Sarah as volunteer in Chile during the pandemic

Volunteer Work

Animal Welfare / Chile

March 2021

(cortesy translation from German)

Traveling to Chile has been a big dream of mine for a long time, and of course I hadn't thought that it would come true during a pandemic.

That's why my stay began with a 10-day quarantine in Pichilemu, a small surfer's paradise south of Santiago. So that this time would not get too boring for me and also to make communication easier for me as a Spanish novice, I had booked a two-week language course. Katterina, my accommodation host looked after me lovingly during the quarantine. She was also my Spanish teacher at the same time. I really enjoyed the Spanish lessons with her (first online, later in person), especially as it was also about getting to know Chilean history and culture and we even went on excursions to museums and the surrounding area.

The time after that I used to visit a few other places in Chile until my volunteer project on Chiloé Island started a few weeks later. The first week or two had been quite challenging, especially since there were still some communication problems. Living together exclusively with Chileans for over three months was of course extremely helpful in learning the "real" Chilean Spanish. In addition, due to the remote location of the project, the place is an absolute natural paradise, the landscape is really super beautiful. And working with the animals was also amazing and very interesting. Never in my life would I have thought that I would be able to work so closely with penguins or sea lions, for example. Overall, my time on the project was an incredible experience, I learned a lot and was able to make some deep friendships.

Many thanks also to my contacts at Chile Inside, especially to Marion. The contact was always very pleasant and uncomplicated and I always felt that I was in good hands. With Corona in particular, the organization was of course more complicated than usual, so I was very grateful for the support when it came to the necessary entry documents or the short-term organization of quarantine accommodation, for example.

In summary, I can only say that the time in Chile was really unique and that I have taken the country and the people so firmly in my heart that I am practically already thinking about when I can travel to Chile again next time.

Thanks! Sarah R.

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