WOW. That was some two weeks! I’ve never been somewhere as beautiful. We went first to Temuco for maybe like four days to attend classes in the city (at a professor’s school place). We learned about the issues that the Mapuche people face, relating to the loss of culture, loss of land, struggles that Mapuche women face, organizations, actions in the past, actions going on right now and the protests in the cities, and a general overview of the history of the Mapuche pueblo.
Then we got to our homestays in Makewe (community outside of temuco.) Our host mom/gma (Mercedes) was a teacher of Mapuzungun but mroe on that later. There were two kids. Niko (11) and Marcel (seven year old crazy kid who plays soccer EVERY DAY and is so competitive). There were also a lot of family in and out of the house, and friends. Mercedes’ sister also lived with them. The house was great. We played with the kids a lot (cards, tick-tak-to, futbol(soccer), and all sorts of stuff, even just walked around the enormous farm with them for hours one day). I miss them so much they were so cool!
The food was great. Practically everything we ate was “de campo” or from the farm (eggs, chicken, etc). They even made their own bread (and a lot of it) every day! QUE RICO! It was super awesome.
Some people’s host family’s had no shower or no hot water, and a few of them went all six days without showering. We did, but hot water lasted like five seconds. I did shower twice though.
But the house was awesome. And our host mom was SOOOOO SMART! She’s an instructor of a community Mapuzungun class and knows so much about Mapuche music, culture and organizations.
When we went to the class, me and Nick hopped in their car and were then driven by a THIRTEEN year old (cousin of family) to the class, with our mother riding shotgun.
The class was in a “sede comunitaria” or community building, built for activities for the community. It was a different community then the one we were living in, but there was a sede in our community too. The class was mainly women and kids and while the class was super interesting, it was more interesting to talk to the president of that community. She is currently working on helping her community with outings, better water(deeper wells), more availability of resources etc. She (Carmen) was also super intelligent. Then we took “once” in the middle of class and had sopaipillas! They are way different in the south of Chile. More like a donut actually.
The house had chanchitos! (baby pigs) and cows and chickens! Sheep too! and so much land! It was cool to live out there. We even saw a rainbow, it was huge, and way prettier in the campo.
By the way, the family and friends all decided I looked like Justin Beiber. So my name became Michael Beiber. (I’ll just take it as a compliment and move on!)
Once we left those five nights without internet (was a nice break) we went to PUCON!!! so beautiful. Volcan Villarica (volcano) and lakes and mountains. Was a way tourist-y town, but it was so cool.
Our hotel was in cabins. Was so cool. We had a six person for me and Nick. And Nick left a night early for his project, so it was me in a cabin to myself the last night!
We went on a hike in El Cani which was so pretty. (CHECK THE FB for millions of pics!) We saw lagoons and lizards and cool Araucania trees on the hike. It was a sanctuary for those trees.
We also went to Ojos de Caburga! Waterfalls everywere. Of course I was the guy to first walk out on the rocks on the top of the waterfall (when in Chile… haha) and then everyone followed! It was beautiful (again, all pics are now on Facebook).
We went to some beaches on lakes and took a boat tour (cool pics of that as well)
OH I FORGOT!!!!
In Temuco we went to a Hip Hop Mapuche show with a band called “Portavoz” and another called La Proleta Insurrecta (kind of had a Ska-ish vibe) I even skanked with Chileans! (dance for ska music).
The whole trip was soooo coool.
We had a cooking workshop for Mapuche food and went to a place where they spin sheeps wool and make stuff. Also a place that had bees for honey, beezewax, soaps etc.
VERY cool! they had a horse that was so friendly and so beautiful. !!! (pics —-> facebook)
In general it was an experience I will never forget!!!!
That kid in Chile