With the aim of continuing to contribute to the formation and identity building of the students of the commune, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History of the Atacama Desert, inaugurated a new version of the educational project that over the last five years, has soaked in culture, the loin classrooms.

Composed of the exhibitions “Dinosaurs of northern Chile” and “Ruta de cobre Atacameño”, the exhibition inaugurated at the Leonardo Da Vinci College on May 9, has as its main goal to transform into a complementary learning tool, but characterized by its strong roots with the area.

“We want to show the variety of natural manifestations offered by our desert, to make better known the memorable facts of our geological past, and we believe that the effort should be mainly focused on youth, for it will be the heir to the cluster of knowledge of the origin of life on earth, and the continuation of our research work. That is why this program disseminates the subjects that help us to know in a different way the territory that we inhabit”, says Osvaldo Rojas, Director of the museum, in reference to the exhibition that will be presented in different establishments the rest of the year.

In particular, they are pieces of different collections that comprise biological, evolutionary, social and cultural processes of the region that, accompanied by a talk, allow students to approach the contents in a playful and interactive way. “We know that kids don’t get much of a rock with a bone, so our idea is to show the real fossil itself, but accompanied by a mock-up so we can explain how the process of fossilization, or how many millions of years ago these animals lived here on earth. Sometimes they tend to see it more as science fiction, so witnessing all this impresses them a lot,” says Jennyfer Rojas, MuHNCAL Paleontology Specialist.

In addition to prehistory, the project includes a sample around the ancient inhabitants of the region, and how copper had been processing copper in elements of ritual use since ancient times. This theme is complemented by the exhibition of a replica of the “Copper Man”, which allows them to investigate around this discovery, its current state and its future.

Given their powerful connection to the reality of the students, the interest of both themes in them begins to be reflected during the montage the day before. “It’s not just kids who are surprised when they see us coming in with huge models. It also happens with assistants and teachers who stay for the talk. That is why it is a very enriching activity for us, because we see interest from the whole community”, explains the specialist who, in response to that trust, tries to be as informed as possible, to deliver a completely updated sample. “In fact that’s the main reason we keep this program, and we’re updating it according to new discoveries, because logically from 2015 until now a lot has happened,” he adds.

It is worth mentioning that, although the ages of the public vary constantly, professionals adapt to them without problems, being able to bring a part of each museum collection to the educational communities and, above all, to leave in them a footprint that is reflects on the interest they arouse each time a new roadmap is defined.



In order to promote education and historical roots with the region, two exhibits from the Museum of Natural and Cultural History of the Atacama Desert, linked to dinosaurs from northern Chile, and traditional Andean culture, were exhibited in the inland town of Caspana.

According to Osvaldo Rojas, Director of MUHNCAL, these bodies seek to offer the whole community the opportunity to know in a different way the territory it inhabits. “We are on our mission to show the varied display of manifestations offered by our desert, to make a better understanding of the memorable facts of our past. To this end, the constant interest in the work we carry out on a daily basis vibrates: the promotion of knowledge of the conquest of life on this earth,” he explains.

For the fulfillment of this objective to be comprehensive, it is that in addition to the permanent samples that they house in their dependencies, they have other itinerants, which in this case take them to the Ethnographic Museum of Caspana with the exhibitions: “Dinosaurs of the north of Chile”, and “Rescue and value of heritage photographs that portray traditional Andean life and culture (1940-1975)”, which in addition to encompassing an extensive historical period, are characterized by their strong roots with the area, capable of captivating both large like little ones.

This activity carried out by MUHNCAL, and promoted by the Museum and Heritage Area of the Culture and Tourism Corporation of the Illustrious Municipality of Calama, was present for a week in the town of Caspana with the purpose that this community could to come and observe a material sample of the life and cultural richness of their ancestors; goal that it has far fulfilled.



Due to the precarious conditions of the habitat of the species Telmatobius dankoi, better known as “ranita del Loa”, a committee of experts executed an action plan that allowed the rescue and relocation of the 59 surviving specimens.

After receiving an alert to the paupery circumstances in which the amphibians lived, professionals from the Calama Culture and Tourism Corporation, the Museum of Natural History and Culture of the Atacama Desert, the University of Chile, and the Ministry of the Middle Environment, they launched an urgent rescue operation earlier this month to keep a critically endangered species alive.

Given its characteristics and its only presence in the vicinity of Calama, the Telmatobius dankoi had been studied a few years ago, estimating that at this date there would be about 600 specimens. Unfortunately, an alert indicated that the slope that fed its natural habitat had been tapped with machinery to carry out plotting lots. Faced with the imminent risk of this, a team of specialists came to the ground where, in spite of it, they saw the precarious conditions in which the animals were, which hardly survived in a dry ester.

“Their physical condition was quite critical, so we urgently had to relocate them to a sector with the same characteristics. Specifically, the 59 frogs found were brought to a slope in Ojos de Apache, which has similar parameters, and belongs to the Calama aquifer, being part of the San Salvador basin,” explains Jennyfer Rojas, a specialist in paleontology of the Muhncal Museum that participated in the operation.

It is worth mentioning that this amphibian is the most threatened in the Southern Cone, and one of the 15 with the most risks in the world, so its protection as an endemic species of Chile, becomes urgent. “The main factor that dried up the canal is human. It exists in the area inhabited by this frog, a plotting of pleasure, a drilling well and a drainage, which causes the stream where it lives is completely dry. Faced with this, the main measure to avoid these kinds of problems is to educate and raise awareness of the community,” says the professional.

The state of extreme thinness in which the species were found, all of them adult, gives an account of the difficulties they had in feeding and spreading. Therefore, and to ensure its correct adaptation, all efforts will be available and constant monitoring after relocation, although for experts, citizen awareness remains the main factor. “Today the situation of the Loa frog is critical, so much so that it can represent its extinction as a species. What happened is framed by a clear environmental deterioration of the entire oasis of Calama, where industrialization and urbanization are affecting the ecosystem. Hence the need to emphasize the responsibility of each of the inhabitants to inform us, to care for the environment, and to denounce the authorities whenever we observe inappropriate behavior in our environment,” emphasizes Jennyfer Rojas.