Category Archives: Life Style

Viña Von Siebenthal Presents: Chico Trujillo

Macha / Chico Trujillo

Chico Trujillo celebrating 15 years of Viña Von Siebenthal, November 2012

There are some great stories in Chilean wine, and Viña Von Siebenthal has its share. Wine-loving Swiss lawyer Mauro Von Siebenthal dreamed of making a wine of his own and set about turning wishes to reality in the Aconcagua Valley. Continue reading


Santiago de Chile Part II: Of Dogs and Men…

There’s no denying it. One of the things that never seems to attract the attention of foreigners to Chile is the omnipresence of its street dogs (quiltros galore!). Guest poster Kathleen Skoczen is no exception. In Part 1 (Santiago by Bike) of this 2-part post, she described what she saw and thought as she rode her rented bike through the heart of Santiago and visited the Museo de la Memoria. She dedicates Part 2 to the life of dogs and, like the good anthropologist that she is, reflects on the human element that weaves the place of dogs into Chile’s cultural fabric.

The life of dogs…

Another Guest Post by Kathleen Skozcen*

Dog and shop in San Pedro de Atacama

A dog waits patiently outside a corner store in San Pedro de Atacama

My very good friend in the Dominican Republic, Kim, and I had a discussion one day, as we often do when we are visiting together after months and sometimes even years of absence. She is the patron saint of animals in the Dominican province where she lives. Although not a certified vet, she does more for animal welfare in the province than all the other vets—okay, than the other vet. As an anthropologist interested in human health and well-being, I watch her tenderly and lovingly care and mend animals (homeless, flea ridden, mangy beyond imagination) and think, “there are lots of children who could benefit from this kind spirit.” When I finally gave voice to this observation, my friend assured me that taking care of animals is taking care of people.

“How is that?” I asked. Continue reading

Santiago de Chile Part I: Memories by Bike

US anthropologist Kathleen Skozcen recently visited Chile for the first time and left with much to remember—and much to think about. She begins sorting through what she saw, heard, learned, experienced, and felt, forming her own memories while reflecting upon the city from the bike lane… Continue reading

Chile is Not a Third-World Country and other impressions

It’s been a busy few weeks. My dear friend (and fellow anthropologist) Kathleen Skoczen and her son Alex were just here for 3 weeks (I also had the Annual Wines of Chile Awards thrown into the middle for good measure). We crammed a lot into their time here and I’ll be updating the blog with stories and pictures as time permits. She’s written a couple of guest posts, and as soon as I have some pics to go with them, I’ll put those up too.

But let’s start with her two hands-down major impressions: Chile is not a third-world country (contrary what Chileans will insist on telling you) and Chile is the dog paradise of the world (again, despite what Chileans say).

Just a little scratch behind the ears there please! Alex in San Pedro de Atacama 2010

I’m not sure what she expected exactly, but this wasn’t it. Continue reading

Lemme Rant! Student Protests in Chile

Tuesday, June 1, 2010: 4,000 high school and university students march on Santiago. Similar protests in Valparaíso….

AGAIN? Are you serious? Didn’t we just finish up a round of protests? Can anyone remember the last time we got through an entire semester without schools shutting down and students taking to the streets?

Rant topic: Student Protests

Please excuse me while I blow off a bit of steam… Please feel free to rant  back, add fuel to the fire, or try to explain this whole thing. I think a serious conversation is long overdue.

I’ve given a lot of thought to these issues over the years. Read on some reflections on the subject, my proposal for a BILL OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR STUDENT PROTESTS, and a final conclusion for each of three groups: students, university administrations, and governmental authorities… read on… Continue reading

Día del Patrimonio Nacional 2010- Chilean National Heritage Day

Día de Patrimonio Nacional / National Heritage DayThe last Sunday of May is one of my favorite days in Chile. Since 1999, it is the Día del Patrimonio Nacional—National Heritage Day—in which many buildings, both public and private, many of which are usually closed to the public, open their doors to the public. This is your chance to get a peek into some of those buildings you’ve been wondering about…

Check out the entire list of activities for the entire country at, but the site is a bit cumbersome (and in Spanish, if that’s an issue), so here’s a run-down. Take a quick read, get your walking shoes on, grab you camera, and get out there to enjoy this gorgeous Sunday morning!

A word of warning–if there’s a place you’re particularly interested in, this is your chance because there is no guarantee it will be open again next year!

For a list of places to visit on this special day… or for a route to follow any time of the years, read on… Continue reading

BYOTP in Chile

I suspect that anyone who has done any amount of traveling outside their comfort zone is familiar with the acronym “BYOTP.” For those who are not, let me spell it out for you, because if you’re a woman in Chile, this is going to become pretty important: Bring Your Own Toilet Paper.

Confort toilet paperOf course this is an odd—less than delicate, shall we say—topic, but let’s face it, there are things that a traveler just needs to be forewarned about, and the whole idea behind Cachando Chile is to let you in on the things that no one else ever bothers to mention!

And since Eileen kicked it off today with her piece on “The Case of the Hot TP,” I figured it’s time to pass on a bit of advice for newbies that I’ve been planning to haul out at the right time… and it seems there’s no time like the present. Continue reading

Círculo de Cronistas Gastronómicos de Chile: 2009 Annual Awards

Let’s take a break from all the earthquake talk for a bit, because life does, after all, go on!

Círculo de Cronistas Gastronómicos de Chile 2009 Annual Awards, March 2010

Each year the Círculo de Cronistas Gastronómicos de Chile (Chilean Circle of Food & Wine Writers) celebrates the movers and shakers in Chile’s world of food and wine with a special awards ceremony. This year’s event (the 2009 Awards) was held at Oporto Restaurant in Las Condes (Santiago)  last night. Continue reading