Cristina Calderón was born on May 24th, 1928, in the town of Robalo, Puerto Williams – Navarino Island (Cape Horn – Chile). After the death of her sister Úrsula Calderón in 2003, she became the last person of pure blood of the ethnic Yagán and the last speaker of her ancestral language. Dearly called “Abuela Cristina“, she was officially declared Illustrious Daughter of the Region of Magellan and Chilean Antarctica. This was also recognized by the National Council of Culture and the Arts of Chile as the Living Treasure of Humanity, within the framework of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 2003. At the commemoration of the Bicentennial of the Republic of Chile, she was considered as one of the fifty heroines of her country. In 2016, during a national campaign, she was elected National Heroine. Since the 1960s she has lived in Villa Ukika, in the center of Puerto Williams. In May 2018, she turned ninety years old.
Note from the author of the book:
My eternal thanks to Mrs. Cristina Calderón who inspired me to create the character Virginia, for receiving me so kindly into her house, for sharing with me her affection and her precious time. Thanks also to Luis Zárraga, her grandson, who inspired me to create the character Raul, and who gently helped me to come to know Bahia Mejillones (Navarino Island). These lands have been inhabited by the Yagán people for thousands of years and who preserve as the national patrimony, the ancestral cemetery of its people.
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