Diego Frankel in Chile

As a Computational Linguistics student interested in endangered languages, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to take a class on Mapuche language and culture from a Mapuche professor. Alongside Chilean students, I studied the language (Mapuzugun) and learned about the various issues facing the Mapuche today.

During a national holiday, I travelled with a classmate to Auracanía, the province with the highest percentage of Mapuche. Our Airbnb host offered to take us to a Mapuche restaurant where we were able to talk with the owner and practice our Mapuzugun. Later, our host showed us the nearby volcanoes and other breathtaking sights (see image).

Back in Santiago, I spent a lot of my free time dancing. I joined a salsa club at the university where I met a lot of Chileans and other exchange students. A typical Friday night for us was spent at the salsoteca.