API Safety Update – Chile Demonstrations

November 13 update

API directors and students on-site remain vigilant as all API fall programs in Chile enter their final weeks. Though students have returned to classes following the temporary declaration of a state of emergency, classes yesterday and today (11/12/2019 and 11/13/2019) were cancelled due to a planned national day of strikes. API directors continue to monitor the situation on the ground, providing frequent updates to students and checking in with them often. Students who elected to return home from Chile prior to the official program end date have been assured that they will be given an opportunity to complete their classes remotely and are awaiting final instructions regarding how to do so.

November 5 update

Classes have now resumed for students at Universidad Adolfo Ibañez in Santiago and Viña del Mar, as well as classes for international students at The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. The Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria has announced plans to resume classes this week, though have yet to confirm. 

Although the past week has seen mostly organized and peaceful demonstrations in the region, some isolated violent acts of protest have stemmed from larger organized marches. Resident directors regularly check in with students and continue to communicate safety and academic updates to the Texas office. 

API also confirms the safety of all students in Valparaiso following an earthquake that occurred roughly 150 miles away from Valparaíso on the evening of November 4th. Movement was felt in the city, though no students were affected.

October 30th update

This week in Chile, the state of emergency was lifted on Sunday night, and the curfew is no longer being enforced. Classes at the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez in Santiago and Viña del Mar resumed on Monday as anticipated. The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso plans to return to classes on Monday, November 4.    Resident Directors are checking in often with students to provide support. They have offered opportunities for reflection on the current situation, as have many of the host universities.   Some unrest has continued in Santiago as the government walks through various proposals and changes, so we will continue to monitor the risk for our students over the coming weeks.

October 25th update

Over the past week, API has closely monitored developments following the declaration of a state of emergency in Chile. While some protests have degenerated into violence in isolated spots, particularly in Santiago, most demonstrations have continued in a more peaceful manner. Curfews are still in effect but have been shortened. Public transportation is beginning to run more comprehensively, although there are still significant closures and disruptions in Santiago. 

The Universidad Adolfo Ibañez in both Santiago and Viña del Mar has announced plans to resume classes on Monday, October 28, while the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso will not resume until the state of emergency is officially lifted. Both universities have offered flexibility to students who choose to return home early. 

We encourage students to stay in Chile at least through the weekend to see if the situation further improves as anticipated.  Some students and families have not felt comfortable with the prospect of additional waiting, and multiple students have elected to return home early to complete their courses virtually.  API will support students who elect to depart early as much as those students who choose to remain and complete the session on-site. 

API students on-site have been able to utilize the unexpected time away from school to spend more time with their host families, each other and with their API directors, reflecting about the ongoing situation (and its historic significance).

October 23rd update

Thank you for your patience as we navigate the situation in Chile from one day to the next. Though the security situation in Chile continues to evolve, we do have some updates regarding on-site functions.

First, our students have been exercising patience and restraint as they witness the situation unfolding on-site.  As university courses have been suspended until Monday, they are staying close to home and continuing to be in frequent contact with our Resident Directors.

The nightly curfew has helped quell the more violent acts of protest that had occurred over the weekend. Following the president of Chile’s address to the nation last night, Chileans have begun to return to work and banks and many commercial businesses have reopened today. While public transportation disruptions largely continue in Santiago, two more metro lines have opened today. 

Although demonstrations overall have remained more peaceful since the weekend, continued limitations within the public transport systems in both cities ultimately compelled the universities to postpone the return to classes. However, in some cases, faculty and administration have already begun to return to our host universities. Thus far, PUCV and the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Valparaíso have announced that classes will resume on Monday, October 28th. 

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