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International Community at the UC Chile: my Chilean way

On September 18, Chileans celebrate Independence Day. But how the international community at UC Chile has lived our traditions?

four people holding a chilean flag in front of a building

photo_camera From left to right: Jeanne Lafortune, Canadian faculty, José Ragas, Peruvian faculty, Adria Campos, former Cuban student, Almudena Rascón, former Spanish staff. (Credit: César Cortés)

Jeanne Lafortune

  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Position at UC Chile: Academic of the Institute of Economics
  • Customs that she adopted from Chile: The asado (Chilean barbecue) and the passion for La Roja (The Red: Chilean national soccer team).

Jeanne has lived in Chile since 2010 and assures that Canadians do not know how to cook meat on a grill. Beyond liking its flavors, she loves the social life around the fire. 

"I must admit that at the end of September, I want to be a vegetarian. Too much of this delicious stuff is not always good," she says, smiling. 

Another thing she has adopted is her fanaticism for the Chilean national soccer team. "I hadn't watched an entire soccer match before arriving in Chile," she says.

Almudena Rascón

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Position at UC Chile: Communications Manager, CEDETi UC*.
  • Customs that she adopted from Chile: Arriving late to hangouts and the love for avocado.

After five years living in Chile, Almudena adopted many Chilean customs. One that took her some time to adapt to was the hangout schedule.

"At first, I didn't understand that if I was scheduled at a certain time, that wasn't the official arrival time. At one of my first hangouts in Chile, I dutifully arrived on time. But when I knocked on the door, the hosts opened it in pajamas," she says. To make it worse, she had to help them prepare everything for the arrival of the others. Since then, she decided to arrive an hour later than scheduled. 

Another Chilean custom she adopted is the inclusion of avocado in her diet. 

"Although you can find avocados in Spain, they are not half as tasty as the Chilean ones. Since I arrived here, I can't conceive of breakfast without some avocado toast."

*Almudena left UC at the beginning of 2021.

Adria Campos

  • Nationality: Cuban
  • Position at UC Chile: Student of Journalism at UC Chile*.
  • Custom she has adopted from Chile: Eating sopaipillas (Chilean fritters).

Adria has been in Chile for 20 years with her Cuban family. She says that one of the customs she has liked the most is eating sopaipillas

"It's not just the sopaipilla itself, but the whole culture around it.": Carts are selling them outside Metro stations. At 6:00 am you see people buying them to eat something before going to work -since they are also very cheap-. People prepare them on rainy days. It is priceless. 

"I love that this is part of Chilean tradition," she explains.

*Adria has a degree in journalism and works at The Clinic newspaper.

José Ragas

  • Nationality: Peruvian
  • Position at UC Chile: Academic of the Institute of History
  • Customs he adopted: The love for cosmopolitan food.

Peruvian food is so hegemonic that it is difficult to see a Peruvian ordering dishes from other parts of the world. In Chile, José Ragas learned to enjoy flavors from all over the world. 

He has been living here for more than a year. Since he arrived, he has learned to eat "from New York-style hamburgers in Lastarria neighborhood to French and Mexican food at Persa Bío Bío," he says. 

He even assures he does not miss any opportunity to learn about new foods. 

"Friends or family passing through the city provide a perfect excuse for that," he adds.



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