The Good Life

Last week I listened to the newest episode from one of my favorite podcasts, Las Raras Podcast. This one is all about Francisco Vio Giacaman. As a young man he traveled to Chilean Patagonia and vowed to return. Now, years later, he brings his passion for sustainable agriculture to the community of Puerto Guadal and is proving that – even in this sometimes unforgiving landscape  – a community can grow delicious food and live in abundance.


Francisco says that he came to Patagonia is search of “the good life.” For him this meant being close to nature, enjoying seasonal rhythms and spending quality time with others. He brought his knowledge of agriculture and sustainability to Chilean Patagonia. Despite some initial resistance from locals, he was able to garner enough support to begin a farm. This farm now supplies fresh produce in abundance for the community, serving as a model for sustainable agriculture even in sometimes inhospitable conditions.

Puerto Guadal, Patagonia, Chile
Puerto Guadal, Patagonia, Chile

This story would not be complete without mentioning the conservation efforts of Americans Kristine McDivitt Tompkins and Douglas Tompkins. It’s thanks to their efforts and the hard work of many others that so much of Patagonia in Chile is being protected and can continue to be the home of those who are supporting their community and respecting the earth at the same time. In my 20s I was fortunate enough to travel to Puerto Montt and the island of Chiloé. I only got a brief taste of Patagonia from there, and have wanted to return ever since!

Listen to the whole podcast here.

If you’re interested in reading more about Patagonia in general, check out my previous posts about “El faro de las orcas,” The Seamstress and the Wind and Francis Mallmann.

Images courtesy of and UW Botanic Gardens.

Published by Alison Trujillo

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