Efrain Borrero E.
When Daniel Álvarez Burneo dictated his will, on July twenty-eighth, 1936, he provided the following: “Fifteenth Clause”: “I leave the remainder of my assets to the Loja Cantonal Council to invest it in the foundation of one or more charitable establishments in favor of the urban and rural poor. The determination of the establishments to be founded will be done by said Council in agreement with the Administrative Board of the Daniel Álvarez Sánchez Hospice, and they themselves will form the statutes and organize the meetings, as has been said”.
After the philanthropist died in that same year of 1936, serious problems began, one of them, the legal interpretation and practical application of that testamentary provision by the Cantonal Council. That’s where the relaxation began. A “barrage” of controversial opinions was unleashed; several sessions of the Council were held to discuss the matter; some were popular assemblies to find out what the people think, and the Board of Notables was formed, considering it an oracle of wisdom.
From all this coming and going of facts and circumstances, which have been described in detail by the writer and researcher Jaime Enrique Celi Correa, the basis of this narration, the advisability of presenting to Congress a Draft Law for the Constitution of the Central Board of Philanthropic Works of the Province of Loja; and, in its field, of the Álvarez Foundation, whose preparation was entrusted to Pío Jaramillo Alvarado.
Once the Bill was approved by the Cantonal Council and by all those who had an opinion, it was sent to Quito. The efforts to promote it were various, but not only because of the project itself, but also because a Decree from President Federico Páez fell on top of it, with which it was intended to enter a good bill for inheritance tax into the fiscal coffers.
The Feminist Society “Honor and Work” raised its voice of protest, but Páez said no. The Municipality addressed the colony of lojanos residing in Quito, specifically: Manuel Benjamín Carrión, Manuel Agustín Aguirre, Pablo Palacio, Isidro Ayora, Ángel Rojas, Víctor Castillo, Pío Jaramillo Alvarado, Manuel Benigno Cueva, José María Ayora and Max Witt , who responded that they will fervently be up in the fight.
The requests for the repeal of said Decree also reached the members of the Public Assistance Commission of the Assembly and the presidents of the cantonal councils of Paltas, Macará, Celica, Saraguro and Cariamanga, which were the existing ones, as stated in the communication directed by the president of the Lojano Municipality.
On September 29, 1937, the Loja deputy, Sebastián Valdivieso Peña, by telegraphic communication addressed to the Municipality of Loja, gave good news: “I report that the draft decree on total exemption from taxes that records the mortuary of the philanthropist Álvarez Burneo”. With that announcement the waters returned to their course. Now the rest remained, that of the Constitution of the Central Board of Philanthropic Works of the Province of Loja. I mean, quite an ordeal.
Thanks to the pressure exerted by both, the creation of the Central Board of Philanthropic Works of the Province of Loja and the Administrative Board of the Álvarez Foundation was achieved, by means of the Supreme Law sanctioned on August 30, 1944, which is the one that is in force, although a short time later it was reformed in terms of the integration of the number of vowels.
As a result of that Supreme Law, the Central Board of the Álvarez Foundation decided to create a House of Arts and Crafts that would be called Daniel Álvarez Burneo, for which purpose it signed a contract with the Salesian Community for the construction of the building and to put it into operation. that establishment, but for different reasons the projected institution did not come to work and the building was half-built.
In 1947 and because it was not possible to install the House of Arts and Crafts, the Board definitively resolved the creation of the Industrial and Agricultural Technical Institute Daniel Alvarez Burneo; but it was many years later, on June 16, 1962, that the definitive operation of that meritorious educational center was authorized by means of a Ministerial Resolution.
In that month of June, the Bishop of the Diocese of Loja invited the distinguished citizen of Loja and agronomist, Alfonso Sebastián Valdivieso Carrión, to his office to propose that he assume the responsibility of giving life to the Daniel Álvarez Burneo Industrial and Agricultural Technical Institute, in quality of rector, with the purpose of fulfilling, after all, the wish of his benefactor, after twenty-six years since his death, and with the longing of the citizens of Loja who anxiously awaited this educational work to come true.
The specialties of Mechanics, Carpentry and Agronomy had been planned, with two magnificent workshops: one for general and automotive mechanics, and the other for carpentry, installed in the enormous building built in the Las Palmas sector by the Community of Salesians.
Alfonso Valdivieso was moved by the proposal of the Ecclesiastical Authority, which at that time served as ex officio president of the Board of Philanthropic Works of Loja. He was confident in the knowledge acquired at the National University of Loja and at the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Turrialba, Costa Rica; but, above all, in his vocation for the formation of youth, based on his experience as a teacher in the same faculty where he completed his university studies.
He was enthusiastic about the fact that the Institute directs its educational work towards the dispossessed classes, as was the decision of Daniel Álvarez Burneo in his will, and that, for the same reason, from the functions entrusted to it, it could carry out great social work.
With the impetus, vehemence and responsibility that were essential characteristics in his life, he worked intensely on the planning and enlisted all the necessary actions for the Institute to start operating in the month of October of that year 1962.
His distinguished wife says that the concern was to find instructors for technical specializations in mechanics and carpentry, since those who could assume that responsibility were workshop owners and did not want to stop their activity. He had no other alternative than to temporarily entrust this task to two operators whom he knew from his experience, and with them he was sure of meeting the objective, because, in addition, he planned that these workshops provide service to the community.
He himself trained them so that they can transmit their knowledge in a didactic and efficient way. Regarding the area of agronomy, he personally led her with singular enthusiasm.
Alfonso Valdivieso worked day and night with perseverance and tenacity to ensure that the Institute inaugurated its first school year. When everything was ready, the news spread and young people were invited to sign up. The moment the first student enrolled, the event was celebrated with great joy, as if compensating for the great effort made. Then came another and another until completing the sixty-four students, whose names must be in a gallery of honor.
This is how the “Daniel Álvarez Burneo Industrial and Agricultural Technical Institute” began its work, thanks to the passionate work of a man who revealed his honesty, integrity, sincerity, humility and greatness of heart.
Subsequently, it was the Community of Marist Brothers that assumed the responsibility of leading the Institute, carrying out the educational transformations that were imposed over time, until reaching what is now the “Daniel Álvarez Burneo” Fiscalisional Educational Unit, which It stands out as one of the most important secondary education centers in the province of Loja.
On the ninth of this month, a Solemn Session was held on the occasion of the diamond jubilee of the Daniel Álvarez Burneo Fiscal Commission Educational Unit, an act in which a tribute was paid to Alfonso Valdivieso Carrión, as fair recognition of his brilliant work and tenacious work.
With the feeling of admiration that I professed in life to such an illustrious gentleman, as will be the feeling of those who studied at the “Técnico”, as they affectionately called it, and that of those who are currently part of that prestigious educational institution, I wholeheartedly endorse to the deserved tribute post mortem the engineer Alfonso Sebastián Valdivieso Carrión, a name we must always remember.