Friends of Chiloé Churches Foundation
The Friends of Chiloé Churches Foundation (FAICH)) is a non-profit organization that aims to preserve the cultural heritage related to the Chiloé churches which form part of the Chiloé School of Architecture in Wood. These temples are the result of the trade of river carpenters and the desire of Chiloé communities to work together for a common cause. This centuries-old tradition has helped to forge the Chiloé identity, recognized and appreciated throughout the world over the years and which emerged as a manifestation of the religiousness brought to the island by the evangelizing missions.
Currently, there are approximately 70 churches in Chiloé that represent this typology and which have survived the passage of time and the inclemency of local weather. Today, 16 of them have earned the title of Unesco world heritage granted in 2000. This declaration includes not only tangible aspects that refer to the history and architectural beauty of the churches, but also places a special emphasis on the intangible aspects, highlighting social and spiritual values embedded in the temples, in other words, the participation, solidarity and leadership of the local communities, showing a clear "minga” spirit of " under which these churches have remained for centuries.
Today, the Foundation works on three fronts:
1. Monitoring the churches to discover their deterioration and to develop conservation and protection projects.
2. Heritage restoration of the most damaged churches. It has been possible to carry out some restoration work in most of the more damaged churches, permitting the Foundation to make them safe and allowing future generations to get to know them. These interventions are possible thanks to the support of the Government of Chile.
3. Outreach and education among the Chiloé inhabitants and the thousands of visitors who come each year to learn about this valuable heritage.