Global Engagement Experience
Chile Spring 2024

Day 5

Wednesday, March 6th, 2024

I like to think of the night at the hostel as a character building moment. While none of us were fully comfortable, we did our best to adjust to the hostel living situation and managed to adapt rather quickly. I think that is one of the most valuable skills I built this week and something I will use wherever I travel to in the world. Image 1 We were lucky enough to be able to visit the National Congress in Valparaiso. This was probably one of the highlights of the trip for me. While I never paid attention in my Government class, I was very intrigued by the political structure of Chile and asked a lot of questions to learn as much as I could. The building was absolutely beautiful, but what struck out to me the most was the demonstrations going on outside the building.

Angry people holding up signs and yelling about forest fires really caught my attention. These people were locals, begging for action to be taken against the land burnt from forest fires being commercialized; and that's when I knew these people were who we needed to cater to with our Plaza Verde. Image 2Image 3 We got to sit in the Deputy meeting for the passing of this bill and I was in awe of the influential power that the people I was amongst held. Penn State University was even honored at the end, and I felt an unexplainable sense of awe mixed with gratitude for being able to experience that.

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the colorful city of Valparaiso and taking pictures. I even bought a pin to add to my ever growing collection from every city I visit. Image 4Image 5Image 6Image 7

Later on, we went on a street art tour which opened my eyes to the meaning behind all of the paintings and graffiti we saw earlier, which made me appreciate it more. This also taught me more about the intricate history of Chile, and the Incan and Mapuche influence over their modern culture. Learning about all of this only increased my appreciation for Chilean culture, and inspired me to dive deep into the history and culture of every other place I visit hereafter. Image 8Image 9Image 10Image 11

We concluded the evening with a boat tour over the Pacific Ocean, a hearty dinner, and gorgeous rooftop views of the city of Valparaiso.