Chile Revealed with Professor of Hispanic Studies Freddy Vilches
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Trip Length: 10-12 days
Group Size: 18 - 24
Cost: About $6,400
Faculty Leader: Freddy Vilches, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
- Trace the history of the human rights movement in Santiago through multiple narratives.
- Visit Santiago’s Barrio Franklin.
- Learn to cook traditional Chilean fare from a local.
- Learn about the indigenous Llaguepulli Mapuche community and their efforts to maintain their way of life in modern-day Chile.
- Take in the incredible scenery, sparkling freshwater lakes, and temperate forests of Chile’s heartland, the Araucania Region.
- Spend the day at an authentic Patagonian ranch on a secluded peninsula, accessible only by boat.
- Experience the unique wonder of Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park and learn about reforestation efforts.
Day 1: Arrive in Santiago
Arrive in Santiago and transfer to hotel. Relax at the hotel before a group welcome dinner this evening.
Accommodation: Hotel Boutique Le Reve, Santiago (D)
Day 2: Santiago
Morning visit to Barrio Franklin (activities/meetings to be arranged by faculty). This afternoon, explore the human rights legacy in Chile through a visit to the Human Rights Museum (often called the “Museum of Memory”), which features extensive exhibits of what occurred in Chile under the Military Dictatorship, during Pinochet’s rule (1974 - 1990). Accommodation: Hotel Boutique Le Reve, Santiago (B)
Day 3: Santiago
Day at leisure in Santiago with guide and transportation (activities/meetings to be arranged by faculty). For lunch or dinner, learn to make a traditional Chilean dish (with wine pairings) at a local cooking class.
Accommodation: Hotel Boutique Le Reve, Santiago (B, L)
Day 4: Valparaiso
Spend the day exploring the eclectic city of Valparaiso (~1.5 hour drive), best known for its stunning views and eclectic Bohemian vibe, passed down through years of varietal European influence. Stroll through the Plaza Sotomayor, surrounded by colorful
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architecture, and visit La Sebastiana, the former residence of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, now converted to an art museum that displays some of the city’s best views. Enjoy dinner on your own and some time at leisure before returning to Santiago this evening. Accommodation: Hotel Boutique Le Reve, Santiago (B, L)
Day 5: Araucania
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Temuco (~1 hour, nonstop). Continue on to the Llaguepulli Mapuche-Lafkenche (“Sea People”) Community (~1.75 hours drive), and settle into your home for the next few nights, a cultural ecotourism initiative with spectacular lake views. Learn about the indigenous Llaguepulli Mapuche community’s stories of resilience, struggling to retain their lands and cultures from colonization by Spain, Argentina, and Chile. Discover the incredible history of 80 families in the Lake Budi region working collectively for “Mapuche” self-sufficiency, through entrepreneurship, self-management, and education. Get a glimpse into the traditional “campesino” way of life on a visit to the Chilean cowboys, locally known as “Huasos. Sit down to dinner this evening with a community leader, and learn about the region’s history, and the history of the Mapuche culture, a background peppered with courage, struggles, and political hardship.
Accommodation: Hotel Hospedaje Lago Budi Anweyeko, Araucania (B, D)
Day 6: Araucania
Visit “Pichi Newen,” a project that exists to enhance the identity of the children of the Mapuche people through traditional music, art, dance, and theater. Meet a local leader and his mother, who work to preserve the ancient cultural traditions of the Mapuche people by transferring skills to the younger generation. After lunch, meet with the Intercultural Chile Foundation whose purpose is to build a more inclusive and participatory society, where all cultures can live together in harmony and respect. Discuss the present-day issues of the Mapuche people and their relationship with the modern Chilean government with a local social entrepreneur and cultural educator who specializes in conflict resolution.
Accommodation: Hotel Hospedaje Lago Budi Anweyeko, Araucania (B, L, D)
Day 7: Patagonia: Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales
Transfer to Temuco airport and fly to Punta Arenas (~2.5 hours, nonstop). Transfer to Puerto Natales (~2.75 hours drive), a port city in southern Patagonia and the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. Check into your hotel and get settled in. This evening, meet with the Pueblo Kawésqar project. Learn about this community tourism and empowerment project, where community members are receiving capacity-building workshops in tourism, language, entrepreneurship, and storytelling with the end goal of developing tourism products that can be shared with visitors to the region. Accommodation: Hotel Vendaval, Puerto Natales (B, D)
Day 8: Patagonia: Estancia la Peninsula
Take a boat ride through Last Hope Fjord to reach Estancia la Peninsula. Spend the day at an authentic Patagonian ranch and choose from a variety of activities, including
hiking, horseback riding, or driving. Refuel with a delectable Patagonian barbecue lunch paired with Chilean wine. After lunch, take part in traditional ranch activities, such as herding and shearing sheep. Return to Puerto Natales this evening for dinner on your own.
Accommodation: Hotel Vendaval, Puerto Natales (B, L)
Day 9: Patagonia: Torres del Paine National Park
Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park (~1 hour drive). Spend two days exploring the wonders of Torres del Paine National Park. Trek through some of the park’s most iconic scenery - glaciers and golden pampas (grasslands) that shelter rare wildlife such as Chilean guanacos - all against a stunning backdrop of the horn-shaped Cuernos del Paine. Explore sites that can’t be seen from the original “W trail” including Condor Lookout and Salto Grande Waterfall. Learn how to find bush tucker, medicinal plants used by the Kawesqar elders, and learn about their importance in the Kawesqar community. Learn about the reforestation of Torres del Paine and meet with experts contributing to reforestation efforts throughout the park.
Accommodation: Hotel del Paine, Torres del Paine National Park (B, L-boxed, D)
Day 10: Patagonia: Torres del Paine National Park
Spend a second day exploring Torres del Paine National Park.
Accommodation: Hotel del Paine, Torres del Paine National Park (B, L-boxed, D)
Day 11: Punta Arenas
Transfer to Punta Arenas (~3 hour drive), stopping en route to explore Milodon Cave National Monument, where the remains of a giant prehistoric ground sloth, known as the milodon were discovered in 1896. Enjoy a group farewell dinner this evening. Accommodation: Hotel Isla Rey Jorge, Punta Arenas (B, D)
Day 12: Departure
Enjoy a morning at leisure before transferring to the airport for your departing flight home. (B)
Freddy Vilches joined the faculty of Lewis & Clark College as Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies in 2006. He received his PhD in Romance Languages at the University of Oregon, specializing in Latin American Literature of the 20th and 21st Centuries. His principal research interests include Southern Cone literature, connections between literature and popular culture, Latin American testimonial writing, and detective fiction. His teaching experience covers all levels of language instruction and Latin American Literature, as well as an interdisciplinary course on Music in Latin American Cultures. He has published articles on Latin American poetry and fiction. Currently, he is working on a manuscript on the use of poetry in the Chilean New Song Movement, and articles on the Chilean and Latin American detective novel.
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