedal powered generator, promoting conservation through music, and exercise.
Another component is the mobile laboratory, a space for scientific investigation, used to reflect on the function of the natural environment, and illustrate the possible consequences of its alteration.
In addition, the Ecomicro carries a climbing wall, a kayak, a raft, 8 bicycles, and other equipment that can be used to bring young people outside. The goal is to show people ways to enjoy nature and live a minimal impact lifestyle, all while improving their health.
The Ecomicro is touring schools and green fairs throughout Chile, including places like the Volcán Tacora, Ojos del Salado, Aconcagua, and Cochamó. You can check out past and upcoming Ecomicro events at MOVE Latinoamérica’s Facebook page (in Spanish).
The project is supported by a wide variety of sponsors, including the Universidad San Sebastián, Arquimed, Bioils, Sistemas Sustentables, Emprendo Verde, ProWinch, Trictec-Energy, Sodexo, Global Programmes Scolaires, Ecohandle, Emuh, Handpresso and Clínica Meds, in addition to Chile’s Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications.