Luis Rodriguez arrived to Chile to study his first semester in a city located in the middle of the Chilean desert, thanks to an agreement with Universidad Católica del Norte. Nevertheless, a strong and rare storm welcomed him to the city.
“In Brazil, I’ve heard about the Chilean natural catastrophes like volcano eruptions and earthquakes, which never happen in my country, but I never imagined experiencing such a catastrophe in the middle of the desert,” says Luis. “I remember it was a rainy day, but I didn’t think anything of it, as I’m used to the rain in Brazil. But then I saw the news on TV about the flooded cities. So, we got together in my university to help the victims and cleaned the university which was a bit affected.”
This experience allowed Luis to see another side of Chile, a side that was unified. “I think it is a very caring country because they were all willing to help with anything. Definitely, Chileans are very united, in happy moments like the winning of Copa America as well as during the catastrophes” He assures.
After the catastrophe was over in the north of Chile, Luis was able to visit the Gen community, located about 23 km north of the city, and that “is an example of motivation to grow vegetation in the middle of the desert” He explains.
Luis can only say thank you to the city that welcomed him. “I think Antofagasta is a very quiet city with very nice people. They were always willing to help foreigners from any nationality. What I liked the most about the city was the respect and quietness of the city. I never experienced any danger in the streets and that was shocking to me.”
Another place that Luis was able to visit was the desert and the Observatorio Astronómico Paranal. “Getting to see both was an amazing experience, especially the desert which looked to me like being in another planet, with no vegetation and a clean sky. In some occasions it was like watching those images you get from Mars”. He explains laughing. “It was for sure an unforgettable experience to be able to visit the desert.”