Trip Details

During this gap year volunteer in Chile week you will learn about Chilean culture, get an insight into the language and have a taste of what they eat in South America.

You will visit a local organic farm where they grow lots of different fruits and vegetables, get creative at a handicraft market where they produce baskets, bags and souvenirs etc, visit a monument and get to receive the warmth of Chilean people.

You’ll also take a Chilean cooking lesson, explore the area and learn the basics of the language. You’ll also get to understand how people here live.

Aims & Objectives

  • Help you get familiar with your local surroundings
  • Teach you helpful phrases in the local language
  • Broaden your knowledge of the local customs, history and culture
  • Provide a full induction, preparing you for a longer stay!

Trip Itinerary

Monday

  • Breakfast
  • Culture introduction
  • Language class
  • Lunch
  • Village walking tour
  • Welcome dinner in the city

Tuesday

  • Breakfast
  • Visit monuments, church and museum
  • Lunch
  • Visit the local market, handicraft market and the shopping street
  • Dinner

Wednesday

  • Breakfast
  • Language class
  • Lunch
  • Lake Visit
  • Dinner

Thursday

  • Breakfast
  • Handicraft lesson at the handicraft centre
  • Lunch
  • Cooking lesson
  • Dinner

Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Visit an organic farm
  • Lunch
  • Project discussion
  • Dinner

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Accommodation

You will be located in the outskirts of Coihueco, an interesting town 400 km South of Chile’s capital, Santiago. Coihueco is both a Chilean commune, and a city, in Ñuble Province, Biobío Region. The commune borders Argentina on the east and the provincial capital, Chillán, on the west.

Coihueco is known for their wood carvings and loom weaving, as well as their Festival of Creole Roots, which revives many folkloric traditions!

Accommodation & Food
Your new home will be in a dormitory at a local school in Coihueco, central Chile. The accommodation has a communal area where you can eat, relax, meet fellow participants and use the free Wifi. During the school holidays December – March) and (Jun – Jul), the school dormitory will be closed so your new accommodation will be at a nearby home having access to the same amenities and food arrangements. There are 1-4 people per room

Food Arrangements
All the meals served inside the accommodation will be typically Chilean, including rice dishes, potatoes, beans, meat, sandwiches and vegetables. Water, coffee and tea are available all day long.

Facilities
There are ATMs, a bank, restaurants and even a mini-mall in the local village all located 10 minutes away by foot.

Sights & Surroundings
There are a lot of things for you to do over the weekends or on your free days. You can explore some amazing waterfalls, or even make your way to the Andes, hire some skis and enjoy the snow. Since the Andean Mountains are not that far away from Coihueco, it’s a perfect trip to take over the weekend.

If you don’t feel like jumping on the the skis, you can trek and enjoy the beautiful environment around you. There are also national parks and hot springs close to Coihueco for you to explore.

You can also choose to travel to Santiago, Chile’s capital, over the weekend. It usually takes about 6 hours by mini-van or bus from Coihueco.

Trip Country Info

Chile

Capital: Santiago
Language: Spanish
Currency: Peso (CLP)
Time zone: UTC -3 & -5

Country Information
Chile is a long, narrow country stretching along South America’s western edge with more than 6000 kilometre of Pacific Ocean coastline. Bordered by Peru in the north, Bolivia in the north-east and Argentina in the east. Today, Chile is one of South America’s most stable and healthy nations.

Chile has something for everyone. Go skiing in the Andes, surf big waves in the Pacific Ocean or go on a nice trek to one of the world’s largest volcanoes. In this diverse country you can also find, Algarobbo City, the biggest pool in the world and the Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth, where it has never rained before. Here you will also find amazingly cute penguins and other wildlife.

Climate
Chile’s climate varies from region to region due to the country’s long and narrow shape. Hot temperatures are rare except for in the north-central, at a certain distance from the sea. Best time to go here would be in the summer. Summer runs from December to January and winter from June to August. There’s a dry desert climate in the north with a maximum temperature of 32°C during the summer, and that can easily drop just below 0°C in the winter.

The central region of Chile has a Mediterranean feel with with it’s warm, dry summers, cool, wet winter and a wet season between May and August. However the influence of the sea makes the summer a bit cool, with temperatures around 20°C. The sea heats up Chile here during the winter, with an average temperature of 12°C.

Southern Chile has a cool climate that is highly affected by the ocean. The winter is rainy, as well as the summer. Westerly facing winds here, blow constantly and the temperature is colder than the rest of the country. Temperatures usually vary between 16°C to 20°C during summer and 5°C to 10°C in the winter.

Culture
The Chilean culture is a mix between elements from the spanish colonial time and the indigenous people, mostly Mapuche, which were the first people in Chile. Today they make up about 9 % of the total population. The national flag and the national anthem are today the most important symbols for the country, The national holiday on the 18th of September, celebrates their declaration of independence from Spain, in 1810. During this day they visit fondas (traditional palm-roofed shelters, dance their national dance “Cueca”, drink Chilean red wine and eat empanadas, which are meat pastries.

Chile is the most modern country in Latin America and has a relatively low level of poverty. However, they still constantly think and act in terms of traditional class divisions. Upper, middle and lower classes, living largely isolated from each other in their own neighbourhoods. Entrance to university is based on the points obtained after a single national academic test. Getting an academical degree or a good job does not automatically guarantee social acceptance among the middle and upper classes.

Football is the most famous sport in the country, no matter the status of your socioeconomic background. Rodeo is the second most famous sport here, with two riders and horses on each team, the goal is to stop the calf and pin him up against gigantic cushions. However skiing in the Andean Mountains or surfing in the Pacific Ocean is pretty common as well. In the south basketball is a common sport as it can be played all year around.

 

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

No requirements have been provided.

Additional Requirements

No requirements have been provided.

What's included

  • 24/7 support in case of emergencies
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Pick up
  • English speaking coordinator
  • Meals
  • Orientation

What's not included

  • Airport drop off
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccination
  • Visa