Student protest in Santiago
Last week I went to a student protest in Santiago for I Love Chile. The students here are paying a lot for school (even high school), and are negotiating with the government to allocate the money that they pay more appropriately. The students and professors have been on strike since May. The protests have toned down quite a bit since then. This one I went to was a government authorized march and was pretty peaceful until the end. The students are not violent at all and are trying to make reforms, but at the end of every march people completely unrelated to the students or what they stand for decide it’s a good idea to throw rocks and paint at police vehicles, and because of them the students are portrayed as violent.
Last weekend I went on my own to the Museo de Arte Precolombino in Santiago. I studied Latin American archaeology in college, and it was fascinating to see all the artifacts that I had only read about in text books and written about in papers in person. I’m sure I’ll make a second trip there. It’s not a huge museum, but there’s enough in there for a Latin American archaeology aficionado like myself to need to take a second look at.
Map of Latin American cultures discussed in the museum at its entrance
These jars were used for keeping the entrails of the deceased in a northern Chilean precolombian culture. They viewed the insides as more important than the outside of the body.
Info graphics on the wall
These cheramulls were part of the funerary rituals of the Mapuche people in south-central Chile
Typical moche vessels
And the other day I went for a wander around the Bellavista neighborhood of Santiago at sunset. Here’s what I found.
This past week has been very busy and exciting here in Santiago. Chileans were preparing for their independence day on September 18. The children at elementary schools danced Cueca, the national dance of Chile, for their parents and teachers, public parks held large outdoor festivals called fondas, and the air was filled with kites and the smell of barbecues. Here are some highlights from this past week’s assignments and Fiestas Patrias. Be sure to check out my multimedia piece!
TV host Felipe Camiroaga died tragically in the Juan Fernandez plane crash. His ashes were driven through Santiago and fans paid their respects.
Here are a few of my favorite singles from Escuela Básica Lumen Viae. To see the mutlimedia piece I made about the event, click here.
Elementary students at Básica Lumen Viae show off traditional Chilean dances for teachers, family and friends on Sept. 15, 2011.
Here are some shots from Independence Day weekend – the party here goes on for four days, not just one or two.
Typical Chilean asado for Fiestas Patrias on Cerro San Cristobal.
A couple waits for results of the Cueca competition at one of the many fondas (large outdoor festival).
Cueca competition at the fonda.
Spectators try to get a view of the military parade at Parque O'Higgins.
Spectators at the military parade in Parque O'Higgins.
I was so worried about getting on the plane to get to Santiago in the weeks before my trip that I didn’t have time to come up with any expectations for the city, my internship, or my time in Chile in general, and as a result I spent my first week in Santiago, Chile as a quiet observer of the culture and the city. I am starting to get my bearings in the city using convenient geographical guides such as the Cordierra to the east of the city (the Andes Mountains that border Argentina) and the Río Mapocho that runs from the mountains west through the city. I am also slowly getting used to Chilean way of life, and not expecting things to happen on time and plans changing quite frequently. These are some shots from my week of observing, as well as my first assignment for I Love Chile.
The giant Chilean flag in front of La Moneda, the President's office.
As Chile is in the southern hemisphere, I arrived at the very beginning of Santiago springtime.
Cerro Santa Lucía near Santiago Centro, is a hill right in the middle of the city. On top of the Cerro is Castillo Hidalgo.
My friend Steve showed me the biggest cementery in Santiago, which was very vast and well cared for. Pinochet is buried there and there is also a wall of names of the Desaparecidos, the people who disappeared during Pinochet's rule.
Memorial ceremony for 9/11 terrorist attacks Chilean victim Juan Armando Ceballos Riveros at the United States Embassy in Santiago, Chile on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.
On a Saturday I went up Cerro San Cristobal, the biggest Cerro in the city, to relax. The hill was filled with Chileans enjoying their weekend relaxing, picnicing and jogging and biking up the hill.
The view from Cerro San Cristobal: sometimes it's easier to get your bearings when you can see the city from above.
La Virgin stands on the top of the Cerro.
There has been an education strike going on in Santiago. This is a fence outside of a school with the desks and chairs hung on it.