Happy Independence Day, Chile! On September 18th, 1810, Chile declared its independence from Spanish rule, and over 200 years later, Chileans continue celebrating this day with a variety of traditions and activities. Known technically as Fiestas Patrias or “National Celebrations,” this celebration is also called Dieciocho or “18th” because of its occurrence on the 18th of September. The Valpo Surf Project (VSP) recently asked their students to teach their staff more about the celebration, we learned the following facts:

– The “technical” independence day is the 12th of February, because this is when the first constitution was written

– September 19th is also a part of the Fiestas Patrias celebration. It is called El día de las glorias del ejército or “Day of the Glories of the Army.”

– This is a day for eating lots of yummy food! Some of the typical dishes include:
>Asado: A barbecue where an assortment of meat is cooked
>Empanadas: A bread pastry typically filled with pino, a mixture of chopped beef and onion, as well as half of a hard-boiled egg and an olive
>Mote con huesillos: A drink made from wheat and dried peaches
>Alfajores: Two round cookies with manjar (caramel sauce) in between, typically dipped in chocolate

– Everyone goes to the ramadas which is a venue, often tents, prepared and decorated for the Fiestas Patrias where traditional Chilean food is served, games are played, and dancing occurs.

– Some of the typical games include: kites, rayuela (hopscotch), tug-of-war, sack and three-legged races, tops, etc.

Here at VSP we are very excited that we can be a part of this beautiful celebration and pay respect to the great country and its people with whom we work. ¡Viva Chile!

Fiestas PatriasOne of our students, Fran, and a typical Chilean kite that she made.Fiestas PatriasSome of our friends at Laguna Verde celebration Fiestas Patrias Fiestas PatriasAn example of some of the games and music during Fiestas Patrias

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