Over 600 Participants in Art Contest Held by Santiago Center and Fundación Chile

June 24, 2021

In the context of Earth Day – celebrated annually on April 21 – the Santiago Center teamed up with Fundación Chile, with the support of the Ministry of Environment and the US Embassy in Chile, to launch an art contest aimed at mobilizing children and youth aged 10 to 18 to create solutions towards restoring ecosystems that have been affected due to climate change.

Minister of the Environment Carolina Schmidt praised both the initiative as well as its educational approach, emphasizing the contest provides an opportunity to reflect on the need to change habits and take action towards restoring the planet: “Caring for the environment is a shared task: We are all responsible and everyone has something to contribute… This is why we are making the call to action for the younger generations, encouraging them to work together for a more sustainable world.”

After reviewing over 600 drawings, paintings, scale models, collages, and videos submitted from all over the country, the jury selected three winners and two honorable mentions in each of the contest’s two categories: 10-14 years old and 15-18 years old, with Alfonsina Castro and Karoll Sarmiento winning first place in each category, respectively.

The members of the jury were Pamela López (TC’11), Director of Programming and Audiences at Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center (GAM); Noelia Rojas, journalist for the Ministry of the Environment; Lily Bravo, Senior Specialist for Science, Technology, Innovation, Energy and Mining at the US Embassy; Andrea Osorio, Director of ‘Learning for the Future’ at Fundación Chile; and Angela Oblasser, Sustainability Manager at Fundación Chile.

After witnessing the enthusiastic response from boys and girls from all over the country, López stated: “I was very surprised by the depth and content of the work, and, above all, by the empathy shown by the children in relating the environmental cause with their own surroundings.” In turn, Oblasser observed that “children and youth are very aware of both the planet’s situation and that their actions can have an impact. They’re aware of their own responsibilities. Several of them are very frustrated and distressed with the current situation, as expressed in their very deep messages.”

Upon learning that she had won first place in her category, Alfonsina Castro, who created a stop motion video entitled “Let's Save the World,” said that her inspiration was the song “Goodbye to a World” by US American musician Porter Robinson, which can be heard in the video. “The song is about a farewell at the end of the world. It made me sad and also made me think about the causes of an eventual death of the planet, realizing that this is exactly what we are achieving nowadays,” she noted. Regarding her award, she commented: “My goal was not necessarily to win. I rather saw it as an opportunity to express my concern through a video that could convey this felling to other people.”

Karoll Sarmiento, who won in the 15 to 18-year-old category with the video “How Much Longer?,” commented that her main motivation to enter the competition was “the need to portray how distressed I am by Chile’s ‘hidden cities’ practically becoming invisible, such as El Salvador, which is currently losing one of its main natural treasures.” Karoll explains in her work the ecological damage suffered by the Salar de Pedernales, a salt flat located more than 2400 meters above sea level in the country's northern Atacama Desert, whose ecosystem has been degraded both by climate change and by human action in the region.

Winners 10-14 years old

Winners 15-18 years old


All the works submitted in the contest can be viewed here.