Culture and exploration in the Andes
Explore the mountains and meet the people of Chile’s Aysén region. On this course, you’ll start by getting to know this region on foot, backpacking in the mountains as you learn skills like map reading, minimum-impact camping, and navigating off trail. Start your days savoring a breakfast you cook for your group on a camp stove. Learn about the area’s ecology as you hike through temperate rainforest and steep granite ridges. Settle into your tent at night ready to explore the next valley.
This course emphasizes cultural interaction in addition to wilderness travel skills. Any time we pass by a campo (ranch) or other home, you will take time to meet the poblador family and ask if they need help with a project, share a cup of yerba mate, and listen and learn from their experiences of living in this wild and remote place.
Leadership will be a strong focus of this course. Regular interactions with local Chileans become an opportunity to learn self-awareness and cultural competence. A challenging day of hiking in the mountains is a lesson in resilience and tolerance for adversity. Forming a community with your group becomes an opportunity to practice communication and peer leadership. You’ll go home from your course with real experiences to inform your own leadership style and ready to be a thoughtful international traveler, wilderness explorer, and leader in your community.