PARTICIPATORY MAPPING AS AN ANALYSIS TOOL FOR SPACES AFFECTED BY NATURAL PHENOMENA IN AGRICULTURAL AREAS, ATACAMA

Abstract This article aims to validate the participatory mapping (PM) as an analysis technique able to study agricultural areas in the Atacama Desert, located in northern Chile. These agricultural areas are confined to the valley bottoms of narrow and steep characteristics. This tool is used as a method to represent these areas through systematization, interpretation and transmission of spatial information. The data collected are from Laonzana community, representative of the resistances of agricultural villages dating back hundreds of years. These regions have suffered reductions in their productive areas, caused by natural phenomena, not being recovered for damages, the elderly population and the low number of farmers in recent decades. This study validated PM techniques, identifying numerous abandoned agricultural areas and others missing. This information is represented in thematic maps, as a result that rescues information from the collective memory, generating temporal comparisons of changes in agricultural areas. The results demonstrate the importance of this technique to rescue agriculture information highlighting the understanding of spatial information and the potential that it may have for studies of agricultural activity and the effects of natural phenomena in the Atacama Desert.