La Junta is a young population, as it has not yet experienced its first 50 years of life.
Before 1960, the Palena River would host three villages along its course: Alto Palena, Medio Palena and Bajo Palena. The Southern Road had not been built yet.
Due to its geographical features, the territory today occupied by the town used to be the point where the colonists devoted to cattle farming would arrive. It would be known as Medio Palena and dwelled by entire families that built their “ranchitas”, very meager and primitive houses.
Many arrived to drive animals and then remained for good. The first cattle drivers would reach the Puyuhuapi port. Later on, another port then called Bajo Palena and today known as Raúl Marín Balmaceda was created.
Puerto Montt was the point to sale cattle. There was also traffic of goods from North to South. Medio Palena (today called La Junta) was another place to rest and get supplies.
It was not until 1963 that La Junta was founded. Afterwards, the Land and Colonization Ministry granted many hectares per family and that encouraged new settlements. In the past, journeys were measured by days. The Southern Road represents a turning point in the life of this town.
During the early years, the Catholic priest Ronchi was in charge of elementary education, as there were no schools. He urged parents to let their children be trained.
The proximity to Argentina forced the inhabitants of La Junta to buy on the other side of the border the goods not produced by their fields. To get salt, sugar and flour, they had to travel and exchange these products by their own.
As a result, some traditions were unified on both sides of the mountain range. Mate amargo, el truco and some garments typically worn by the Argentinian gaucho have a very similar Chilean version. The way to cook asado and some traditional Argentinian folkloric songs are alike in the entire Patagonian region.
The locals have had an open mind as far as production is concerned. Thus, the Forest National Corporation developed a project for the Preservation and Sustainable Management of the Native Forest. This led to the good use of wood workers without actually having to get rid of them.
Also, the cattle farming area is being worked with a health certification that will foster the export of international quality meat to Europe. Both examples give evidence of a people that wishes to thrive without using up its resources.