EnCompass Chile 2019: Museums and Memorialization

March 14, 2019
Esteban Angeles, '19

Today we visited two museums to gain a deeper understanding of Chile's past and the brutality of the Pinochet regime. The first site was a former detention facility, which Pinochet used to torture political dissidents. It was both shocking and difficult to learn that many of the people who were brought to the detention center were people in their 20s. While this museum was very informative, it differed with many other museums that I have been to. There was not much information on the walls and the overall condition of the building was not great. Overall, our visit to Londres 38 gave us the context needed before our visit to the Museum of Memory.

After going to Londres 38, we headed to the Museum of Memory, which focuses on the transition to democracy that Chile underwent. It was really moving to see different videos of survivors telling their stories about their time in Londres 38. It was interesting to learn that there was not unanimous support for the creation of the museum and that today individuals on both sides of the political spectrum are not content with it.

For the most part, today was a very heavy day. We learned about some of the darkest periods of Chile's history. It made clear the sacrifices that individuals underwent in order for Chile to be where it is today. Looking back on today, my biggest take away is that many countries, including the U.S., have shameful parts of their history and the way that these countries memorialize these dark periods can have a very significant impact on their societies.

 - Esteban Angeles, '19

EnCompass is a pilot program of the Office of International Education that is designed to increase study abroad access for populations of students who may be reluctant to take on international travel or whose academic requirements make study abroad difficult.