Patagonia Frontiers designed and conducted a Winterterm Program for the 2017-2018 school year for a group of 17 students over the course of 9 days.
The Winterterm Program of Studies in Patagonia allows the school to advance their student's education in unique and awe-inspiring ways. It is an opportunity to widen their learning horizons, step outside of the traditional instructional atmosphere and pursue areas of intellectual interest that challenge their minds, support their passion and transform their perception of learning.
Student curriculum includes observation, identification and interpretation of landscape and how it is shaped, aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity, and the regional, national and global significance of old-growth forest and pristine watersheds. Each area of focus includes leadership, cultural exchange, and personal and group development and reflection. Students in 9th through 12th grade backpack to the pristine study area and tent camp.
What students and teachers had to say:
Students trekked and explored an untouched and largely unknown part of wild Patagonia following our signature route - The Gaucho Way. It follows traditional routes used by the Gauchos, Chilean cowboys who are friends and neighbors. On horseback, they herd cattle to market and return to their homesteads with flour, sugar, yerba mate and other sundries. The Gaucho Way denotes both their passage through the mountain landscape and their distinctive, gracious culture.
Day 1: Depart on overnight international flight from U.S.A. to SCL, Chile.
Day 2: Arrive Santiago. Domestic flight to Balmaceda Regional Airport (BBA). Private transfer to Puerto Bertrand. Overnight Tent Camp in Pto. Bertrand.
Day 3: Boat shuttle to PF Wilderness Ranch. Orientation and preparations. Half-day hike 4-6 km. roundtrip. Overnight Tent Camp, Main Ranch.
Day 4: Begin multi-day supported trek. 12 km. (7 mi.). Overnight Tent Camp at Cacho Ranch.
Day 5: Trek to Northern Patagonia Icefield. 12-18 km. (7-11 mi.). Solér Glacier moraine transect study, Northern Patagonia Icefield. Alternatives: Old-growth forest, marble features, Gaucho homestead skills. Overnight at Tent Camp at Cacho Ranch
Day 6: Trek to Northern Patagonia Icefield. 12-18 km. (7-11 mi.). Solér Glacier moraine transect study, Northern Patagonia Icefield. Alternatives: Old-growth forest, marble features, Gaucho homestead skills. Overnight at Tent Camp at Cacho Ranch
Day 7: Complete supported trek. Program debrief and evaluation. Celebratory dinner of Traditional Patagonia Asado (BBQ). 12-16 km. (7-10 mi.) Overnight Tent Camp, Main Ranch
Day 8: Private transfer to Balmaceda Regional Airport. Domestic flight to Santiago. Begin international flight.
Day 9: Arrive final destination.
Patagonia Frontiers Philosophy:
“To contact the deeper truth of who we are, we must engage in some activity or practice that questions what we assume to be true about ourselves.” ~A.H. Almaas
We design and lead educational wilderness and leadership programs. Our educational programs work with high schools, universities, camps and other organizations to provide logistics and risk management oversight for the institution's established program or through our own outdoor and leadership curriculum.
Our philosophy is one aimed to advance outdoor education and conserve the wilderness classroom, serving as allies for the surrounding parks and communities. We create a learning environment that pushes students out of their comfort zone in a way that is manageable. Our intent is for students to gain enthusiasm, courage, and techniques to implement positive change moving forward. We want students to gain the enthusiasm and knowledge so that they may positively impact our world and be dreamers and doers in their own lives.
"When we know that the animals and plants are part of who we are, we can listen and respond. Ignoring the trees is like ignoring our lungs when they are congested and we can't breathe. Extinction of the songbirds means the end of our living music. When the planet herself calls to us in our dreams, if we are in touch with the truth of our mutual belonging, our hearts naturally stir with care. We remember that the web of life is our home." ~Tara Brach, excerpted from Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha