Chile, From The Inside

A photo portrait of Anani Galindo ’19 standing in a mountainous landscape in Chile

Anani Galindo ’19
Major: English
Hometown: East Los Angeles, Calif.
Program: Middlebury Schools Abroad, Chile

The Middlebury program in Santiago caught my attention not only because of its location, but also for the care the program has for its students. I have always loved the Spanish language. Additionally, Chile is living through a very interesting time, socially, politically, and culturally. I wanted to see it with my own eyes and draw inspiration from the students and residents of the capital.

What are you studying?

The academic program at Alberto Hurtado University is pretty rigorous. I am taking four courses: Two of them are about the history of Chile and Latin America, and the others are about the literature of Latin America and Chile, specifically. The students are very well-versed in the literature of their country and speak of it with great admiration. The academic life is quite different. It is much more relaxed, but that does not necessarily mean that it is any less challenging. The relaxed atmosphere helps me take my time with assignments and ask questions if I have them.

Where are you living, and what are your favorite activities?

I am living with the wonderful Plaza-Lluza family. They have introduced me to Santiago in a way that I would have never experienced if I came alone. We sit together and converse about politics and culture over our meals. They have introduced me to several other activities around the city, including the Catholic tradition they are very much involved in. I travel a lot through the city, scavenging for bookstores and rigorously reading through Chile’s historic and rich literary tradition.

What has surprised you most about life in Chile?

The student life in Santiago is very relaxed and incredibly stimulating. It is difficult to speak about literary theory in Spanish, but that doesn’t deter me from enjoying the class discussions. The skies of northern Chile are stunning. I went on a weekend trip to the renowned desert of San Pedro de Atacama and went on an astronomy tour late at night. It was freezing cold, but the sights were spectacular. We were able to see the Vía Lactea across the sky. We saw Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn with our bare eyes.

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