Friday, February 21, 2014

Day 11: Hacienda "Los Lingues" visit; homeward bound

The reality that our time in Chile has quickly come to an end set in today as our group of 31 became 17.  Some of our group departed for Peru while the rest of us started our journey back to Santiago to catch our plane home. 
During our six hour drive to Santiago there was plenty of conversation about the amazing trip as well as some well needed rest.  We also had the opportunity to make a stop at Los Lingues Hacienda.
At the 400 year old hacienda we enjoyed lunch and a tour of the beautiful compound, including a 100 year old church.  The history of the land is deep as the 2,000 hectors was once home the King of Spain during the Spanish rule.
Historical buildings at Los Lingues
Kari educating students from Santiago on SD Agriculture
Los Lingues is also home to many Chilean horses, which are sold in Chile as well as in Spain, Portugal and England.  Chilean horses were brought to Chile by the conquistadors who first settled the land.  Bred to manage livestock and built to handle tough terrain, these horses are also popular in rodeo in Chile. 
Rodeo events in Chile are not the same as in the U.S.  Rather than a sport, in Chile rodeo is considered to be more of a ballet in the art of riding and cattle handling. 
In Chilean rodeo, two cowboys display their horseman skills demonstrating how the horse moves and what it can do.  After the cowboy has demonstrated the abilities of the horse they then move onto cattle handling.  A steer or heifer is released into an arena in the shape of a half moon.  The cowboys must pin the animal against a padded wall.  One horse uses its body to pin the shoulders the other the rump.
 We said Adios to Los Lingues and hola once again to the open road; destination Santiago International Airport.
As I look back on this trip I cannot help but think how incredibly lucky I have been to have such an opportunity to not only travel to Chile and learn more about agriculture but also become immersed in their culture and beautiful country.  I believe I can speak for the entire class when I say thank-you to our friends, family and co-workers for your support.  We truly could not have had an opportunity to explore Chilean agriculture without each and every one of you.   See you in South Dakota!

Submitted by Kelly Nelson.
The remainder of class VII at the Los Lingues Hacienda

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