If you feel like a challenge, then Chile is definitely the country that will suit you best

If you choose to come to Chile and experience a Patagonian lifestyle for 4 months, it will be one of the wisest and most rewarding decisions you will ever make. After being with my group for just over 3 months it is clear that everybody has a different view and also some uncertainties about what to expect out here, including myself. To give you an idea of what to expect, here is a passage on what for me, is a typical day…
On weekdays I get up at around eight o’clock and head off to the secondary school where i am based as a volunteer. One thing that you will find very apparent is that everyone in Coyhaique and generaly in Chile is very ‘chilled out’ and that rushing is just not a part of their life.
The classes start at about half past eight even though they should start at quarter past and the three of us are either given our own class or we are splits up depending on what classes there are and what the teachers would prefer. The classes themsleves are great fun, they can be hard at times but thats all part of the challenge and for me it feels as though I am making a difference and that the help is appreciated. At one o’clock we leave school and head home for lunch – the biggest meal of the day! If you like having the best homemade food around, then your going to love the meals you have with your family. They love meat here so it’s almost a certainty that you will be having some sort of hearty, full, meat based dish. But if you are a vegetarian then you can get by just as well. I live in a family and one of the sons is a vegetarian and he makes some pretty fantastic lunches.
In the afternoon, you generally have the choice to go back to school, do something with the group or family. Don’t feel bad if you don’t go back to school, the teachers will ask you of you’re returning, but remember they know you need to experience more than just teaching! For me I like to do something as a group such as go play tennis with my Chilean Dad and Brother or maybe meet with the other volunteers in Cafe Ricer (the infamous ‘second home’ to the volunteers) for a Hot Chocolate. One thing you will find after the first month is that you start getting into little things seperately for example, I play lots of tennis with my family, another person plays football, two people have joined a gym and do fun dance classes and someone has joined part of a French Group. You will find that you have to make an effort with these things but in doing so you will meet other people and make more friends.
In the evening during the week you really just chat to your family and improve your Spanish. But, at the weekend is when the evenings get fun. We typicaly go out at about 10 or 11pm and sometimes visit a club but we prefer the pubs and bars with live music to catch up on what we’ve done throughout the week and just soak in the Chilean night life.
All in all, the whole Coyhaique experience is great and you are within a good distance for trips to Torres del Paine, Chili Chico, Argentina, National Parks and other activities such as Horse Riding and Skiing.
If you feel like a challenge, that will not only benifit yourself, but other people aswell, then Chile is definately the country that will suit you best.

Thank you Ollie for your article!

For more information on Chile, check our Chile webpage or email Roger at [email protected]

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