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Going up the Avenida del Libertador, in the Parque General San Martín , we will run into the Parque de los Pueblos Originarios. Aesthetically, it is a dry space, with native plants. Unattractive for taking mates or having a picnic , which would be logical activities to practice in any park. However, it is a substantial element for our culture and traditions.
The native peoples park began in 1933 , transporting from the high peaks the huge cacti that would outline the trails. The work of plots, levelling and delimitation of the sections of the property was carried out by Don Benito de San Martín. The guiding idea of the project was to gather as many regional plants as possible and include a section of cactus.
The now called Parque de los Pueblos Originarios had a different birth: it did not honor the people who lived here, but it was a botanical reservoir in the Andean areas of America. Examples of jarilla, chilca, molle, piquillín, chañas, alpataco, carob, doodle, bretamillo, etc., were included and opened on December 29, 1933. Later, the sculpture “Salute to the Sun” by Luis Perlotti was placed, acquired by the Province for ornamental purposes only.
At the request of the original communities of our province and through Resolution 83, the Aboriginal Park, located in the General San Martín Park, began to be called the Indigenous Peoples Park.
The request was attended by the Mendoza Indigenous Peoples Organization Martina Chapanay, the Huarpe Lagunas del Rosario Community, representatives of the Indigenous Participation Council (CPI), the Mapuche Organization of Malargüe Malweche, Lof Mapuche Pewel Katuwe de San Rafael, the Ranquel Community, the Colla de Las Heras Community, the Colla Ayllu Community of Guaymallen and the Inca Colla Community.
At the time of its creation and subsequent remodeling, the idea was that this site should be used and enjoyed by all citizens, and above all so that it is an intercultural link space where native communities share their ancestral legacy.
Rubén Herrera, director of the Cuyano Center for Historic-Social Research Mendoza (CCIHS Mendoza) and reference of the Cuyo Region of the Autonomous Educational Council of Indigenous Peoples of Argentina (CEAPI-National Bilingual Intercultural Education) explained why the term “ original people ” was used. “ Indigenous peoples are a group of people who come from populations settled prior to the conquest and who are within the current borders of a State, have history, customs and, in many cases, language, forms of organization and other characteristics with which its members identify themselves, recognizing themselves as belonging to the same sociocultural unit”.
He added: “Members maintain links with their traditional occupation space under a socio-spatial logic. Meanwhile, theoriginalterm refers to any group of people who inhabited a place, whatever it may be, before the conquest.”
Publication Date: 12/10/2020
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