Andes & Southern Cone

Trans Health Care in Santiago de Chile

By Gabriel González, CASA Chile Fall 2019 (Brown University ‘20)

I'm unsure if I'll ever be able to fully explain the emotions I felt when a transmasculine patient came in with their family and began hormone treatment, especially in another country where LGBTQ+ lives are also often unspoken of, invalidated, and met with violence. It fills me with hope and reassurance knowing that there are other health care professionals providing quality service to an extremely underserved and stigmatized population...

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By Kieran McKenna, CASA Chile Fall 2019 (Swarthmore ‘21)

This semester has been ridiculously hard. I mean that in the best way possible. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been bored. I’ve thought school assignments were pointless, authority figures were out of touch, my peers were immature. I went to Swarthmore College expecting to be challenged. I was underwhelmed, to say the least. This semester, my luck turned. 

I came to Chile with a few years of classroom Spanish and a cursory...

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Chile has been a blast!

By Leo Nye, CASA Chile Fall 2019 (Johns Hopkins '21)

I never imagined that I’d be in so many eye opening educational experiences outside of the traditional academic environment during my semester abroad, but I feel that my time here has been so unique, a once in a lifetime experience. I can’t help but describe my experience with these clichés because it’s as if we’ve came to Chile just in time to get a sense of how Chile compared to its own reputation and facade of stability and...

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My Chilean Experience

By Joseph Barnette, CASA Chile 2019 (Vanderbilt ‘21)

No puedo creer que en tres semanas, voy a regresar a los Estados Unidos. Mi semestre al extranjero ha cambiado completamente el camino de mi vida. Estar lejos de Vanderbilt me dio la oportunidad de considerar lo que quiero hacer con mi vida sin que nadie más influya en mi opinión. Creo que mi crecimiento en Chile se puede dividir en tres etapas: orientación a la vida en un país extranjero, adaptarme a las clases en un idioma extranjero y...

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The Mountains of My Body's Memory

By Alexis Roman, CASA Chile Fall 2019 (Brown '21)

Una semana me queda en Santiago. I got here in the winter, in July, my Chicago summer cut short, and now it’s summer in Santiago in December and in one week I’ll be back in the winter. Seasons aren’t what they used to be.  

As I prepare for the next seasonal inversion, my mind races to capture all the memories. The fear of forgetting looms beneath me. It tries to shake me, but living here for this long means I know what it actually feels like for the earth to tremble, and right now I am still....

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El Sol y un Invierno de Reflexion

By Leslie Benavides, CASA Chile Fall 2019 (Brown '20)

As I write this, exactly one week from my departure back to the United States and six months in Chile, I find it important to be explicit about my identities: I experienced Chile as a first-generation, brown university student, indigenous and latinx, low-income, brown-skinned woman. I also find it important to mention a small, but important detail: my semester abroad was the first semester of my senior year. Something you may find helpful is names: Eliza is a Barnard student I met here, Pilo is the...

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Reflection on my time in Argentina

By Peter Morrissey, SIP Argentina 2019 (Harvard '21)

On my last night in Buenos Aires this summer, my host parents invited over all of the extended family one last time for a sendoff dinner in the apartment. After dinner, 9-year-old Belisario went over to the home computer, typing away at something. Maybe twenty minutes later, while I was in the back bedroom watching How to Train Your Dragon for the second time with my 29-year-old host sister (Angie) and the grandkids, Belisario ran in to deliver me a paper. Without waiting for me to open it, he hurried...

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Apartment by the Avenue (or: Adventures in Argentina)

By Kendrick Foster, SIP Argentina 2019 (Harvard '22)

1Plaza de Mayo in downtown Buenos Aires, viewed from the Casa Rosada.

My host father finally fixed his amplifier, so my apartment along Avenida Cabildo in the heart of Buenos Aires vibrated with Phil Collins’ drumbeats for the first time in six weeks. We had discussed this for a while (and even had an...

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Mi Experiencia en Buenos Aires

By Rachel Danner, CASA Argentina Spring 2019 (Brown '20)

The day I arrived in Buenos Aires I had the best ice cream I’ve had in my life. It was passion fruit flavored (maracuyá in Spanish) and it had the seeds of the fruit included, which added the perfect extra crunch. I was in awe of the culinary prowess and explosion of flavors. I was also terrified. I had just gotten off of an eleven hour flight to Argentina and had arrived at a 8th floor apartment in the heart of the city and met my somewhat (very) eccentric host mother. I knew no one,...

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