We are the Villagran Family, from Chile, we are Francisco Villagran (51) my wife Paulina Guerra (50), our doughter Antonia (15) and our son Benjamin (13). we live in Laguna Verde, a remote area located some 25 kms away from Valparaiso. We moved to this place in 2001 as colonists in a very beautiful pine forest, without electricity and drinking well water as a plan for giving our childrens a different life. We are a very nice family and our main hobby is «cooking». Our home is powered by solar panels only, we are not connected to the system ? we have 2.500m2 of garden, chickens, rooster, geese, 4 dogs and 1 cat. I currently work for a Shipping Company and Paulina have a Cafeteria inside the Cruise Terminal.
What kind of toys do your kids like to play with?
Antonia’s main toys are the teddies, she also loves to paint nails and make braids. Actually she is doing lettering. Benjamin is a Lego-lover, and he likes handmade toys (by him).
What are the local snacks for kids?
Even though they love the potato chips, they also have the pastry prepared by Paulina so they enjoy everyday different delicacies, and we have always fruits at home.
Do you cook for children?
Yes, normally I cook for them while Paulina guides them with the school homework. Our kids finish the school at 4pm, and we arrive at home at 6pm then I cook for the dinner and same for their lunch the next day as they lunch at the school. I cook different kind of food for them, but they love the Asian food (Mongolian meat). We do not cook traditional dishes but different ones like Indian, Mexican, Asian and Italian mainly
How do Benjamin and Antonia spend their free time?
We have a big garden behind our house where Benjamin spends his free time playing outside and building his own toys. For example, he builds arches, arrows, catapults, trucks and bases on the trees and others toys. Antonia spends her free time painting her nails or writing her stories on a paper with special, decorative pencils. Those are her main hobbies.
What are the roles of parents in your country? What duties do belong to mother and to father?
In general, our country still follows old rules where the father work and mother remains at home with homework but this is changing and now more and more mothers also work. What it is marked is the fact that the mother is who must cook at home. In our case we share all the duties at home, and we change time to time depending on what we decide, if I do not feel like cooking then Paulina takes the control, everybody (including children) cooks at home.
Can you explain how maternity leave works in Chile? How long is it? Can young mom get back to work after it without any obstacles?
The maternity leave in our country it is divided in Pre Natal which are 2 months before the birth and Post Natal that are 6 months after the birth. In general there is no problem for women to get back to work and the law is very strict and there are no obstacles. We (men) have 1 week free after the birth of a son.
Does the country help families with kids?
The government provides free kindergarten and school for families with low salaries, we have also access to this benefit but in general the quality of the kindergartens are not so good therefore we prefer to pay private ones.
Do you vaccinate your children? If so, against what? Is it mandatory to vaccinate kids?
Yes, we vaccinate our kids as it is mandatory in Chile and we have a very strong vaccination plan. The main vaccines are for. Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, Cholera, Influenza, Diphteria, Poliomyelitis, Measles, Rubeola, between others. All the vaccines are free for the kids and 3rd age.
Is it safe to travel with a child in Chile?
It is safe to travel to Chile, this is a very nice and peaceful country and children are very well protected in general. It is compulsory to go to school as per law as well as to vaccinate the children. Families have 3 children on average.