Photo Spread: South American Wilderness
This past summer, I was given the opportunity to take my experiential learning into my own hands and ship myself off to South America. The main prerogative of this trip was the completion of my “practice experience” for my minor, Global Poverty and Practice. I spent six weeks living in a small city in the south of Chile named Temuco, volunteering for an even smaller women’s rights group - AcciónFem. We advocated for sexual liberation of women by means of abortion rights, nonsexist educational policies, and the dismantlement of the South American patriarchy. When I wasn’t tackling larger societal issues, I made a point to immerse myself in a different kind of lesson - that which can be taught by the raw, powerful, and immense landscapes of South America. Most weekends I would bus to a new city, crash in a hostel, and soak up every bit of outdoor splendor that I could. Because I was there during Chile’s winter, many of my excursions were timed around weather, and I found myself extremely lucky to spend a sunny day on the coast, and a bluebird day at a summit. Once I had completed six weeks of volunteering, I made my way North (hoping for some warmer weather) and ended up driving on a jeep excursion through Bolivia to the salt flats of Uyuni. What I am not able to describe with words, and hopefully am able to describe more fully with these photos, is the pure variety of awe-inspiring landscapes that I was able to witness. Nothing could have prepared me for the deep upwelling of gratitude that I felt after the South American soil showed me a few of her true colors. I will return for more- hasta pronto, Sudamérica.