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Agroecological and Pedagogical Garden of El Chaltén (HAPEC)

HAPEC is a space for experimentation with agroecological techniques and workshops for children in the community.

In El Chaltén, the conjunction between the lack of access to land, the trajectory of the local economy and the imaginaries about food production influence food production. Currently, our territory lacks bio-food landscapes and healthy foods. 

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Local food production in El Chaltén

El Chaltén is experiencing a housing and land-access crisis influencing local food production. The townʼs main economic activity - tourism - has deepy shaped the territory of El Chaltén, creating landscapes and tourist infrastructures that compete with other possible land uses. 

However, the development of agroecological gardens is one of the conditions to build a socially and environmentally just territory. The recovery of the right to decent housing - which we can extend to the right to produce food for local consumption - stands in opposition with other construction projects.  In addition, to reach El Chaltén, food travels between 800 and 1500 km from distant provinces such as Mendoza or Buenos Aires. Vegeatbles have low nutritional intake and supermarkets display little variety of fruits and vegetables.

These issues of access to decent housing and food production are interconnected with environmental protection. In El Chaltén, the protected area provides an opportunity to build harmonious relationships between species protection and agroecological cultivation, in order to build a territory protecting biodiversity and the health of its inhabitants. HAPEC is the first agroecological and pedagogical open-air garden of El Chaltén.


food sovereignty

It implies the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food, produced by ecological and sustainable methods, as well as the right to define their own food and agricultural systems. 

Access to agroecology,
health and food sovereignty

The supply of healthy, sustainable and local food is a right. Living off the land should be a decent economic opportunity. 

Today, access to food produced without pesticides is very scarce.Argentina is one of the countries with the highest use of pesticides worldwide. The agricultural model is characterized by the production of "commodities", monocultures destined for export, in an extractivist perspective consolidated by the dependence to the  "technology package" -genetically modified organisms and the use of pesticides.


Local production has direct impacts on the national production system: local productive orientations can be emancipated from this production model. Recreating community gardens, recovering Andean cultivation practices and developing agroecological seed banks are some of the ways to consolidate food sovereignty in Southern Patagonia. 

HAPEC is an experimental gardening space adapted to South Patagonia. We count on a team of volunteers and carry out workshops with 17 children between 5 and 11 years old.

50 m2

of cultivated garden


monthly free workshops with children from the community


Alliances with local restaurants and bars - "Recycle in HAPEC"

HAPEC workshops for children in El Chaltén

We develop activities so that the youth of Chaltén have a space to observe and experiment with food production.

Our workshops explore the physical space of the garden with the children, aiming at the generation of shared memories, emotions and commitments between the children and the facilitators.


Through games and hands-on activitiescas, we bring key concepts of healthy food production to a young audience (5-11 years).


Recycling and agroecological practices

We work with businesses in El Chaltén to reuse organic waste from restaurants and bars. 


In high season, each restaurant produces at least 900 liters of organic waste per month. Recycling at HAPEC allows us to work to close the product cycle and reuse organic matter from restaurants. We recycle compost and barley from three companies, an average of 100 liters of organic matter per month.

In addition, we integrate permaculture techniques to generate associations between plants. In addition, we have a nursery of native plants from Southern Patagonia.

Woodworking workshops for women

We took advantage of the HAPEC space and the construction needs to carry out free carpentry workshops facilitated by a local carpenter. 

The carpentry workshops allow volunteers from the community to integrate basic construction methods with wood and sheet metal. They constitute an opportunity to share the necessary knowledge for sobriety, autonomy while allowing the empowerment of the women of Chaltén.

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Find information about HAPEC and the workshops with children in our activity reports.

Newsletter Diciembre 2023 - talleres de la HAPEC 

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