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Poema Pehuenche
(Ricardo E. Castro)

"Pehuenche.... pehu├ęn che 
Auc├ín mujer.....Auc├ín hombre 
soy pehuenche estoy 
pehuenche emoci├│n

Consejo de todas las tierras 
Consejo de todas las aguas 
Consejo de todos los cielos todos los aires 
Consejo de araucarias rehues escalados 
.......bailarina en alturas 
......del ├írbol de m├íscaras tatuado 
.....consejo de labios 
.....que se mueven en la boca 
......del que algo quiere decir 
......labio mapuche 
........boca pehuenche".

The Pehuenche or Pewenche are an indigenous nation which came probably from Argentina and adapted the Mapuche Culture centuries ago. The name Pehuenche means "People from the Pehu├ęn" ┬ľ the fruit of the Araucaria Tree, which is the Chilean Monkey Puzzle Tree, growing in South Chile in altitudes over 1.000 meters. These trees can become more then 1.500 years old. 

The Pehuenche folk bases its nutrition mainly on the collection of the Araucaria fruit and only to a small portion on agriculture. For them the pine nut is an essential part of the traditional alimentation and it is used to make flour, which can be stored over several months. They do also collect other fruits out of which they make beverages.

The male members of the society specialized on hunting, mainly Guanacos (a camel type which can be found in the Andes); and their main source of income was the trade of hides in exchange for groceries and other products. As Nomads the Pehuenche crossed the Andes to Argentina frequently. This was disabled by the public authorities and stricter border controls between Argentina and Chile.

In the present the Pehuenche people do live in Chile almost exclusively on the coast of the Bio Bio River in the Andes between the 8th and the 9th region, while in Argentina their successors do live in the southern part of the Mendoza province.



PEHUENCHES SUMMITS (4 Days / 3 Nights)

This 4-day program shows us to the ancient paths, where the indigenous people cross the Andes, between majestic mountain peaks, clear rivers, mysterious lakes and dense forests. By horse we will discover this part of the Pehuenche country, where traditions, legends and myths are still a part of the daily life. We will explore magic Araucaria Forests, which always have been the most loyal company and source of food for this ethnic group.


From Los Angeles, a small city near Temuco we will take a transfer to the region of Alto Bio Bio, bordered by the river with the same name. The people, living here are mainly progeny of the Pehuenche culture. We will arrive in the village of Pitril, where families are living distributed on large terrains, and whose houses are oriented along the waterfront of the Quenco River.
For centuries the most important economic activities have been the cattle, chicken and sheep farming. The animals can move freely in the Pehuenche community. Many families do also live from apiculture, producing a honey of excellent quality or from arts and handicraft, mainly working with wool.

Accommodation in a Caba├▒a of our host family.

(Breakfast, lunch / lunch box and dinner)

We will depart early in the morning for a 5-hours riding tour to the Andean Forest into direction of Cau├▒ic├║, a village in the Rahueco sector. Or destination will be the marvelous Cau├▒ic├║ Lake. During the excursion we will cross abundant, deep Woods and enjoy beautiful viewpoints on the lake. We will get to know many types of native trees as for example Roble, Raul├ş, Radales or Coigues and in higher altitudes also Lenga and the impressive Araucaria.
In the end we will arrive at the coast of the Cau├▒ic├║ Lake, which is of great cultural significance for the local Pehuenche people.
The environment serves as breeding area for the animals and is used by the Pehuenche as a summer residence and the collection of the Pi├▒on fruit from the holy Araucaria tree. The Pi├▒on is the culture fruit of the Pehuenche people and is used to prepare a variety of delicious dishes and meals, besides bread and fermented beverages.

Accommodation on the family owned and managed Camping next to the lakes coast.

(Breakfast, lunch and dinner)

The day begins early with a tasty breakfast at the shore of the Cau├▒ic├║ Lake. Afterwards we will begin our ride back to Rahuecovia and the Lafken path. After our lunch we will take the transfer to the Pitril community, where our hosts are expecting us in order to participate in easy Pehuenche manufactory.

Accommodation in a Caba├▒a of our host family.

(Breakfast, lunch)

After breakfast there are expecting us a variety of activities during which we can completely integrate ourselves into the routine of the Pehuenche community. In the end we will prepare traditional food of the Pehuenche.

After lunch we will say goodbye and drive back to Los Angeles.



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