Why this blog?
For almost fifty years, since I traveled to Santiago, Chile, to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer working in forestry sector development, Chile and I have formed a wonderful partnership. I have repeatedly worked in Chile, traveled extensively throughout the beautiful country from Arica to Punta Arenas, formed a loving bi-cultural family with my wife Ximena, and we now live part of each year in Santiago, and part in Virginia in the US.
Over the years, I have become so immersed in Chilean culture and socio-political events that I find myself writing about my experiences, thoughts, and concerns about what I see and hear, and I am especially interested in sharing this with others, not just to extend my ideas but also to hear from friends and others who may share my interests in Chile. Most recently I experienced, first hand, the terrible earthquake in south central Chile, an event that has left an indelible impression on me, so one main thread of postings on this blog will be on the subject of the earthquake and reconstruction. Unfortunately this topic will be current for an extended period of time, but what has happened to Chileans and how they are responding to the unbelievable destruction, death, and suffering is truly revealing of the Chilean character. Coupled with the timing of this disaster with the change from the Michelle Bachelet presidency to that of Sebastian Pinera, recovery is a challenge worthy of observation and analysis.
On the brighter side of things, I have, over the years, developed an intimate relationship with Chilean food and beverage, especially seafood and wine. Both are exceptional in Chile, and so are the people that process them and the natural environments where they grow. There is nothing more delicious than Chilean erizos, locos, cholgas, lapas, oysters and machas, and nothing more exciting than the small coastal villages where these fruits of the Pacific Ocean are collected, prepared, and consumed by some of the most incredible people I have ever met. Modernization in Chile is putting pressures on these products and the people who depend upon them, and it won’t be very long before changes in this sector will so change the people and their communities that what I have known over the past half century will be mostly memories and pictures. I hope to contribute, through a second thread of postings, to the memory of the unique seafood of Chile and the valiant people who bring it to the rest of us.
Please enjoy my postings, and please join me in exploring Chile, its people and its riches.