This morning, participants woke up bright and early for our day trip to Santiago, Chile's capital city. Santiago is home to more than 5 million people, and lies about an hour and a half east of Valparaíso. The two cities, while geographically very close, offer two very different experiences. Valparaíso is a city of rolling hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Santiago, on the other hand, sits in a mountain valley offering an incredible view of the snow-capped Andes.
Our first stop allowed us to see some of that view from atop Cerro San Cristóbal, the second highest point in the city. Cerro San Cristóbal is also notable for the enormous statue of the Virgin Mary that sits on its peak.
The participants then enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant, Ciudad Vieja, before walking to Barrio Lastarria, a neighborhood full of street vendors and small cafes and restaurants.
We ended our day trip to Santiago with a stop at La Moneda, the place where the President and other important politicians work.
On the bus ride back to Valparaíso, I asked participants about their favorite part of the day. Here's what some of them had to say...
- Nathaly liked the flea market and people playing live music in the street.
- Makayla enjoyed seeing the nice views at Cerro San Cristóbal and getting to see all the souvenirs that people make.
- Kaya said that the jazz band in Barrio Lastarria was her favorite part of the program so far.
- Nate's favorite part was going around Barrio Lastarria, seeing all the cute things being sold, and getting coffee.
- Laci liked seeing the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral in Barrio Lastarria and seeing the Chilean kids there dancing.
- Isabel liked the free time to walk around the streets and shop in Barrio Lastarria because it was fun.
- Sophia's favorite part was shopping in Barrio Lastarria because she liked the clothes. She also noticed that the streets are very different from Valparaíso.