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A young arriero leads a mule across fresh snow in the Peruvian Andes. Photo by Benjamin Swift (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest Finalist), South America Semester.

Importante: Un Prólogo

Buen día a todxs from Santiago,

I’m sure many of you all are experiencing some last minute jitters (both nervous and excited) prior to your departure as you finalize your packing and as the realizations associated with this gap semester begin to settle in. We, your instructors, can resonate with these feelings as we transition from Urubamba, Peru to Santiago, Chile to then Balmaceda over the last week. We also understand that having a vision of what’s to come can ease some of those pre-trip jitters. So with that, before you fly on Friday we wanted to provide you with a bit of information in regard to what your travel day will look like.

First and foremost we would like to ask you to have your Steripen accessible while you are traveling through the airport. The water that you are given on the plane is fine to drink without treating but while you are traveling through the airports we advise you to use your Steripen to treat any tap water. Though drinking the water from the tap can seem scary, please know that Steripens are effective modes of water ‘purification.’ It will be important for you all to stay hydrated as you travel to help in avoiding illness. If possible, strive to drink at least two liters of agua over the course of the day (preferably not all at once).

When you arrive in Chile you will need to go through immigration. Whomever is interviewing you will ask you what the purpose is of your visit. You can inform them that you are traveling. Once they are done asking you a few questions they provide you with a receipt that says ‘Tarjeta Unica Migratoria.’ It is VERY important that you retain that slip for your records, in addition to the passport stamp. It is your ticket out of the country.

Once you arrive in Balmaceda, we will meet you at baggage claim. The Balmaceda airport is very small so you should see us there. From there we still have several more hours of transport from the airport to Chile Chico so we want you all to be mentally prepared for that.

Be sure to drink lots of water and practice good personal care from here on out to stay in tip top shape.

We are SO excited to see you all in just a few days!!

Buena suerte y buen viaje,

Lxs intructorxs