Studying Rapa Nui culture and History in Chile

Kelsey Briggs '15, Intern

Major: Spanish, Anthropology minor

Study Abroad Program: Terevaka Archeological Outreach Rapa Nui, Easter Island, Chile

I chose to intern in Rapa Nui/Isla de Pascua with Terevaka Archeological Outreach because I was interested in synthesizing my Spanish language skills, Anthropology minor, and basic previous knowledge of Rapa Nui culture/relations with mainland Chile, after I studied abroad in Valparaíso.

I hoped to learn a lot more about Rapa Nui history and culture and contribute as an important actor for effective cultural preservation. I achieved both of these things, but also became more critical about so-called "non-invasive" anthropological methods.

This was an extremely rewarding experience because I responded to and grew from several challenges (long-term camping, little sleep, cultural and language barriers, clashing ideologies, etc.) but also had the time of my life, made valuable friendships and professional connections, and improved upon a variety of skills.