17 Things You'll Learn on a Trip to Chile

1. How to pack versatile

With a coastline stretching the same distance as Scotland to Nigeria, I encountered desert, mountains, glaciers, sub-tropical swelter and a wide selection of beaches.

The challenge is to pack light in a country where snowboards, surfboards and sandboards are all legit ways to get around. While there’s never an excuse to wear zip-off trousers, you’ll still have to be creative to make the most of your backpack.

2. Chilean food is amazing

A trip to Chile is as much about its sensational kitchens as its stunning landscapes. It offers peerless seafood – ceviche, mussels, consommé and rich salmon fillets for cheap – as well as hearty pies, fillet steak barbeques and a swatch of empanadas.

Sit down in Puerto Natales’ luxuriant Afrigonia, munch a skyscraping sanger in Santiago’s Fuente Alemania, or hunt down fresh merquén in Valparaiso’s shabby markets – you’ll fall in love with your tastebuds like never before.

3. Wine-tasting is a national sport

Fine booze is a staple of a Chilean diet, and why not? After I’d paid my respects in the home of the world-conquering Casillero del Diablo, I moved on to carmenére, the country’s exclusive grape.

Then there was the egg-white and lemon toothmelt of the Pisco Sour, champagne at a snip, and the continent’s best ales to ward away the Patagonian chill. Safe to say, I often woke up with a headache.

4. It’s pretty cheap

Travelling around South America, I heard constant moaning about how ridiculously expensive Chile is.

No, you won’t get a two-course meal for a dollar and yes, you might have to splash out from time to time. But with a little effort, there’s endless value to be found. So pre-book your buses, shop around on hostels, and experiment with camping and food markets – you’ll quickly save up for regular treats.

5. How to become nocturnal

Daytime activities in southern Chile often continue late into the night. That’s probably because everyone loves the Patagonian sunsets. I saw skies awash with peach and rose, austral clouds hanging like perfect white sweeps of a calligrapher’s brush.

Once I’d wrapped up warm, I could enjoy sparkling watercolour sunshine dreaming on until nearly 11pm. It’s worth rising before dawn to catch skies ablaze with stars, galaxies and meteors. With 18 hours of sunshine a day, it was easy to top up a short sleep with long siestas.

6. Wind can beat you up

Torres del Paine, a Mecca for hikers across the globe, delivers on the hype.

If you embark on its bruising ‘W’ and ‘O’ routes, you’ll watch condors tumble through the granite snarl of Las Torres, take a battering from the winds over Lago Gray, and mark time against endless mountain vistas and house-sized bricks of ice.

But be ready – weather in TDP is a fickle master. It pounded my tent to bits, soaked me through and gave me chronic sunburn. Get it right though, and it’s pure exhilaration.

7. Valparaiso is badass

An hour from Santiago, Valpo is a faded diamond for budding poets and pirate captains.

Its staggering rise came from The Gold Rush, when boatloads of prospectors paused on long trips round Cape Horn to California. But the bubble burst overnight with the opening of the Panama Canal. By then the city had filled with new money, immigrant workers and an eclectic smash of architecture.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Valparaiso boasts unkempt portside panoramas, and a rainbow maze of graffiti-splattered hillsides around the Austro-Hungarian swank of its centre. Every walk of life is here - it’s Chile’s answer to Banksyism.

8. Banks don't always work

It’s worth reading around a bit before deciding which cash cards to take to Chile.

My Visa account offers free transactions abroad, but it rarely worked with any cash machine – and believe me, I tried lots.

A little research will bypass hours spent traipsing from bank to bank. You might want a backup card handy, and look into money-sending services like Azimo.

9. Margaret Thatcher had colourful friends

For all Chile’s modern airs, its recent past is chequered by its time of military rule in the ‘70s and ‘80s that claimed tens of thousands of lives. It’s a story I found replicated across the continent, but General Pinochet is perhaps the most notorious name to emerge from a lurch into fascism. Brits watch out – Maggie Thatcher was a loyal supporter.

Pinochet’s rule brought about some important steps for Chile’s general living standards. So was he pure evil, or a necessary evil? My visit to Santiago’s excellent Museo de los Derechos Humanos, and Tours4Tips walking route (both free), gave me a vivid understanding of a period that still divides the country to this day.

10. The Humboldt current works for wildlife

Thanks to the Humboldt current rolling up from Antarctica, I found superhighways of migrating whales and dolphins, and wobbling colonies of seals and penguins in secret spots along Chile’s wild coast.

The best place I found for whale-watching was charming Punta de Choros – an unheralded little spot about three hours from La Serena. Boat tours from southerly Punta Arenas will drop you right into a wild penguin parade.

But you won’t have much luck trying to enjoy a swim. Full wetsuit attire is recommended if you’re spending a long time in the water.

11. See the end of the world

The Tierra del Fuego, full of silent forests and grizzled ranchland, is a wilderness far removed from the rest of civilisation.

Its settlers – brought by prison boat, naval exploration or wool trading – have cast themselves a ragtag and often surreal niche.

I found seas of sheep, plink-plonk assortments of corrugated iron shacks, and huge cemeteries moaning in the scraping wind. It’s a whole other side of the world.

12. Boats go further south

The scatter of islands that form Chile’s southernmost regions make for terrific boat rides to suit most budgets.

Try the long-haul ferries, dodging icebergs and dolphins from Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas. There’s spectacular short-hops braving the Beagle Channel from Ushuaia to Puerto Williams, or skimming over glacial waters in Parque Nacional Torres del Paine.

Or you could burn your budget altogether on a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife cruise to Antarctica (starting at £2700).

13. Know your camelids

Everyone knows that embarrassing feeling when the pub quizmaster asks you to correctly identify wild llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos, and you just can’t tell the difference? Right?

Well, when you’re hiking in the beautifully conserved Chilean altiplano, you’ll meet many of these beautiful creatures tiptoeing between grazing spots.

Take your chance to bone up on camelids, and next time you’ll be a bona fide expert.

14. Men will cuddle you on the bus

At almost 2,600 miles top-to-bottom, it’s no surprise that 20, 30 or 50-hour bus journeys are standard if you’re looking to cover serious ground.

Just as well then that your average long-distance bus ticket buys you a super-padded seat, and free drinks and cakes. My favourite trip was from San Pedro de Atacama to La Serena, where I was treated to a long desert sunset, and a maitre d’ who tucked me into a snuggly blanket at bedtime.

15. There’s Spanish, and there’s Chileno Spanish

Think you’re pretty handy at Spanish? You’ve maxed Duolingo and got a ‘high B’ at GCSE?

That’s not going to fly here, where syllables fly like machine-gun fire and perfectly sensible phrases are shredded by the bonkers Chilean dialect.

But once you’ve tuned your ears to hyperspeed, you’re used to people yelling ‘RELAX!’ in your face, and you’re swapping amigos for weones, you can feel like you’ve conquered Spanish for all time.

16. Chilean borders are painful

Be warned. Because its farming regions are isolated by desert (to the north), sea (south and west), and mountains (east), its crops are fragile.

So trying to enter Chile with any live organic matter from vanilla pods, to a runner bean or even a wooden stick, is out of the question. Full searches are order of the day for every entrant; sniffer dogs are trained to discover apples in backpacks.  I was stood for four hours in the height of the Atacama desert sunshine – not all that much fun.

Declare everything – if they find something contraband, they’ll fine you - and enjoy the queue.

17. The other true meaning of Easter

Don’t forget about Rapa Nui - Easter Island!

Once filled by a mysterious group of settlers, all that remains are those iconic and beguiling moai stone heads. Tourism is on the rise with travellers tantalised by one of the world’s most isolated spots.

To tackle the trip, you’ll want at least five nights, $800 for return flights from Santiago, and $150 for park fees. You might consider camping to avoid the pricey resorts. After you’ve had enough of contemplating stone heads, there’s sand, surf and starlit skies.


Source: https://www.gapyear.com/articles/254577/17-things-youll-learn-on-a-trip-to-chile

New Research Shows How to Connect With U.S. Hispanics Online

Underserved and untapped. These were just two of the conclusions we came to last July when we wrote about the power and potential of U.S. Hispanic consumers. Almost a year later, the audience continues to garner significant attention—and rightly so.

U.S. Hispanics are one of three rising groups of super consumers, according to a recent Nielsen report (African-Americans and Asian-Americans being the other two). Why "super" consumers? The U.S. Hispanic population is fast-growing (the Census Bureau projects an increase of 86% between 2015 and 2050) and has tremendous economic clout (estimated to reach $1.5 trillion in buying power in 2015, a 50% increase from 2010). These are the kinds of numbers that should have every marketer sitting up and taking notice.

66% of U.S. Hispanics say they pay attention to online ads—almost 20 percentage points more than the general online population.

To better understand the online behavior of this digitally savvy group, we partnered with Ipsos MediaCT to study how language and culture influence brand consideration, trends in mobile habits, and variables that impact purchasing decisions. More than 4,500 self-identified U.S. Hispanics ages 18–64 (who access the internet via a digital device and have made a purchase in the past six months*) were recruited either online or in person to complete an online survey. The study explored their online behavior and preferences about online sources, digital ads, and search. This new research uncovered some compelling new insights and best practices for engaging this audience.

Insight #1: U.S. Hispanic consumers are online and on mobile

U.S. Hispanic consumers are going online, and they're increasingly turning to search. More than three-quarters of those surveyed (79%) said they're using search engines on a daily basis. It's their #1 online source for gathering information about a purchase, and they rely on it heavily during their research. (Of those who use search in any phase, 73% use it during research.)

Given the high rate of ownership and use of smartphones among Hispanic consumers, it's no surprise that 68% of the respondents who search at least monthly do so on their mobile devices to find the information they need. More than half of U.S. Hispanic consumers who use online sources are using their smartphones specifically to gather information before making a purchase. And 83% of those who access the internet on a mobile device use it while in a store to inform a purchase in real time. This is an opportunity for marketers to connect with these consumers and provide them with the information they need to make a purchase—online or in-store.

Source: Google/Ipsos MediaCT, Digital Hispanics: The Role of Culture and Language Online study, April 2015.

What marketers need to know: Search is the top online resource used by U.S. Hispanics for gathering information about a purchase, and many of these searches are done on mobile. Make sure you're connecting with members of this tech-savvy audience on the devices they're using most.

Insight #2: Online sources and ads influence U.S. Hispanic consumer behavior

U.S. Hispanics use online sources at a higher rate than the general online population (54% vs. 46%) throughout the many micro-moments in the purchase journey, from inspiration to purchase. When it comes to gathering information about something they're considering buying, these consumers favor online sources over family, radio, and TV. Online sources actually ranked 20 percentage points higher than TV (54% vs. 34%).

Source: Google/Ipsos MediaCT, Digital Hispanics: The Role of Culture and Language Online study, April 2015.

When it comes to online ads, 66% of U.S. Hispanics online say they pay attention to them—almost 20 percentage points more than the general online population. This data point alone can justify focusing more advertising attention and online efforts on this growing audience.

This influence of online ads, in terms of their level of effectiveness, is true across platforms: video, display, and search. Among those who recall seeing online ads, 93% of them take action—whether that's performing a search, visiting a company's website, or making a purchase.

What marketers need to know: U.S. Hispanics turn to online sources to inform their purchases more than the general online population. They also pay more attention to ads and take action. With such high engagement, they're well-positioned to become a key target group for many industries. Don't miss the opportunity: Be present with relevant content and ads across platforms and devices.

Insight #3: Cultural relevance drives engagement and influence

So how do brands engage U.S. Hispanics in a meaningful way? In a word, culture. Seventy percent of survey respondents said it's important for a website's content to be culturally relevant when they're gathering information about a purchase. This applies to ads, too. When an ad includes aspects of Hispanic culture, regardless of language, 88% pay attention, and 41% feel more favorable about a brand that aims to be culturally relevant.

Among those who recall seeing online ads, 93% of them take action—whether that's performing a search, visiting a company's website, or making a purchase.

Marketers have asked us for years about the elements of marketing initiatives that U.S. Hispanics find most appealing. Here are the top five things brands can do to make their content culturally relevant, according to our survey respondents.

1. Relevant topics and product features: Incorporate things online that U.S. Hispanics care about or are unique to the Hispanic experience. Speak to their cultural sensibilities. Food, traditions, holidays, and family ranked the highest in terms of appeal.

2. Visuals: Creative should reflect the Hispanic culture in a tasteful and identifiable way. Users want to see themselves reflected in creative that includes the things they care about.

3. Language: While not as important as culture, language does matter. For some U.S. Hispanic consumers, Spanish and bilingual content online are still signals that you want to engage with them.

4. Entertainment: U.S. Hispanics value entertainment online that appeals to them culturally, so consider including relevant music and video content.

5. Influencers/Testimonials: Whether it's a celebrity, a YouTube creator, or another influencer online, U.S. Hispanics want to hear from people like them.

What marketers need to know: Cultural signals—food, family, and traditions—resonate with U.S. Hispanics online regardless of language. Including culturally relevant elements in your brand's website and ads can make them more appealing and help drive engagement and action.

Insight #4: U.S. Hispanic consumers are highly bilingual online

The idea that Spanish should always be used to engage U.S. Hispanics online is an outdated notion. When it comes to language online, this audience is truly bilingual. To explore the use of each language, we looked at search trends and how our respondents use language at home and online. We found that Spanish language searches are on the rise. The number of Spanish keyword searches has increased from about 65% to 200% across key categories, such as auto, food, beauty, and others, between 2011 and 2014.1 Yet our survey found that Spanish-dominant speakers often use English online. While 28% of our respondents are Spanish-dominant at home, only 16% said they use Spanish most or all of the time when online. At the same time, 31% identified as English-dominant at home, and more than half (52%) said they use English most or all of the time when online (see chart). Beyond that, 94% of respondents said they felt comfortable consuming English content online for at least one common online activity (sharing, shopping, or researching).

Despite the high number of search queries in Spanish, members of this audience are comfortable consuming content in English. If they land on an English website, for example, only one in five will look for a Spanish site instead. What's most important to them is getting the relevant information they need in the moments they need it.

What marketers need to know: Marketers can reach U.S. Hispanics online during the entire web experience, especially during the research phase of their purchase journey, by leveraging both English and Spanish terms. Given the audience's bilingual nature, consider developing ad campaigns in English and Spanish, even if they direct to an English landing page.


Google partnered with Ipsos MediaCT to explore U.S. Hispanics' behavior with regard to online sources, online ads, and search. They also looked at how language and culturally relevant elements impact online behavior. In December 2014, 4,533 self-identified U.S. Hispanics ages 18–64 completed an online survey. Of these respondents, 3,905 were recruited online and 628 respondents were recruited via face-to-face intercept. All respondents were screened to ensure they were the primary decision maker or shared responsibility for a purchase in the past six months (in Travel, Auto, Retail, Tech, Finance, Restaurant, Entertainment, CPG, or Health) and that they regularly used either a smartphone, computer, or tablet to access the internet.

* These individuals are decision makers in relevant sales categories.


1 Google Data, Auto, Telecommunications, Entertainment, Food, Pharmaceutical, Beauty, January 2011–December 2014.


Latino entrepreneurs who own startups say immigrant experience helped them succeed

PHOENIX – Under yellow tea lights in the backyard of a house-turned-office space in north Phoenix, Latino startup owners discussed a major parallel between being an immigrant and an entrepreneur: taking a risk for a better future.

“It almost brings me to tears I’m so glad to be an American, it’s a blessing,” said Rafael Testai, CEO and co-founder of EventKey, an app he created to help entrepreneurs better network at professional events by displaying attendees’ background and contact information. “My inspiration is that I’m not going to waste a chance that was given to me to be an American citizen.”

When he was 13, Testai’s family emigrated from Buenos Aires, where he said they could not make a living even on his mother’s doctor salary. He launched EventKey five and a half months ago and said so far it’s been well-received by many Latino professionals.

“It’s kind of like it’s one of us trying to make it, and who doesn’t want to support somebody that’s from your family basically?” he said. “It’s that whole family mentality that Hispanics have. We want to watch each other succeed and we want to push each other forward.”

According to a study by the Ewig Marion Kauffman Foundation, immigrants are almost twice as likely to start a business in the U.S. compared to native-born citizens. Hispanics own more than 123,000 businesses in Arizona, according to the September 2016 “Datos” report from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The Wednesday event featured a panel of three Latino startup owners and attracted about 50 attendees. It was organized by Collectivo, a Hispanic networking group for Latino marketing and communications professionals.

Along with Testai, the other two speakers also launched their businesses a few months ago. Vanessa Nielsen created a subscription-based service called Sol Book Box that delivers Spanish-language children’s books monthly to families wishing to teach their children Spanish.

Immigrant German Urrego recently launched “DialDoc,” a service that virtually connects doctors to patients seeking medical advice. (Photo by Emily L. Mahoney/Cronkite News)

Immigrant German Urrego recently launched “DialDoc,” a service that virtually connects doctors to patients seeking medical advice. (Photo by Emily L. Mahoney/Cronkite News)

German Urrego founded DialDoc, a Skype-like service that aims to inexpensively connect doctors to patients seeking medical advice, even if they don’t have insurance.

Urrego, an immigrant from Colombia, said the idea was born out of seeing many of his friends go without care when they were sick because they were undocumented immigrants.

“That’s what really resonated with me throughout my experience in the United States so I said, ‘One day that’s what I want to focus everything that I do,’” he said. “When I got done doing this I immediately called my buddies and I said, ‘Dude, your mom can now finally see a doctor!’”

A Hispanic-focused software company, OYE! Business Intelligence, won PHX Startup Week last week. The company developed advanced algorithms to help businesses and government agencies better target Latino audiences by analyzing online conversations surrounding that brand. Eric Diaz, the Chief Financial Officer, is also in Collectivo’s leadership and attended Wednesday’s panel.

He originally started his business in Columbus, Ohio, but decided to expand to Phoenix five years ago. Diaz said he’s noticed many Latino business owners moving to the area.

“It’s a lot cheaper to start your business. It’s a lot cheaper cost of living and you have a lot of talented folks that come from the Arizona State (University) system so that’s a big reason why my company is here,” he said. “Phoenix is 40 percent Hispanic so it really gives us a lot more street credibility than a market at only 4 percent like Ohio. So it made sense even though Ohio has a lot of really great companies, Arizona has also some good momentum.”

Moderator, Edgar Olivo, president of a Scottsdale bilingual career coaching firm, led a panel discussion with three entrepreneurs who own startups (from left) Rafael Testai of EventKey, German Urrego of DialDoc, and Vanessa Nielsen of Sol Book Box. (Photo by Emily L. Mahoney)

Moderator, Edgar Olivo, president of a Scottsdale bilingual career coaching firm, led a panel discussion with three entrepreneurs who own startups (from left) Rafael Testai of EventKey, German Urrego of DialDoc, and Vanessa Nielsen of Sol Book Box. (Photo by Emily L. Mahoney)

Cesar Cordova, a supervisor at Arizona Public Service utilities company who was in the audience, said before he started at APS he owned his own “food business” to earn money for graduate school.

“At some point, even though I work for a company I would like to have enough expertise to set up my own consulting business,” he said. “For me it’s always the perspective of anyone who’s speaking up there because they’re dealing with whatever the issue might be, with what they’re facing at the time.”

The event’s topic shifted toward political leadership when Noah Dyer, a Democrat running for governor in 2018, told the group in Spanish he wants to be an inclusive governor for Arizona’s diverse population.

“I think politically a lot of Hispanics feel disenfranchised, and it’s obviously a community that’s very important to me,” he said. “Growing up one of the reasons I wanted to learn Spanish was because all my friends spoke Spanish.”

The three entrepreneurs on the panel said they anticipate the future to be wrought with challenges and steep learning curves.

But Urrego, of DialDoc, said his community keeps him motivated.

“There is nothing stronger than the heart of an immigrant,” he said. “… Everyone out there that goes out and grinds and tries to make something, they never give up. It’s inspiring.”

Source: https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2017/03/08/latino-startup-owners-being-an-immigrant-has-helped-me-succeed/

Hispanic vs. Latino: what’s the difference?

Many people use Hispanic and Latino as interchangeable words. They’re not. While there is a huge overlap between the two, they don’t mean the same thing and cannot be used as if they do. This is an easy mistake to make, and I do it myself every once in a while (often from laziness), but it’s important to note the differences.

Hispanic refers to language.
Latino refers to geography.

Basically, you are Hispanic if you and/or your ancestry come from a country where they speak Spanish. You are Latino if you and/or your ancestry come from a Latin American country.

But wait… isn’t that the same thing?
No, dear friend, it’s not.

Hispanic excludes the nearly 200 million Brazilians who, while accurately labelled Latinos, speak Portuguese. They are Latinos, they are not Hispanic.

Hispanic includes the nearly 50 million Spaniards (population of Spain) who could never be called Latinos.

When picking which one to use you have to know what you’re trying to say. For HispanicHouston.com we used language as the guide, and we ended up with Hispanic instead of Latino. A weird decision if you consider that we also decided not to have the site in Spanish. (But that’s another soapbox for another day.)

So, as a Mexican American, I am Hispanic and Latina. Brazilian Americans are Latinos but not Hispanic. And, Spanish Americans are Hispanic but not Latinos.

Is that clear as mud now?

NOTE: This is a soapbox moment, brought to you by too much caffeine and not enough sleep…

Source: http://hispanichouston.com/hispanic-vs-latino-whats-the-difference/

Photo via Mikko Lautamäki at http://www.flickr.com/photos/22520648@N08/2185647163/.