We publish here the documentary directed and filmed by Chilean publicist José Miguel Sauvalle and photographer Francisca Santamaría, “Tunquén, a wounded sanctuary”, which with a critical look and interviews to several experts, shows how this beautiful place in the Central Coast of Chile (Valparaíso Region), is about to be intervened and destroyed forever by the construction of real estate projects that have no respect for the environment.

While the world is becoming more and more environmentally aware, looking for ways to reverse the damage already caused, the effects of climate change, the reduction of greenhouse gases, eliminating the use of coal forever, opting for new and cleaner energies, in the town of Tunquén is the only beach on the central coast that has not been transformed into a seaside resort, which is a unique ecosystem, as there coexist streams with native forest; rocky outcrops; beach; slopes; dune fields; archaeological sites corresponding to pre-Hispanic human settlements; and vulnerable or endangered species of flora and fauna.

In addition, there is a wetland declared a Nature Sanctuary in 2014, which functions as a “node” or “vertex” of a biological corridor that biologically connects the Pacific Ocean from the north to South America, and another that connects the coast with the Coastal Mountain Range. “The documentary addresses legal and scientific aspects, explaining why this place should be protected, and why this is not being done,” says José Sauvalle. “Tunquén, un Santuario Herido” was filmed over seven months and includes interviews with Karla Katia Pino (environmental consultant), Carolina Martínez (geologist), Cristián Lucero (lawyer) and José Fliman (president of the Fundación Tunquén Sustentable), among other experts, who provide a very critical view of what is happening in this area, a victim of the economic interests of real estate developers, to which the current authorities are turning a “blind eye” and allowing these projects to continue to move forward. “We hope that the authorities can make decisions for the good of the community and not just for the benefit of a few who are looking for personal gain or only for their own interests, thus fulfilling their technical and ethical role. Ideally, they should understand the importance of conserving and preserving these sites. It is a worldwide urgency, not a whim, and, along the same lines, we all hope that laws will be generated to support and encourage those private individuals who dedicate their sites to conservation, in order to promote this type of use,” Francisca emphasises. An important group of neighbours from all over the area has mobilised in defence of this wonderful beach, supporting the dissemination of this documentary and making the corresponding authorities aware of the urgency of beginning to protect the pristine ecosystem that is now in danger. “Tunquén, a wounded sanctuary” is a moving documentary that manages to reflect how beautiful and unique this place is, along with its natural wealth, and the threats to its conservation.