Farming in Chile

DONE BY: Sterling Dintersmith | Milton Academy '16, Stanford University '21 | Jamestown, RI

HOW OPPORTUNITY WAS FOUND: www.workaway.info

LENGTH: 2.5 weeks

LOCATION: Paillaco, Chile 

FUN: ★☆☆☆☆

PERSONAL GROWTH: ★★☆☆☆

DAY-TO-DAY LIFE: 

  • 7:00am: Wake up
  • Work all morning
  • Lunch
  • 20 minute siesta
  • Work all afternoon 
  • Sleep 

DESCRIPTION OF WORK/ACTIVITIES DONE: 

Pulling out raspberry plants from cow pastures for 7-8 hours a day, other farm work that needed tending

HOW MANY HOURS OF WORK DID YOU DO PER WEEK? 60 

IN EXCHANGE OF WORK, PROVIDES: 

  • 3 meals a day, 7 days a week (ate with the family) 
  • Accommodation

TOP TIPS: 

Prepare by listening to Spanish more. I could speak ok, but listening was hard

  1. Leave a place if you’re not happy or comfortable there. I tried to stick it out, because I told myself that I would learn more, that this family isn’t all that bad, that I had nowhere else to go—but you want to be around people who are excited to have you with them, if you’re doing workaway. You want to be with people who respect your time. I’m not against working hard, but this place just seemed to be taking advantage of their volunteers. 
  2. Set really clear guidelines with your host when or before you arrive. Try and set up some sort of system so that you are getting time to explore the area and do shit that you actually want to do. 

MOST MEANINGFUL LESSON TAKEN AWAY: 

Sometimes on Workaway, the hosts get many, many applications every day—so they can accept whoever they want. So instead of treating their workers really fairly, at times they can have the attitude of, “If someone doesn’t want to work extra hours, I’m just going to get a new bitch up in here.” 

MORE NO-CRAP TALK: 

Be careful with Workaway. There is such an overwhelming number of travelers, that the hosts sometimes take advantage of that.  

Jiyoung Jeong