Fundación San Ignacio del Huinay was founded in 1998, thanks to an alliance between ENEL Generación and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, with the purpose of defending and promoting the biogeografical values of Chilean Patagonia. It's facilities are situated on a plot owned by the Fundación in Hualaihué, Los Lagos Region. It comprises 34.000 hectares of land bordering with the Comau Fjord to the West and the border to Argentina in the East. During it's first 20 years of existence the Fundación arose to be a national and international reference in it's field, mainly due to it's research in marine ecosystems. For example more than 60 new species have been discovered and described.
In 2018 the Fundación redifined it's mission and vision, encompassing an even wider view of the Patagonian ecosistems. It's goal is to become a reference in climate change research and a promoter of education, conservation strategies and sustainable development of the area and the entire country. Sparked by these changes emerges the new definition of the research station to “Centro de Investigación y Formación San Ignacio del Huinay”, having as main scientific goal to study the impacts of long term variabilities and global change on the processes of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of the region.