Updates from Santiago: Trying Empanadas, Dance Class & Cooking Class

Authored by:
Tamara Cohen

Hello from Santiago!  

As I sit down to write this post, it is the last week of our time here in Chile and the students are busy preparing for their final project presentations that they will show on Friday.  We spent two super fun and packed days on the coast this past weekend, doing lots of adventurous activites, but before I share details from that trip, I would like to back up and share some of the other activities that the students participated in last week.

Trying Chilean Empanadas

First of all, the students got ot visit two businesses in Santiago to hear how the businesses got started, how they overcame problems during the inception of the business, and how they have grown their businesses into the business it is today.  The first place we visited was this incredible empanada shop that was bustling with people!  It actually started as an Italian specialty foods shop in the 1930's, but now sells delicious empanadas- of course we got to try one!

We tried cheese empanadas and beef empanadas and it's hard to say which was the favorite.

Dancing Traditional Dances

Thursday afternoon was another day for new cultural experiences- this time in the form of music, dance, and folklore!  We had a wonderful teacher come and share stories, history, and facts about Chilean folklore and history.  It wasn't just a lecture though!  There was lots of participation, dancing, and of course- lots of smiles.

The students thoroughly enjoyed this activity and asked if we could do it again!  That's a sign that everyone had fun.

Learning to Make "Sopaipillas"

On Friday, we had one of the most fun afternoons of our entire trip (as stated by the students)- we learned to make sopaipillas, which are a traditional Chilean quick bread that can be eaten savory (with a salsa called "pebre"- similar to pico de gallo) or sweet (with a cinnamon-orange syrup called salsa de chancaca).  The dough is made of flour, pumpkin or squash, and butter.

The students were split into two groups, but everyone got to do a little of each activity.  Some made the pebre...

...while others worked on the masa (dough):

Our lovely teacher took over the frying, but we all participated in the BEST part- the EATING!

Everyone tried the sweet and savory varieties and it's difficult to say which were the favorites because there were hardly any left of both varities- a successful day!

That brings us to Saturday, which was the first day of our trip to El Quisco.  A full recap is coming soon!

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