SDGs: What Do Chileans Want For Their Country?

Last year I had the opportunity to do a project for the amazing department I interned with at the United Nations. It was to emulate Humans Of New York, but in a way that centered around the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs). The SDGs are the global goals that were decided at the UN Summit in 2015. I was traveling in Chile at the time and had the privilege of interviewing (& photographing along with Karin Castro) local Chileans for the Humans Of My World project to see which SDG they prioritized most for their country. Here were their responses:


SDG 3: Good health & well-being

“There’s a lot of inequality in this country in regards to health because there are few public hospitals. The doctors and nurses are not able to cope with everything. I lived through it personally with my dad and it was very sad. Even right now, there’s a boy who broke his leg three days ago and they still haven’t helped him. He hasn’t been able to eat anything because he’s waiting on them to operate on his leg and he’s just there in bed without any help. The government should give more money and resources to healthcare.

I was with my father when he needed a blood transfusion and he started to get very ill. We arrived at 8am in the morning and I had to hold him up physically in his wheelchair until 5pm in the afternoon because he lost consciousness and we had to wait for them to find an available bed. We spent many hours sitting there without having anything to eat and not even being able to go to the bathroom. That’s how public hospitals are in Chile, the wait is usually 4-5 hours.”

mujer chilena

SDG 16: Peace, justice & strong institutions

“‘Peace, justice, and strong institutions’ is the basis of unity among humans. Starting with the political institutions that are ruled by powerful figures, they have to provide solutions. But they don’t want to let go of that power and this causes economic, gender, educational, and health inequality.

The biggest injustice in Chile is that we still don’t know what happened to all who disappeared during Pinochet’s dictatorship. How many people were tortured? Who were the victims? Where are the resources and help for the victims who have ended up on the streets? Chile needs to focus for once on using our numerous resources FOR Chile, and should be distributed in the country for the people of THIS country for education, health, housing, etc.”

educacion en chile

SDG 4: Quality Education

“I am a kindergarten teacher and I think it’s terrible to realize that here you have to pay so much for a good education for your child. I work in a private school where you have to pay 200.000 pesos for quality education. But if you go to a free public school, the quality of the education is poor. I believe this is one of the goals that could benefit our society. Education is important because it’s the basis of a society and allows us to all grow in different aspects. We can’t wait to have economic growth, like Chile always does, if we have bad education for most of the girls and boys of this country – because there are few who can afford to pay for quality education.”

la politica de chile

SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals

“First, we need to have clear objectives. After that we need to create partnerships. We must have partnerships that bring benefits to our society or at least for our race that’s about to go extinct due the road we are taking. I think that to end poverty, we need good education, and this comes from good political policies in real life, which is how it should be. Here in Chile there is a lot of corruption and there’s a lot of people who don’t work as they should be working. People just work for their personal benefit. There’s a lot of egocentrism, but I think that the best thing to do is create partnerships so we can achieve these fundamental objectives, and that they are really achieved and followed through, and not quit midway. It’s important to work on the objectives from the beginning to end.”

chilean woman

SDG 5: Gender equality

“My goal is gender equality. I’m a musician, I play the trumpet, and this is already difficult in a very misogynist “machista” society, just like the rest of Latin America. It took me a couple of years for other musicians to respect me as a musician and not just as a woman who plays music as a way of attracting more people. I’ve rejected various gigs because they only want me for being a woman, it’s a very commercial thing. They tell me to go work but to wear a skirt or a dress or whatever. But I don’t do that, I perform the way I want to. I have no problems with women dressing anyway they want to, we all have that right. I’m not going to accept people telling me what to wear. Maybe I’ve made less money, but I’m at peace with myself because I’m doing what I want, even if it’s been difficult.”


chilean woman 2

SDG 2: Zero hunger
SDG 14: Life below water
SDG 15: Life on land

“Hunger. It’s a basic thing, it’s a human right to have access to food. Hunger is a priority right now. There are places where there’s a food surplus, I think we have to improve this. This is important in Chile because there is poor management of natural resources. For example, the ocean has been affected by all the new laws that have been passed. They have only destroyed our coast, which is the biggest one of the Pacific. We don’t take care of our resources, like the trees in the south. The drought in the V region is another issue that’s been affecting us. The geographical landscape of the country has changed a great deal in very few years.”Pinochet’s dictatorship has had a profound effect on Chilean society that, as you can see, is still felt until today. Also, education, healthcare & gender equality seem to be the main issues and have been since I moved there 7 years ago.



You can find more photos from all over the world here. You can also see more about the United Nations SDGs here, and also find ways to get involve and voice your opinion.


sdgs chile



  1. Danielle @ Follow My Gut | 18th Apr 17

    The idea that you got to do this survey for work, use it on your own site, and get a better understanding of Chile is so awesome. A lot of the responses are things I can agree with here in Los Angeles. Quality education at an affordable price is a luxury that I wish we all could experience!

    Danielle | <3

    • Sea+Terra | 18th Apr 17

      It was a great experience! After living there for years and seeing the issues first hand, it was great to be able to take their voices directly and give them to the UN!

Leave A Comment