Saying Goodbye to Pucón

A few days before we left Pucón, the Villarrica Volcano tucked herself behind a thick layer of clouds, and an intense set of winter rains began. As we stayed warm and dry in our cozy cabin at Hostel Emalafquen, the skies opened up and rained for several days straight. Once in a while winds came down the mountains with an intensity that felt like the roof might blow off. Pucón is a beautiful place, but it requires a little time to fully enjoy it during the winter months. If you come through town for just a day or two, there’s a good chance you won’t ever see the volcano looming above the city or enjoy a walk along the lake.

We were all a little sad to say goodbye to our teachers at Language Pucón. We can highly recommend this program to anyone interested in a Spanish immersion program. The modern and comfortable facilities are located just a couple blocks from the town center. The staff is welcoming and helpful in every possible way. The girls absolutely loved their teacher, Karin. She made the learning fun and interesting. We’re really surprised at how much of the language they gained in just a few short weeks with her. Karin even invited us out to her family’s horsetrekking farm, Antilco, one day to hike around, pet the animals and see the gorgeous river running along her property.
Girls and KarinEmily petting horses at Karins farmHiking at Karins farmLiv by the riverTracey and the girls at Karins farms

Brian and I really liked getting to know our teacher, Felipe, who was knowledgeable on not only the language but also the things we should experience during our time in his town. Like the patient instructor he is, Felipe handled Brian’s constant mispronunciation of the Spanish language well and made a valiant effort to help him learn the difference between the words más and mes (more and month). I hate to tell you this, Felipe, but I think he’s lost this skill already. He just made the same mistake yesterday when he told someone he’d like “one month beer.” Don’t take it personally. :-)
Felipe teacher at LP
We’re so glad we picked Language Pucón and made this town our temporary home in Chile. It’s a quaint village set in a beautiful place. Because of the recent eruption this past March, Villarrica was closed for tours and skiing this season. Perhaps that just gives us a reason to come back again someday. We still saw so many cool areas of Patagonia and got to know the local people a bit.

So long, Pucón! We’ll miss your beautiful views and friendly people, your easy walks through town to the lake shore, your chocolate shops and cozy restaurants. But most all…I think I’ll miss Brian knowing the difference between más and mes. :-) And now I’ll stop typing and let Brian’s photos speak for themselves.

The hills of northern Patagonia
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Views from around Pucón
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The girls finding fun stuff around town
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Days out hiking
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About the Author

Tracey Carisch

Mom, wife, friend and change agent traveling the world with my family to learn our place in it. After spending a career in organizational change management and community initiative implementation, I put my career on hold for our family's trip around the world. In April of 2014 we sold almost everything we own, put the rest in a storage container, and departed on this journey. While my husband continued his software development work to financially support our trip, I planned and documented our adventure, homeschooled our three daughters, and found volunteer work opportunities for us to do in the communities we visit. Now that we've returned to the U.S., I'm completing book about our family's adventure and our lessons learned.

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