Chile – January 22nd, 2017 – Kirsten

We started off our last full day in San Pedro de Atacama, as well as our last full day in Chile, presenting an accumulation of many of the important things we learned during our time in Chile. We couldn’t share everything we learned, of course, because that would have taken the whole day. Each of us were in a group for either the Government, Education, Non-Government Organizations, or Business, and its role in the sustainability movement. We shared what we learned about the organizations that we visited here in Chile, as well as some new examples from both Chile and the U.S. It was great seeing the ways in which these places fit into the Triple Bottom Line and how efforts are being made to consider the People, Profit, and Planet.

After the presentations and a nice lunch at the hotel, we had the afternoon to ourselves. Unfortunately, due to all the rain yesterday, many of the excursions were canceled. However, a small group managed to find a tour to the Lagunas Escondidas, which were essentially salt ponds. They got to go swimming, and floated pretty easily because of the salt. Some of us enjoyed walking through the streets of San Pedro, buying souvenirs and eating ice cream, and enjoying the pool before it started raining, for the third day in a row.

For our last night in Chile, the professors treated all of us to a nice group dinner at Café Adobe. Thank you, Mary and Julie (and Sarah)!

While talking with my fellow classmates and reflecting on our trip, there were many different parts of the trip that stuck out to people. There were a lot of overlaps, like enjoying the nature at Parque Pumalin and seeing the art in Valparaiso, but there was also a lot of variety in which speakers everyone enjoyed the most. I think this shows that we were all able to bring in our different backgrounds and all get out something different, but we were also able to bring those differences together and collaborate during our trip. I am thankful for the variety of backgrounds and perspectives of my fellow classmates on this trip, because I wouldn’t have learned nearly as much without them. And as we have learned during our time here, collaboration and making sure every voice is represented is an important element in the sustainability movement. ~Kirsten


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