Posted: 3/13/12

TAMIU’s ‘Reading the Globe’
Posts Chilean Travels

A group of 15 Texas A&M International University students rang in 2012 in a new country 4,600 miles away as part of TAMIU’s “Reading the Globe” program.

Now, their experiences, thoughts and images are available for all to share on TAMIU’s web site at tamiu.edu/spotlight.

The site includes a student blog, a photo gallery and a compilation video documenting the trip.

In December, the freshmen students traveled to Santiago, Chile. They were selected for the “Reading the Globe” program 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. Reifenberg visited TAMIU in October.

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

TAMIU 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.

Dr. 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, who we were fortunate to visit with and participate in native ceremonies shoulder-to-shoulder,” Dr. Hickey said.

The students were especially moved by the chance to meet and provide gifts to the children of Casa Hogar, the home featured in Reifenberg’s book.

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 galleries of previous trips are also archived at tamiu.edu/spotlight

Additional University information is available at www.tamiu.eduand on the University’s Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube sites.  A free download of the University’s App for Smartphone and Tablets is available on www.tamiu.edu

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