Students from CUP Santiago recently visited the VI Region of Chile, which is known for traditional Chilean rural culture. The capital of the region, Rancagua, is known for its rodeo and huasos, which are Chilean cowboys. However, we visited Doñihue, which is a small town that is most well-known for being the only place where chamantos are made. Chamantos are woven ponchos with intricate designs that huasos wear. Each one is unique and takes around 6 months to make and therefore valued at more than US $3000. Students were able to observe a weaver making a chamanto, learn about their signficance and try out weaving for themselves.
Students also got to visit other workshops in the area, including a woman who grows hydroponic lettuce and a woman who makes creams from aloe vera. At each place, students were able to converse with the owners of the workshops and learn about the reality of this part of Chile, which despite being so close to Santiago is an entirely different world.
We also enjoyed a typical Chilean lunch of perníl, which is a leg of pork, and saw a demonstration of the cueca, Chile’s national dance. At the end of the day students tried their hand at making a traditional Chilean bread, called pan amasado.
Check out the slide show to see pictures of the trip.