Friday, June 02, 2006

Summer Project in Winter

The summer project from the USA arrived last Saturday. And Chilean students gave them an interesting welcome week! The protests have continued to escalate. The major public universities (USACH is one of them) decided to join the high school students in pressuring the government to change the laws that guide education in Chile. This means a strike, with classes canceled most of the week, and probably next week as well.
On Wednesday I was waiting at USACH to welcome the project students. Everything was very normal, and then all of a sudden 1000 high school students showed up and started going nuts. Marco, one of the basketball players, helped me escort the students away from the violence and we were able to get in the back entrance. We had a great day on campus! Meeting students, hanging out and doing a survey about the Codigo Da Vinci. In just over an hour we had 200 students fill out a survey. We gave them a magazine that addresses the fiction and provides the facts about the secret societies, the church and Jesus. It was very interesting to see the different viewpoints of students as we looked through the surveys later that evening. One student wrote, "I am just starting to learn more about Jesus." Another said, "Jesus was just like us, not important." Other expressed their faith in Jesus.
We are also spending time at the private universities. They don't close when there are strikes! Hopefully we can establish student led movements at these campuses next semester from the contacts that we meet through the summer project. Oh, the weather is not all that wintry, but it is definitely not summer in the southern hemisphere.