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Luis Alberto Mella Quillota

“I joined the Inclusive Growth Initiative because of the need to improve the quality of life of people in our community. Understanding this concept goes beyond the purely material and covers other aspects of life, which are essential for the integral development and welfare of Quillota.”

 – Mayor Luis Alberto Mella Gajardo


Luis Mella Gajardo has been the mayor of the city of Quillota since 1992, winning six consecutive elections. He is the founder of several social and charitable initiatives, such as: The nursing home “AMENCRI”, the treatment centre “Beatita Benavides” and BanAmor (solidarity bank contributing to the construction and strengthening of social capital and promoting the value of solidarity). In 2015 he received an award from the “Think” foundation for being evaluated as the best politician in the region. He is a pioneer in Chile for his approach to managing public policies based on the welfare and happiness of people, and as the organizer of the First Meeting of Municipalities for Happiness in collaboration with the Institute of Social Welfare of Chile.  He has been invited to various international seminars and conferences including the Urban Health and Development of Local Government in Colombia.

How is the
Mayor promoting
Inclusive Growth ?

The BanAmor (Bank of Love) was created in 2003 to promote solidarity for a more humane community, through which people can find happiness by helping those most in need. The pillar on which the work of this unit of the Municipality of Quillota is based, is benevolence. Unlike a traditional bank, deposits are not human capital or financial resources.

BANAMOR is divided into four areas:

1. Social Unit: delivers social assistance, including food, clothing or medicine, to Quillota individuals and families who are in vulnerable situations with social problems that impact their welfare.

2. Grants Unit: manages the various local government allocations and scholarships providing economic support in relation to the costs involved in education in order to support vulnerable youth and families.

3. Volunteer and Organizations Unit: a participatory network of organisations, both volunteers and those associated with the Quillota territory, which seeks to strengthen the value of solidarity through collaborative work between leaders and community representatives to promote the welfare and happiness of people. This unit is also responsible for municipal community work, as part of the Territorial Team DIDECO (Directorate of Community Development) that establishes the criteria for intervention for community work.

4. Fundraising Unit: This unit manages resources from anyone who wishes to join these efforts by donating materials, professional assistance, etc.

Welcome House Beatita Benavides

Created in 2003, the “House of Welcome Beatita Benavides” supports the community with health care, especially for those citizens facing terminal or neurological disorders, alcohol or drug addiction, or needing kinesiology rehabilitation. This project takes a human-centred approach, and is remarkable in the dedication of the professionals and patients in treatment, where dignity and love drive this municipal agency.

The Alcohol and Drug Detoxification Unit plays a similar role to BanAmor. Because of the lack of public policies for treatment, the municipality takes on these problems by creating a 21 day detox plan where patients have medical care provided by the mayor himself, psychologists, social assistants and therapists in order to treat addictions.