TAMIU’s ‘Reading the Globe’
Students Travel to Chile

A group of 15 Texas A&M International University students rang in New Year 2012 in a new country. The students, part of TAMIU’s “Reading the Globe” program, traveled about 4,600 miles to Santiago, Chile.

The freshmen students were selected after a competitive essay based on their reading of the University’s campus read selection, “Santiago’s Children: What I Learned About Life at an Orphanage in Chile,” by writer Steve Reifenberg. The book was also selected as Laredo’s One City, One Book title.


Bound for Chile
A group of 15 Texas A&M International University students will travel to Chile as part of the University’s “Reading the Globe Program.”  Pictured left to right: front row:  Jose Jacobo, Francisco Palacios, Lisa Estrada, Sabrina Espinoza, Carolina Atilano, Judith Abrego, Norma Nunez and Selina Fuentes.

Back row, left to right: Daniel Villalobos, Margaret Medellin, Katherine Garza, Joseph Dilworth, Alejandra Ortiz-Caballero. 

Not pictured, Uriel Dominguez.

While in Chile, the students visited the orphanage that was the setting for the book. In Santiago, they attended a series of academic lectures. They also visited Pablo Neruda’s house, attended lectures at the University of Bio Bio in Concepcíon, learned about Chilean culture, social reality, international relations, history and economics and stayed with host families.

Conchita Hickey, TAMIU executive director of TAMIU’s University College, said the trip was designed to highlight the realities of Chilean life.

“Chile is one of South America’s most vibrant and stable economies and is a founding member of the United Nations. Many consider it a leader among Latin American countries in income per capita and globalization, but there is high economic inequality – which figured prominently in ‘Santiago’s Children.’ The country is also fascinating for its indigenous culture and history, especially that of the Mapuche Indians, so we had an especially enlightening trip,” Hickey said.

As part of their pre-trip planning, TAMIU students followed up on author Reifenberg’s October visit to Laredo with a Skype session. They also met with TAMIU students or faculty members from Chile in advance of their travels.

Students participating in the study-travel project were: Judith Abrego, Carolina Atilano, Alejandra Ortiz-Caballero, Joseph Dilworth, Uriel Domínguez, Sabrina Espinoza, Lisa Estrada, Selina Fuentes, Katherine Garza, José Jacobo, Leslie Martínez, Margaret Medellín, Francisco Palacios, Norma Nuñez and Daniel Villalobos.

In addition to their studies and visits, the students were involved in various volunteer service activities.

The students also contributed to a blog about their adventure, located at: http://reading.tamiu.edu/

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This is the fourth TAMIU student group in the “Reading the Globe” program. Previous study-travel sites have included Poland, Ghana and Cambodia.

Student impressions and a gallery of previous trips is available on the University’s web site at www.tamiu.edu/spotlight

For more information, contact Hickey at 326.2801, email chickey@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the University Success Center, Suite 223.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu