#BriannaAbroad- Giving Back to the Community Abroad

By: Brianna Huff

¡Hola! My name is Brianna, but friends call me Brie, like the French cheese.  I am currently studying abroad in Chile. My program is International Public Relations, History and Spanish.

It has been three months since my first landing in Chile and my oh my does time fly. In two more months I will be departing Chile to return to the states. But I could not return to the states without helping the country that allowed me to advance my Spanish and enjoy its culture, food, and people. Speaking of the people, one thing I will always remember about them is their natural instinct to give to those in need. Chileans are some of the most selfless people I have met. And I have had the pleasures of meeting many Chileans that were willing to aid me in my adventures in Chile.

surf

Before coming to Chile I had decided to give back to the community in some form of volunteer work. Why? This place has allowed me to improve my being as a whole. I have become more socially and culturally aware and have applied my knowledge to help the people of Chile. For example, I have fallen for this program called Valpo Surf Project. It is a non-profit organization in Valparaiso, Chile that had its start up with three Americans and one Chilean. They teach English and the art of surfing to the children of Valparaiso. Many might not know, but while Valparaiso is decorated in the most beautiful works of art with some form of political statement behind it, it is also an area of broken homes and poverty. This program allows the children some stability in their lives, while allowing me a way to give back to the community.

 

Education is a hot topic in Chile and has always been. During my three months, there have been three marches demanding the reformation of the education system. In Chile, similar to America, there are public and private schools. However, the public schools are similar to a public school in a poor or low-funded area in the U.S. The first weekend of May there was an unauthorized, yet peaceful protest led by students and Chileans alike for the reform of the education system.

Because I am an student studying abroad in Chile, I decided to give back in the form of education. I am not only apart of Valpo Surf Project, I have also decided to volunteer with the Cambridge English program with my university abroad and with a bilingual nursery. This bilingual nursery teaches English to children ages 3 and up. After giving back to the community I feel more alive and tranquila (calm) than ever.

Nos vemos (See ya later),

Brianna

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