Viña Homestays

Although only a 20 minute ride up the coast, Viña Del Mar couldn’t be more different than its sister to the south.

Valparaiso was once described by poet Pablo Neruda as a city that never has time to comb its hair. It’s a hodgepodge of mismatched buildings and rainbow staircases thrown together almost carelessly. In contrast, Viña is an organized and relaxed college town. Its grid streets are inviting and easy to navigate. It’s an appropriate vibe for the second segment of our program: language school and homestays!

Here’s what everyone had to say about their homestay experienced:

“Marisol was awesome! She is patient when speaking with us and always is available to ask questions about Chile and and life here. She is an awesome cook and super sweet. Her apartment is right on the beach and has a great view.” – Alli, Sam & Grace

“Mari is so cute and has been so sweet to us this whole week! One of the first days she noticed that I crushed up some cookies to put in my yogurt so this morning I woke up to pre-crushed cookies in a bowl for my yogurt from her. She is very accommodating for us, she makes our bed everyday and is doing our laundry for us, she rocks!!” – Oz & Kory

“Christina has been amazing this week, even when we got locked out and couldn’t understand her Spanish. She cooks amazing meals and is very sweet even calling us her ‘new sons.’ Christina is the coolest and we will never forget her.” – Soren & Johnny

“Our homestay mother, Señora Rosa, was very nice! She was funny, very helpful, and we finally figured out that it was her sister that visited her- family in Chile is very important. She really liked us, although she affectionately nicknamed Phil ‘diablo.'” – Alex & Philip

“From the onset, the Reinosos made sure we felt welcome. Every day we arrived home to a beautiful dinner and group of friendly smiles. The language barrier faded in the presence of their patience and enthusiasm. I hope to express my gratefulness to them for the cultural exchange and allowing us to participate in their grandson’s birthday.” Tommy & Carlos

“Nora has been incredible! Every evening she prepares amazing meals for us (tuna salad crepes, pesto pasta, jamón serrano) and we chat about life and politics in Chile. She is the caretaker of her grandson, Tommy, and we’ve learned a lot about the important role that extended family plays in Chile.” – Eric & Claire

We’re all leaving this week with some improved Spanish skills and a lot of enthusiasm for next week, when we’ll fly to Patagonia and begin our second homestay in the gaucho community of Cerro Castillo. We can’t wait to see how that experience compares with our time in the city!

The New Frontiers Gap Crew