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Birth and childhood
Diego Ancalao Gavilán was born on December 13th, 1980, at the township of Purén, La Araucanía Region, Chile. Son of a peasant family, Diego Ancalao is the oldest of 3 siblings of whom the younger, José Ancalao, became noted during the beginning of the Chilean Student Movement and last presidential elections of 2013. At the age of 10, Diego Ancalao started to practice karate, and succeeded in the sport at the point of becoming national representative in different competitions at continental level.
At the age of 18 started studies in Physical Education and Sports, at the University of La Frontera, of Temuco. There he started to be interested in politics, being an active participant of different social events in the area and being elected Vice President of the Students Federation of the University. Alongside with his professional development, he continue his sport career, excelling in 2005 as the best in his category in the region and representing Chile in competitions in South American and USA.
After getting his degree, Diego Ancalao starts to consolidate his career in the world of politics. He became part of the Cristian Democratic Party of Chile, and later, being candidate to Congress for the District 48 in 2009. Not being elected, Ancalao insists in the search for a change for the La Araucanía, becoming step by step in a relevant stakeholder at regional level and competing again for parliament in the elections of 2013. During 2014, joins the Citizen Left Party of Chile, and after a short period of time is elected Vice President of the collectivity and in May 2015 takes over as President of the party, becoming the first Mapuche leading a political party in Chile´s history.
Along with his political career, Diego Ancalao is known for his sports career, where through the karate has represented his country in several occasions.
First Mapuche leading a political party in Chile (Citizen Left Party, 2015)
“Mapuche: Son of Two Nations” (autobiography book, 2015)