As I walked down the stone-ladden stairs from the road to the campus of Aldofo Ibañez, groups of students crowded around a single doorway. It was blocked off by peligroso tape.The entryway had been rigged with strings in 1000 different directions and a sign asking students if they take the hard way or the easy way in life.

Upon completion of the “hard way,” students recived sandwiches and juice from their peers.

“Excuse me, why is this going on? Is this a promotion for something?”

A Chilean student poured some more juice into plastic cups. She smiled.

“No, we’re just doing it because we can.”

There you have it: just because they can.

As the day progressed, an inflatable rock climbing wall was set up in the middle of campus. Mats, blankets and pillows were spread in a large alcove for students to sleep. Triangular, colorful paper flags flew across the main building of campus: in between all the labyrinth of walkways and staircases.

A band of drummers came onto campus. A crowd surrounded the group and then dispersed as the music ended.

Giant banners hung from the ceiling in one of the buildings told students to follow their dreams. 100 percent organized by the students and performed simply because they could. Viva Chile.


Street performers here in Chile are common. Actually, plain impromptu performers are common. Last night at a bar, an amateur magician came up to our table and proceeded to mesmerize us with his tricks. At the end, we all tipped him 500-1000 pesos. Performers are often seen at traffic lights, performing in between lines of stopped cars for small tips. Here, on a popular and busy street, Calle Valparaiso, a mime performs and actually directs the traffic. The degree to which he interacts would be, in my opinion, inappropriate back in the states. But here, it’s just a part of the performance and everyone is gathered to watch what happens next.