Sarah’s Summer Begins

By: Sarah MacLean

Greetings, again, from Santiago!  I have finally finished up my semester here in Chile and can say I am on “summer vacation,” though it’s getting colder every day here in the winter of South America.  My classes ended well, with most having final projects and presentations instead of the cumulative final exams that I’m used to at UNC.  When I haven’t been studying in the past few weeks, I’ve gotten to experience the World Cup in Latin America and it’s been amazing to see so many Chileans coming together to support “La Roja,” or the Chilean national team.

Throughout my time here, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to travel to the northern and southern parts of Chile to see all that this amazing country has to offer.  Every part of Chile has so many beautiful places and I can’t even imagine trying to pick which region would be my favorite.

Sunset over the salt flats of the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile
Sunset view of Santiago (in Central Chile) from San Cristobal, a large hill in the middle of the city
Sunset on the beach of the big island of Chiloé, an archipelago in Southern Chile

I just returned from the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world.  During my week there, I got to witness the sunrise over volcanic geysers and swim in the Laguna Cejar, the only place in the world other than the Dead Sea with a salt concentration so high that you can float.  I have one more week of taking in all that Santiago has to offer before I depart Chile.

I’m sad to see my time here come to an end, but I’m excited for the next part of my South American adventure.  The final preparations have begun for my arrival in Cusco, Peru and for the independent study I’ll complete in the Fall based on my observations at Manos Unidas.  This time next week, I’ll be in Lima, so I’ll be able to really start sending updates!

Hasta pronto,

Sarah