A group of people gather around to raise flags in Chile.

How you'll make a difference

Live with the rise and fall of the tide in the Archipelago of Chiloé, where we’ll join a collective of social justice artists whose mission is to bring professional performances and workshops to public spaces in remote island communities. From stage-building to engaging the audience in discussions about performances, you'll experience first hand how artists on the other side of the planet are using art as a medium for social change!

Hike through mountains and grasslands at the southern edge of the world, experience the wild beauty of the Pacific Ocean and discover the many ways-of-life that flourish in the Patagonia.

Walk through the timeless streets of Santiago and learn about the colonial history of South America through its architectural and cultural legacy.


Weekly Community Engagement Training: January - February

Get ready for Chile: Art and Social Justice with eight weeks of Community Engagement Training. Get to know your program team, learn about the Archipelago of Chiloé and Chile and develop your skills in community engagement and project planning and assessment.

Training dates will be determined based on the program team’s academic schedule.

Week 1

We travel together from Winnipeg to Santiago, the metropolitan capital of Chile, where we spend a few days getting accustomed to life on the other side of the world. After exploring many of its breathtaking museums, plazas, markets and cathedrals, we resume our journey south to the Archipelago of Chiloé—a mystical place where the sea and the forest meet to create a unique culture based on sailing, wool-working and subsistence farming. This is a place where time is measured by the ocean tide and conversations flow to the rhythm of accordions over warm cups of mate.

Week 2-3

It’s a quiet, slow morning in the island, but Collectivo Escénico Movimiento Insular is already busy building stages, rehearsing performances and preparing for the yearly festival, Chiloé Cuerpos en Lluvia. You’ll hit the ground running and join their crew as we travel together to remote island communities where the festival takes place. You’ll learn about life in these small islands and begin to witness the environmental harms that large scale fish-farming and deforestation have brought to their territories. These weeks will be filled with breathtaking dance performances by the sea, public dance workshops and long nights of conversations about social justice and art with dancers and activists.

Week 4-5

Closer to home base of Castro, Chile, you’ll switch gears and meet our friends at Escuela Rural Notuco, a small rural school where you’ll support Collectivo Escénico Movimiento Insular as they work with children and youth—using dance and movement to explore and express their experiences of environmental harms in their communities and territories.

Don't forget to bring your work gloves! You’ll be helping the school with some much-needed maintenance to their facilities. This time will be an opportunity for you to think critically about the purpose of education in rural settings and its impact on the lives of subsistence communities.

Week 6

Ready for a change of scene? Let’s wrap-up your journey with a week of hiking and exploring the southern tip of the Americas. You’ll experience a different side of the Patagonia, where proximity to Antarctica begins to shape the natural and cultural landscape. Sublime mountain ranges, turquoise lakes and open grasslands await you at the national park, Torres del Paine. This is the perfect setting to reflect on the experiences you’ve shared during this journey and how they will shape your life back in Canada.

Debrief with program team

Get together one more time with your program team to reflect on your experience. By this time, strangers have become like family, and it’s a good chance to talk over your growth with people who understand.

About the Colectivo Escénico Movimiento Insular and Escuela Rural Notuco

Chile: Art and Social Justice is offered in partnership with Colectivo Escénico Movimiento Insular and Escuela Rural Notuco.

The Escuela Rural Notuco is a small rural school located on the outskirts of the town of Chonchi, and they have an educational focus on environmental and inclusive education.

Colective Escénico Movimiento Insular is a local collective of dancers, performers, social activists and art lovers who volunteer their time every year to organize Festival Chiloé Cuerpos en Lluvia.

Festival Chiloé Cuerpos en Lluvia is heading into its fifth consecutive year of bringing together professional contemporary dance performers from cities on the mainland with remote rural communities in the archipielago, where art and dance haven’t yet found permanent homes. The Festival is made possible through various grants and funding from the Ministry of Culture, Art and Heritage of Chile.

Our coordinator

Gerardo Villagrán was born and raised in Mexico. He has a Master of Arts in Philosophy and is especially interested in questions of inter-generational democracy and climate change. Upon finishing his graduate degree, he joined Global Affairs Canada and the Young Lives Research Lab (UPEI) in southern Chile to support the creation of an Indigenous-led intercultural school on the Island of Chiloé. 

Program fee

*Your all-inclusive fee covers your return airfare, all in-country transportation and accommodations, three daily meals, pre-departure training and a contribution to your host community.

This program is 100% Not For Profit! Beyond your airfare and living expenses, the remaining of your fee goes to support your host community with equipment, training, facility maintenance, wages and other resources that help them increase their sustainability.

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