International experts explore the Industrial Heritage of San Rosendo and Tomé

The activities of last Friday, October 20th, kicked off with a visit to the San Rosendo Railway Complex, a historic monument celebrating its 150th anniversary since its inception. Thanks to the collaboration of EFE Trenes de Chile, experts were treated to a train journey, exploring the picturesque route of the “Corto Laja,” a service that operates daily from the “Mercado” station in Talcahuano to its counterpart in Laja.

Once on-site, participants had the opportunity to delve into the history of the location as they toured the railway museum and workshop. Guided by Mayor Rabindranath Acuña Olate and the Municipality’s Heritage Unit, they explored every nook of the historic infrastructure, marveling at the engineering and architecture of the era.

The route included a trek through the over 10 hectares comprising the Railway Complex, encompassing the old station, disused train cars still resting in the area, the foundations of the gigantic engine house (a system for storing trains), and all the machinery used for coal loading and storage (utilized as fuel in locomotives).

The second part of the day took visitors to the former Bellavista Oveja Tomé textile factory, another historical treasure of the region. Initially, they had the opportunity to peruse a myriad of beautiful fabrics and products made with the highest quality market standards in the factory’s own sales room. Simultaneously, they enjoyed a crafts fair organized by talented local artisans such as Santiago Espinoza, Evelyn Fuentealba, Quintin Mardones, Américo Caamaño, Lisa Godoy, and Esteban Sánchez.

Continuing the journey, participants witnessed an incredible artistic intervention by the Apócrifo Collective and their work titled “ATARI,” before embarking on a theatrical tour around the factory’s surroundings, where they learned about all the processes behind the production of the renowned fabrics and garments developed there.

The day concluded with a moment of reflection and conversation among the experts and all those who joined, including representatives from civil society, municipal officials, academics, and cultural managers, at the “Casona Amalfitana,” a space blending gastronomy, arts, and culture located near Bellavista Beach in Tomé.

This memorable day was not only a celebration of cultural heritage but also a reminder of the importance of preserving and appreciating our shared history. We extend our gratitude to all participants, collaborators, and organizers for making possible the discovery and learning of the valuable cultural heritage of San Rosendo and Tomé.

Photographs by Sebastián Orellana.

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