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Recupera Chile offers three consecutive summer school programs in January for children aged 5 to 14 in the communities of Dichato, where hundreds of children, parents and teachers, have benefitted from the educational intervention. The summer school programs offer cultural, physical and educational activities, creating a space for:

  • Recreation

  • Learning

  • Health promotion

  • Illness prevention

Over 400 children have participated in the program, which is led by Harvard Medical School Professor Judith Palfrey, Professor Sean Palfrey and Dr. Elizabeth Peacock.


In 2021, under the auspices of a Santander Grant and with support from the David Rockefeller Center, Dr. Judith Palfrey created online marine biology and environmental curriculum, designed to be utilized by summer school professors, regional school teachers, and remotely by students all over Latino America. For a link to the curriculum, click here


In January 2020, "Sea Around Us Summer School" created a space for recreation, care and environmental education for the participating students and families of the nautical schools located in Tome, Dichato, Coliumo and the first initiative organized by the Cocholhue Nautical School. The activities were open to the general community and tourists. The program is focused on boys and girls from 6 to 16 years old and that in this eighth version supported families who participate in activities of the nautical centers of the commune of Tome, being these the only educational spaces that remain open during the summer for children. To carry out this activity we had the participation of two professionals, an actress and an environmental educator who used storytelling resources and an audiovisual professional to project videos on the environment and photographs. Chile is among the seven (7) countries most affected by climate change and we hope with this program to contribute to raising awareness, educating the environment and promoting practices that bring children closer to nature, sport and healthy living.

During March we will held an exposition of underwater photography obtained in Coliumo, photographs of wild birds and native flora of the area, accompanied by talks by experts in underwater photography, in the culture house of the commune of Tome and the cochoolhue arts house. native flora of the area (Talk Keule Foundation) and Talk Center Ñacurrutu about wild birds.


Moving forward, Harvard faculty involved in the project will publish a case study, "Post-disaster community empowerment in Chile: A case study of long-term recovery programs in three Chilean coastal communities following the 2010 earthquake and tsunami."


Judith Palfrey (HMS), visited Dichato, Chile to develop an Innovative Marine Science Education for Children program, as part of the Recupera Chile Initiative and through the Santander Foundation for innovative educational programming. Working with educators and marine biology students, they will develop modules and methodologies that support local teachers in teaching the fundamentals of climate science, marine biology, oceanography and prudent stewardship of fish and shellfish populations.

Diane Davis (GSD), RFK Professor Pablo Allard, and Judith Palfrey (HMS), led a two day conference on conceptual frameworks for recovery in Mexico and Chile. “Beyond Reconstruction: Environmental, social, and infrastructural challenges for long-term recovery after major earthquakes in Mexico and Chile.” Diane Davis´ GSD students presented their research and post disaster opportunity projects after the earthquake and field trip in January to Tehuantepec.  Recupera Chile team experts, led by Doug Ahlers (HKS) and Judith Palfrey (HMS), presented lessons learned after 8 years of experiential learning with community involvement. During the event, Marcela Rentería and Pablo Allard signed the adoption of Recupera Chile by Universidad del Desarrollo. 


For a sixth year, Recupera Chile offered the Dichato summer course to 70 children of ages 5-12 years old, whose parents are working outside their homes during the austral summer. The program started in early January 2018 and was hosted for the first time at the recently inaugurated nautical center on the Beach of Dichato. It included nautical activities like surfing classes and kayaking, and outdoor activities such as construction of sand castles, crafts, meditation, yoga, dancing, and ecological presentations based on observation of local animal species. During the week, HMS Professor Judith Palfrey delivered pediatric and health guidelines to the school's community. She also worked together with 70 parents of the Nautical Club of the School of Dichato, guiding them on teamwork efforts to cultivate programs connected to the love of the sea and to submit project applications for programs aimed at promoting a healthy environment and activities for their children.

From the 6th until the 13th January the Dichato´s Summer School 2017 was held. The activities were targeted at children and parents and each activity of the program had different professionals in charge. Children and parents participated in a dental operative which included talks and workshops about oral healthcare and a nutritional evaluation. In the dental operative participated 74 children from the school and up to 200 members of the community. Also, children visited the Marine/Algae Biology Laboratory, they did yoga, handicrafts, played beach football, water activities with a focus on kinesiology and swimming. The parents learned about sanitary measures for seafood, participated in an educational workshop to learn how to "keep a healthy wallet" and also, in a workshop about children´s mental health diseases. 

The collaborators of these activities were: Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de Concepción; Oral Rehabilitation and Implantology Center (CRAI), Universidad de Concepción; Marine Biology Laboratory, Dichato Station, Universidad de Concepción; Mar de Chile Foundation. 


RC sponsored summer school activities for children about marine life cycles with 20 children and 8 parents participating. 


​​​RC joined with UNESCO in sponsoring summer school activities for teachers from Dichato and neighboring communities on first aid, nutrition and sexual development in children and adolescents. A training workshop was held for one week for 30 teachers and assistants. The training addressed first aid, detection and disease prevention. Some of the activities were funded by UNESCO and taught by health professionals from the UdeC Faculty of Medicine. It was well received by the school community. 


Dichato´s Summer School was held from the 13th to the 16th of January.  Over 4 days, around 150 children and 30 parents attended workshops and sporting, educational, artistic, and cultural activities. Mar de Chile Foundation, Tierra de Esperanza, UdeC Faculty of Education and Medicine, volunteers and freelancers participated in the activities. Some activities were sponsored by Royal Pharma Laboratory.


RC sponsored 3 annual Summer School programs for children. A 1-day program in 2013 offered to children and families in the camp of displaced people. This was followed by a formal week with school-based programs in 2014 (with 150 children and 30 parents) and 2015 (with 100 children and 25 parents).


We know that the mental health of children, parents and teachers affects education and the learning abilities of each child. For this reason, and as a result of meetings with health services and the school, we incorporate trainings for teachers and parents on mental health topics and behavior through the school. 



From November 2012 to May 2013, a survey was administered at SM to a total of 66 parents of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children from Dichato School. The 27 pending surveys were conducted in March 2014. The results of the study are being analyzed.



Two psychiatry interns at the Universidad de Concepción conducted a training for educators of prekindergarten and kindergarten students. They addressed the most common mental health diseases, how to detect them, manage them, and how and where to refer them. 7 educators attended and 2 preschool assistants. A workshop satisfaction questionnaire was performed with very positive results and the next training is expected to take place during the second half of 2015 that will be open to the entire community of teachers from the school.




NEP training in collaboration with Cesfam Bellavista to parents of kindergarten students from Villa Fresia

This is the first workshop for parents in Dichato. They decided to work with Villa Fresia Kindergarten and 20 parents participated in the training, which included 8 sessions of 2 hours each. These trainings included training in parenting skills and motor and cognitive stimulation. A certificate of participation was given to the participants. An evaluation session was held at the end of the sessions with 9 mothers who showed great interest and positively evaluated the training.



NEP training in Kindergarten B Dichato School

A group of 15 parents and 2 teachers received training by a nurse from the Family Health Service, Cesfam Bellavista, Tomé. 6 sessions were held and parents evaluated positively the workshop and suggested extending it at the school.

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