WorldTeach volunteer Meghan McDonough is settling in and adjusting to Chilean culture. Take a look at what Meghan has learned thus far on her trip. From Chilean slang to the far too commonly observed “PDAs,” Meghan shows us the cultural subtleties that make volunteering abroad so different and exciting.


I figured that I should post this since I just taught my first solo English class to adults during orientation today. It went really well by the way. I taught them about present continuous today. Since I am in the teaching mood I thought I would teach you some of the things that I have learned recently.




Over the past week I have learned:


– To eat a few different types of Chilean food (empanadas, pebre (salsa), pisco sour, chorianna (above)).

– It is important to speak a little slower than I am used to while teaching an English class in chile ( I learned this while co-teaching my first English class on Wednesday and did it pretty well today).

– Lots of Chilean slang (different uses of the word hueon, fome=bored, chuta=shoot, harto=large, etc.)

– People are not shy about PDA here. When we walk through the park near the fountain on our way back from orientation classes every night there are so many couples just making out and sometimes even more than that. I found out that it is partly because teens are expected to live with their parents until they get married so the park is the place to go.

– People don’t start partying until 11 or midnight here! We learned that last Wednesday when we first went out with people from the hostel and stayed out until 3am. On Friday night we went out again and this time stayed out until 4am. It was a ton of fun but it wiped me out for the rest of the weekend.

– Expect the unexpected! That goes for almost everything here, from teaching to Internet access. There have been so many times here where things have not gone the way our field director (Amy) has planned and other times the Internet has not worked as well as I have wanted it to.

– Modeling and using pictures to explain new words and concepts is the best way to teach English as a second language here.

-Cerro de San Christobal has some of the most amazing views of the city ever. We climbed this mountain on Sunday for fun. It took us 3 hours to climb up and about 2 and a half hours to get back down but it was well worth it. Just look at these pictures!



– I also have been learning that I know a lot more Spanish than I thought I did. We played an amazing race game on Saturday where we had to run all over the city of Santiago answering questions and taking pictures. Many times we had to ask random people how to get to places or what certain things are and I was able to ask them the questions pretty well. I have also gotten better at ordering food too.


– Of course along with all of this we have also been learning a bunch of great teaching tips and activities to use in my classroom. However, I don’t want to bore you with all of that information in this post. Maybe next time. Until then Buenas Noches.


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