Students Share Experiences from Field Course in Chile

In March, a group of our students had the opportunity to spend a week in South America to gain a first-hand perspective on Sustainable Development in Chile. With the help of recent DEL-MEM grad Megan Green, we’ve put together a photo-essay so that you can take in the Chilean sights and get a taste of the lessons learned.

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During spring break, 2016, students traveled to Santiago and Valparaiso, Chile to meet with Chilean government, industry and non-profit leaders to explore topics such as renewable energy, wineries, ecotourism and sustainable forestry.

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Students met with leaders involved with the UN Global Compact, including Minister Margarita Ducci (seated third from right).

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To maximize facetime with Chilean leaders, students met over lunch with Asociacion Chilena de Energias Renovables A.G. (ACERA), a renewable energy industrial group.

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At Foundation of Chile, a local nonprofit and sustainability incubator, students met with Juan Ramón Candia, Head of Sustainability.

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Juan Pablo Orrega, President of Ecosistemas, offered students a perspective on local environmental activities.

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The week also included a field trip to Frutal, an orchard and fruit exporter.

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Cristian Selman, owner of Frutal, covered topics like water rights and the impact of climate chance on agricultural operations.

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The week wasn’t all work and no play.  Students spent two nights at Cascada de las Animas (Waterfall of the Spirits), and ecotourism resort in the Maipo River Valley.  The stay included a one-on-one meeting with owner Soco Astorga Moreno.

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The day at Emiliana Organic Vineyard began with an introduction from Felipe Munoz, who gave students background of Chile’s wine industry, as well as details about Emiliana’s unique approach to growing wine sustainably.

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A tour of the vineyard allowed students to see the unique features of Emiliana’s organic, biodynamic operations, including using chickens to help control pests and fertilize the vineyards.

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The tour ended with a tasting!  Vino rosado, blanco, & tinto.

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The final meeting of the trip was with the Port of Valparaiso.  Shipping is an important part of the Chilean economy and is connected with other sectors like agriculture, mining, forestry, and wine.

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The week was full of insightful meetings, new experiences, good meals and plenty of Pisco Sours, a unique Chilean specialty!

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Adios from Chile!