Sunday, June 22, 2014

Week 2 - Mapuche Community

It's hard to believe, but we're wrapping up week 2. The students are doing well in their classes and their Spanish has already begun to show improvement! We instructors are just as excited watching them learn as they are exploring Chile!

This week's highlights included: our first choir and dance classes, Chile's World Cup victory over Spain, our first visit to Reñaca Alto where we'll be doing our community service projects, and two afternoons spent with the local Mapuche community.

On Mondays, we have a few hours in the evening set aside for sports and other activities. It's a nice break from classes and the students found plenty of ways to entertain themselves!




On Wednesday, we all celebrated with Chile as they beat Spain 2-0! As you can see, our group has more than a few super fans.

Thursday was our first trip to Reñaca Alto. We planted some trees at a local elementary school and learned about the ways these younger kids are creating a "green," sustainable space at their school.


Some percussion to accompany us while we work
Then some of the students joined in!


Inside a greenhouse made of plastic bottles

At the Mapuche community, we worked hard Saturday on four different projects- cleaning up debris and brush; hauling dirt and leveling out the space for Sunday's We Tripantu (Mapuche New Year) ceremony; mixing cement and installing a stairway down to the common meeting area; and helping to prepare lunch for both days. But of course we made time for fun and for fresh bread and mate!


The "strong man" crew chosen to haul sand and cement up the hill

Our dirt haulers and levelers

Brush clean-up squad

Expert cement mixers!


End of Day 1 at the Mapuche Community. Exhausted, but proud of how our hard work paid off!


Mateo was invited to dance with the folkloric dance group.
We were all impressed with his skills.

Palín/chueca players

The instructors with Isabel, our tie to the Mapuche community.


Isaac turned out to be quite the dancer, too!

Closing the final ceremony

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