Check in from Alzar Gap – Patagonia Exchange

Alzar School | 16.02.23
Our Patagonia Exchange ’23 crew has arrived to the sleepy coastal town of Tortel, Chile after 10 days descending the Rio Baker. During our expedition down the Rio Baker, students honed their whitewater, backcountry living and leadership skills, while paddling by immense glaciated peaks and waterfalls on the largest river in Patagonia. Throughout our trip we stopped by various ranches to chat with Chileans living along the river corridor in order to practice Spanish, experience the culture and eat some well-deserved home cooked meals. Students also collected water samples of various tributaries in order to contribute to an ongoing study of the changing mineral content of Patagonian rivers by the Centro de Investigación de Ecosistemas en Patagonia. We experienced every type of weather that Patagonia has to offer, from warm sunny days to bone chilling rain. It was a magical experience!
For the last two weeks, Alzar Gap was able to offer a spot on the program to a student from Cochrane, Chile. They will be heading off to University in Santiago at the end of February and will be departing the program on Saturday in order to get ready for their next step. It was truly a wonderful experience for our students to learn about each other’s cultures and practice both English and Spanish. I am so proud of each of our students for their hard work, leadership and growth throughout our time together on the river. This is truly a special group!
On Saturday, February 18th, we’ll be heading out to Cerro San Lorenzo for 10 days of backpacking and day hikes around the San Lorenzo Massif. For families and friends that are curious, we’ll be back in reception/wifi range on the evening of February 28th for an incredible week of cultural exchange in the town of Cerro Castillo.