WorldTeach's in-country orientations provide a great opportunity for volunteers to get to know one another and form a solid support network, creating strong bonds in just a few short weeks. Once volunteers are scattered across their varying sites, they have numerous opportunities to visit one another and explore the country together over weekends and school holidays, sharing their disparate experiences and accumulated stories. Below, Chile volunteer Heather Tang shares some photos from a weekend spent in Valparaíso with a group of her fellow volunteers.
"Valparaíso (Valpo) is considered Chile's most important port and even though the entire country is coastline, it is the gateway to the Pacific. As a World Heritage Site, the city is eclectic and cultural, characterized by its many hills and bright, colorful buildings lining the harbor. To get up the steep hills more easily, pedestrians can take one of the 16 funiculars to the famous hilltops.
On our first weekend after splitting to our placements, a group of the WT volunteers met up in Valpo to see the tall ships festival and explore the winding cobblestone streets, undulating landscape, and sample the abundant seafood. Even though it had been less than a week apart, we had already experienced the new ways of life we would each be adjusting to and hopefully thriving in for the rest of the year and had plenty of stories to share.
We stayed overnight at a creaky little hostel up in Cerro Artillería and the next day, hung out on the beach in neighboring city, Viña del Mar, where we had a little fun with the cameras."