Since the second half of the 20th century, the Luksic family has created one of the most dynamic economic groups in Chile’s history. Today, the Luksic Group it has a presence in 128 countries through the companies it controls. It is one of the 10 largest copper producers in the world and is active in various other sectors, including financial, manufacturing, brewing and wine, food and beverages, energy, transportation, and port services.
Andrónico Luksic Abaroa (1926-2005) was the founder of the Luksic family in Chile. The son of immigrants, a Croatian father and Bolivian mother, Luksic Abaroa was born, raised, and educated in the northern city of Antofagasta. Surrounded by the Atacama Desert and more than 1,300 kilometers from the capital of the country, his childhood forever marked what would become his vocation: mining.
As time went on, his three sons would join the group’s companies, each entering into a specific area: Andrónico Luksic Craig was put in charge of the financial sector, Guillermo Luksic Craig (1956-2013) in the industrial area, and Jean-Paul Luksic Fontbona in the mining industry, promoting the strong growth of the Luksic Group from the 1980s until today.
In addition to building some of Chile’s strongest companies, Andrónico Luksic Abaroa fostered the formation of nonprofit entities to provide quality education to hundreds of children who would become Chile’s future leaders. The Luksic Foundation was his main charitable institution and in fact his focus during the later years of his life. Today his daughter, Paola Luksic Fontbona, leads this foundation that seeks to contribute to a quality education for the some of Chile’s most vulnerable children. His other sons and daughters continued this legacy as well, developing several initiatives related to education and giving rise to six non-profit foundations in Chile.
The family has always had the conviction that education is the engine of progress and fundamental for the well-being of people and their countries. With that same vision more than two decades ago, Andrónico Luksic Craig began a personal project that is now part of the philanthropic work of the family as a whole.
Toward the end of the 1990s, Andrónico began to establish links with the most prestigious universities in the world, with the goal of providing scholarships and connecting young talents, especially Chileans, with the greatest sources of global knowledge. Since then, more than $40 million dollars have been invested in developing these programs, and this has evolved into a network of more than 1,500 Luksic Scholars – more than 900 of which are Chilean, as well as 100-plus from Croatia – who have been provided with access to pre and postgraduate programs and studies at some of the best universities in the world. Additionally, more than 230 students from China have visited Chile to study in universities there.
In addition to supporting specific academic scholarships, the Luksic family has facilitated, through a series of donations, the installation in Santiago, Chile, of four regional university centers: Harvard, MIT, Columbia and Tsinghua.