Further Refections on Chile and “No”
We are nearing the completion of the Chicago portion of our study abroad experience in Santiago. The student groups are completing their comparative cultural biographies in which they investigate and compare like organizations in the U.S. and Chile. It is nearly six-weeks since we returned from our South American destination and this time has allowed all of us to thoughtfully process the experience.
One student, Angela Goodrich, was with the group who witnessed a student demonstration for better quality education. The swift intervention of local police was notable. Angela writes:
“Thirty years ago, afraid of communism, the U.S. sponsored a military coup and years of a repressive, bloody government in Chile. Today, we have an important chance to be on the ethical side of history.
With the release of a recent film “No” on the removal of the Pinochet regime, I continue to reflect on my time with the Loyola MBA program in Santiago and the importance of the stability of this country in a region of large mineral reserves and equally large U.S. mining investments.
Each moment in Chile was brightly tumultuous; inventive skyscrapers next to Spanish churches and tenement apartments near new condos with balconies drifting flowers and all below the stoic marble Virgin Mary, pregnant on the hill. The tallest building in South America is center skyline in Santiago – with upper floors unfinished but a busy, global mall already open on its first five floors. People power is growing with environmental groups blocking projects in Patagonia, more cell phones than citizens and high school children protesting in the street.
As I watched the children protesting downtown still in their school uniforms and being baptized by the military police water cannon; I wondered with some fear about our own cultural tolerance for change and for control. U.S. companies, entrepreneurs and diplomats have a powerful opportunity to create long term partnerships based on mutual respected by looking to our own recent past. We also had a time of growing affluence when youth and demands for social change took to the streets. This ushered in great social changes and new freedom, because the voice of a generation was allowed to be heard.”
More of our own student voices to come….