Santiago, Chile
-33.448898315430, -70.669296264648
Journal Entry:

This past week, our group traveled north to the Atacama desert, home to some of Chile's most amazing and beautiful natural features. In many ways, the mountain lakes, sweeping vistas, and rural towns were what I had expected Chile to be like all along. However, my months here in Santiago have taught me so much about the people, history, and culture of this amazing country. Chileans are more than just the rural mountain farmers and miners that many people picture. They are artists and musicians and writers. They are scientists and doctors and teachers and students. Living in a different country has shown me not only the cultural differences that make Chile unique but also the many similarities that Chileans share with people in the United States and all over the world. 

My travels throughout Chile and South America have shown me that each place has its own flavor and charm, and no two places are the same, even within the same country. Puerto Varas is nothing like Santiago or San Pedro de Atacama or Rapa Nui. In this one small country, I've found everything from tropical beaches to icy volcanoes to wind-whipped sand dunes and salt flats. Yet it bears repeating that Chile is a beautiful country in terms of culture as well as geography.