BETHANY, W.Va. — Student and faculty representatives of Bethany College’s Spanish and German Clubs recently returned from a two-week May educational trip to Chile.
Organized and led by club presidents Catherine Papp (German Club) and Meghan Philp (Spanish Club) and club advisors Harald Menz (German Club) and Joseph Lovano (Spanish Club), Professors of World Languages and Cultures, participants spent a week in Chile’s central valley in the capital city, Santiago. They visited sites such as Santiago’s historical center of the Plaza de Armas — Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo Chileno de Arte Precolumbino, Catedral Metropolitana, Correo Central, Palacio de la Real de la Audiencia, and the Paseos Ahumada and Huerfanos.
The clubs also explored the Palacio de La Moneda, where they saw Chile’s President, Sebastian Pinera, and the First Lady; the Mercado Central; the Cementerio Central, where participants viewed the tombs of former Chilean President Salvador Allende and famous Chilean singer-songwriter Victor Jara; and all three museum-homes of the world-famous Chilean author and Nobel Laureate, Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) — in Santiago (La Chascona), Valparaiso (La Sebastiana) and Isla Negra.
The travelers stayed another week in Chile’s Lake District, experiencing the significant German-Chilean cultural influence as they visited the towns of Puerto Varas (Iglesia Sagrado Corazon de Jesus), Frutillar (Museo Colonial Aleman) and Puerto Montt (Angelmo Craft and Fish Markets), together with the Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales, Lake Llanquihue, Petrohue Falls, Lake Todos Los Santos and the magnificent conical-shaped Osorno Volcano.
Club members enjoyed honing their Spanish-language skills, learning “on-the-ground” about Chilean history and culture and German-Chilean cultural influences, and gaining first-hand experience of the incredible natural beauty that Chile offers.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.