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 In July, an important month for parishioners of the Catholic Church and followers of the Virgen del Carmen, Fundación Tres Valles and members of the community of El Manzano celebrated, with great joy, a newly remodeled chapel and welcomed the Virgen Carmelita, patron of Chile.

With the support of the Fundación, the El Manzano community worked tirelessly to reconstruct the community’s chapel, an important place for the community dedicated to coming together for faith and religion. The chapel needed a full remodel, focused on both craftsmanship and functionality of the site, in addition to the rearrangement and preparation of the interior space.

Over the course of three weeks, record time for Fundación Tres Valles, the community coordinated the tasks alongside hired workers and developed all the tasks to completion. Externally, the chapel and the bell tower were painted and a tile path was put in marking the entrance to the chapel. Inside, the walls were painted and a new ceramic floor was installed. Wooden benches, which were custom made, were purchased and members of the community finished the sanding and varnishing, additionally a new chair was added to the altar. The large volume of religious images was placed on newly installed shelves, giving them a more permanent and safe location.

Eugenia León, President of the Neighborhood Association and Head of Projects, participated in all stages of the remodeling, both supervising and contributing manual labor to complete the chapel. In her opinion, this building is a strong symbol for El Manzano: “today we can be happy and proud of our chapel. We feel very satisfied because the result has been highly praised and well received by the community. In addition, it was very necessary to create a beautiful place for the Virgin, that for us is the most important,” commented Eugenia.

Improvements to the San Damián Chapel and the El Manzano Community Center

The works completed on chapel are only the first stage of the improvement projects in El Manzano. The next stage will focus on improvements to the Neighborhood Association Center. In the coming days, materials will be purchased to start this project.

Fundación Tres Valles provided the community with a total of two million pesos to complete both projects. In the case of the chapel, the financial resources were used mainly for building materials, as members of the community donated their time for much of the manual labor, a cost structure that will surely be replicated during the work on the Community Center. This method to complete projects is especially effective because it allows funds to go a longer way and extends the reach of the initial budget and the value of the final outcome. Similarly, community involvement at all stages enhances commitment and the care that the people have for the place that they will use, because each person helped to build it with their own two hands.

“We were very happy and grateful for Fundación Tres Valles. We hope to do a good job with the Community Center so that the Fundación can be confident in the good use of the resources that they provided, but more importantly, for us these projects are factors that will enhance our lives. Hopefully we can continue to work together on future projects,” said Eugenia León in her words of gratitude to Fundación Tres Valles.