“Social Pantry” in San Bernardo benefits nearly all of the at-risk senior citizens in that community

The initiative was inaugurated at the end of 2021 in an alliance between the VíasChile Group and the Food Network and today it is contributing to the healthy and sustainable nutrition of one of the most vulnerable segments in that zone.

The first Social Pantry in the country and in Latin America, located in the Municipality of San Bernardo, is about to reach its second anniversary. Thus far to date, the balance since its startup in December 2021 reveals highly positive results regarding physical and social benefits of this initiative for thousands of low-income elderly in the community.

The project was developed by Corporación Red de Alimentos with the collaboration of the VíasChile Group through Autopista Central. Since it was opened, this space has become positioned as a meeting place for an important group of at-risk senior citizens, so efforts have been centered not only on the gratuitous delivery of varied food and toiletries weekly, but also on creating a recreational space where the beneficiaries of the Pantry can now attend talks, yoga classes and arts and craft workshops, among other activities.

The San Bernardo Social Pantry currently helps 2,561 locals, corresponding to the majority of the elderly at risk in the community, meaning people who earn income or receive a pension below the minimum wage. More of the beneficiaries are women than men.

From Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., senior citizens can receive an average of 6.9 kilos of products, especially seasonal fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates and cereals, corresponding to non-expired surpluses from different companies. The idea is to make optimal use of certain merchandise to keep it from being thrown away.

Between July of last year and July 2023, this initiative has furnished 776,069 kilos of food, and even though the majority of those going to the Pantry do so to receive provisions for them and their families, several of the beneficiaries go spontaneously to the Pantry to collaborate voluntarily on restocking the products on each of the gondolas.

For Andrés Barberis, Chief Executive Officer of the VíasChile Group, the San Bernardo Social Pantry is one of the best projects in the country and the region because of its seal of integration and social wellbeing. The joint actions taken by the members who today support the initiative were intended to have the Pantry work well, but the effort also focuses on establishing a circular economy.

In the words of Barberis, “the project presents several opportunities for the elderly in San Bernardo and for society. And the fact of ensuring the good of the community for a more sustainable environment is part of the commitment that we have adopted with great pride in our company.”


In addition to the social seal, the initiative has an innovative view as it bases its actions on a model that aims for sustainability. Proof of this is that certain fruits that are not consumed by the beneficiaries are taken to zoos to be fed to animals.

Moreover, of note in the project is the use of sustainable materials in improving the location’s infrastructure, such as paint mixed with Photio – a nanotech additive that captures CO2 and cleans the air, which was applied in the remodeling of the Pantry floor. Added to this are the 2,640 tons of CO2 accumulated between November 2021 and July 2023 that were not emitted because of the recovered food.


Children visit the offices of VíasChile on “Mini-Employee Day”

The VíasChile Group continues to strengthen the bond with its employees by creating moments to share with loved ones and reaffirming the importance of family life.

VíasChile held “Mini-Employee Day” for the first time when it opened the doors of its corporate office and of the offices of the four tolls roads to 120 children of employees.

During that day, the young ones visited each of the areas and gained a very didactic and entertaining understanding of the work that their parents do. They learned how tolls work, about environmental care, about the works process, operations, and the diverse sustainability programs, among other matters.

Andrés Barberis, Chief Executive Officer of VíasChile, remarked that “VíasChile is committed to creating a work environment where there is a balance between personal and professional life. Without a doubt, this day was recognition of the work and commitment of everyone who strives every day to provide the best service.”

The goal of this activity was to bring families closer and recognize the effort and commitment of everyone working in the VíasChile Group.

Pioneers in giving a second life to organic material reclaimed along the Mapocho river

The VíasChile Group is supporting a sustainable initiative after the impact caused by the 880 tons of waste let loose by the bad weather that caused the Mapocho River to overflow.

The flooding occurred during the weather emergency in the central-south zone and affected different localities in the country. This began the debate about where the thousands of kilos of garbage and waste collected along the banks of the Mapocho River would end up.

After this the disaster, we analyzed giving the organic waste collected a second life. It will be recycled and converted into compost to be used in green areas.

María Pía Tejos, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Manager of VíasChile, said that “the commitment is always to safeguard safety for users travelling on our roads, but also sustainability. For that reason, given the imminent collapse of the bridge over the Mapocho River in the municipality of Pudahuel, we immediately began arduous cleaning.  It took more than 60 hours and a team of 50 people and specialists, who worked continuously to restore use of the road and the bridge infrastructure.”

The company responsible for separating wood, branches and logs has been dedicated for more than 8 years to the recycling and treatment of debris and waste that is mostly natural or organic.

According to Bárbara Lewin, founder or Vuelta Verde, “It is a 100% natural process that involves nitrogen, carbon, oxygen and water. We are going to convert all the material recovered from the Mapocho Bridge into compost. This does not mean that it is an easy process because it requires chipping and chopping all the remains selected and waiting at least one year until the compost is ready.”

Each day VíasChile aims to promote a circular economy with a more sustainable view, and it is a pioneer in giving a second life to the reclaimed waste, a valuable effort of benefit to the communities beside our roads.

Animal squad, an initiative to protect animals and encourage road safety

One of the initiatives being promoted by the VíasChile Group is the Animal Squad, a project to rescue dogs abandoned on the toll roads and give them shelter until they can be placed with a family.

This initiative began eight years ago in conjunction with Corporación Mirada Animal, a non-profit association founded in 2014 to rescue, rehabilitate and give dogs in adoption that are just on the street or abandoned. Its shelter, located in the Municipality of Padre Hurtado, permanently houses around 130 dogs.

Motivated by the agreement to save animals abandoned on the toll roads and keep them from being hit or causing accidents (according to figures of CONASET and the Chilean Police Force, 422 traffic accidents were caused by animals on the road), they have been able to rescue, rehabilitate, and relocate tens of animals.

VíasChile holds environmental workshops for children and youths in Casablanca

The purpose of the workshop was to sensitize the student community, make them think about their habits, invite them to be agents of change and live in harmony with their environment.

As part of the road towards a more sustainable society, in December, Highway 68 of the VíasChile Group held in-person recycling workshops at two schools in the municipality of Casablanca. The purpose was to sensitize the community and to think about the negative impact that some of our habits might have on the environment.

The schools participating in the project were Colegio Purísima de Lo Vásquez and Domingo Ortiz de Rozas. The activity targeted preschool, grade school and high school students.  The learning method was 100% didactic, so children were able to understand the subjects through games, observations and the exchange of ideas.

This project was held on a school day and involved four activities targeting the different levels of the community. In these modules, the students were able to see the effect of climate change on water shortages, learn about the responsible consumption of water, and understand the impact of liquid and solid waste on ecosystems. They also learned about the current status of water globally and locally, about the importance of taking care of this natural resource and the consequences of any shortage of it.

658 students participated, who, at the end of the school day, promised to care for water and to transfer their knowledge acquired to their entire community.

Please note that the VíasChile Group has a firm commitment to create more sustainable cities and will continue with its environmental awareness work during 2023.

VíasChile participates in the first Chile asphalts committee congress

The VíasChile Group is part of this initiative organized by the Chile Asphalts Committee. This committee, formed in 2019, works on conveying and encouraging a technical understanding of asphalt among the different members of the industry.

This first congress, called “Promoting Sustainable Techniques,” was engaged in disclosing technologies that improve asphalt performance, the environmental commitment in production, materials and technological advances of companies.

VíasChile set up an information stand and Jorge Villarroel, the VíasChile Group’s Chief Technical Officer, spoke on the subject “VíasChile and the road to sustainability.” In that talk he discussed the sustainable road being followed by the Company that translates into actions such as the use of RAP, of tires in disuse in asphalt production, of warm mixes and CO2 processing additives, among others.

VíasChile signs a collaboration agreement with the Fundación Down Up

It will support 60 families with speech therapy for their children with Down Syndrome, a treatment key to their development and insertion in society.

As one way of reaffirming VíasChile’s commitment to families living near its toll roads, last June the company signed a collaboration agreement with Fundación Down Up, an organization that helps parents and caretakers along the road of raising a child with Down Syndrome by giving them support and guidance.

The Foundation provides aid that ranges from workshops for families, training for institutions and health care centers, professional support programs (speech therapy, psychological care) and much more. VíasChile has therefore become a member of the Speech Therapy Support Program, which consists of accompaniment and assistance focused on a Biopsychosocial Model targeting families with children with Down Syndrome from the ages of 5 months to 3 years.

These therapies aim to stimulate communicative and cognitive development by playing games at home, teaching specific techniques of communication, learning and the use of gestures to promote social interaction in the different settings in which children with Down Syndrome interact.

Down Up brings together more than 900 families throughout Chile, so thanks to the contribution by the concessionaire, the organization has been able to significantly increase the number of participant families benefitted by this workshop.

VíasChile was a participant in the first children’s soccer tournament called «Condors’ Nest»

The activity was held in the Marista, Centenario and Regional Stadiums in the locality of Los Andes and the goal was to help integrate sports and healthy living by families.

Through Autopista Los Libertadores, VíasChile participated in the First “Condors’ Nest” Soccer Tournament. This activity, which integrates sports and healthy living, aims to support social work promoting collective development and athletic growth of future soccer players in the Municipality of Los Andes and our country.

The event was organized by Club Deportivo Trasandino in a partnership with EFE, a Spanish communications agency. The Boys Under-12 and Girls Under-14 categories competed, and professional teams, local clubs and soccer schools participated. There were 12 boys teams and 12 girls teams, who disputed the first cup of the championship.

The Tournament itself created moments of relaxation and family time where parents, children and youths were able to enjoy this sport. VíasChile had a stand at which it handed out gifts to the public, held contests and other recreational activities.

This tournament and the awards ceremony were held on December 8, 9 and 10 and were broadcast as a special event on social networks. The awards ceremony was led by Raúl Rivera Martínez, Mayor of Los Andes.

VíasChile delivers equipment to the Quinta Normal and Curacaví fire stations

The purpose of the donation is to improve and facilitate how these fire stations combat fires and handle accidents.

The VíasChile Group, which operates the Rutas del Pacífico S.A. (Highway 68) concession, made a major contribution to the Fourth Fire Station of Quinta Normal and to the Curacaví Fire Station. The donation is around 10 million pesos to each fire station and its purpose is to optimize fighting structural and forest fires and vehicle rescues.

These donations are part of VíasChile’s collaboration to the localities through which its toll roads run so that it will contribute to the development of people and organizations that are important pillars of the community.

In the words of Christian Arbulú, Chief Operations Officer of VíasChile, “The private sector, especially service companies like ours, must be attuned to what an institution needs to perform its work. This contribution helps improve their equipment and lets them concentrate on their inherent task of service to the community.”

Ximena Moreno, Director of the Fourth Fire Station of Quinta Normal, located in the municipality of Lo Prado, thanked VíasChile “for such an important contribution and donation to the Institution,” which will help them better perform their work.

María Pía Tejos, Corporate Affairs and Community Manager, also said that “for many years now, VíasChile has had a commitment to our communities and to the territories where we are present, and the contribution we have made to the Fire Station is just one example of recognizing their valuable work and also one way of being present in this community of which are a part.”

The equipment will be of direct benefit of the community and inhabitants of Lo Prado and Curacaví.

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