Film screening to help raise money for the thousands of poor who lost their homes in the Valparaiso fire

Posted in Blog

Two weeks ago a fire tore through the dry, tinderbox forest on the outskirts of Valparaiso, Chile's third largest city and a Unesco World Heritage site.

Fires in these timber producing forests at the end of long dry summers are not uncommon, but encroachment into people's houses of the kind this fearsome blaze produced are.

Fifteen people lost their lives, three thousands homes were destroyed and around 12,000 were left homeless. That these were some of the city's very poorest people living high on the slopes that tourists and Unesco love adds to the tragedy. Chile may be one of South America's best performing economies, but the money is not well distributed and its poor have no safety net.

However, there was a show of solidarity as thousands of Chileans came to the aid of those who lost their homes in Valparaiso, helping to put out fires and move them and as many of their possessions as possible to safety.

We can't do that, but we can help with raising money, so on Wednesday 30 April, 5.30pm at the Scott Polar Research Institute there will be a screening of Hora Chilena (Chilean Time), a film about how Cambridge's exiled Chilean community fled Pinochet and arrived in our own heritage city, with proceeds going to the Red Cross in Chile.

The suggested donation is £5 and you can just come along on the day or book a place by contacting Kathleen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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