Villagran briefs Rotary on Chile trip
Rotary member Carlos Villagran presents club president Derek McCutcheon with a banner from the club in Quillota, Chile he collected in January while visting family. Villagran spoke to the club about his visit home during Tuesday's meeting. (ROBIN DUDGEON/THE DAILY GRAPHIC/QMI AGENCY)
Portage Rotary Club member Carlos Villagran spoke to the club, Tuesday about his recent trip home to Chile.
Villagran spent a month and a half in South America visiting family, observing the devastation following an earthquake, and visiting local Rotary clubs.
"We had an earthquake and I went to see what happened, that was one of my main reasons to go there," said Villagran. "Chile is doing pretty well, actually. The government is helping and there are still some people with some problems there. There are many lives that were lost and some of them because of human error and miscommunication, not because of Mother Nature. It's a very sensitive topic."
During his Rotary presentation Villagran shared photos of his visit to the Rotary Club in Quillota, Chile as well as photos of the towns and family that he visited. He presented to the Quillota club about Portage la Prairie and exchanged a Rotary banner with them.
Quillota is about the size of Portage la Prairie and is also a farming community. The Rotary Club is about the same size as well.
"It's a very interesting experience. You need to be connected within the clubs and its a good thing.I'm on both sides, I'm Chilean and Canadian so to be able to show one side to the other is just nice," said Villagran. "We live differently, the language is different, the culture is different. It's having a good communication and a willingness to talk and to be friends, it's always welcome."
Villagran enjoyed being able to represent the Portage club abroad.
"It's a huge responsibility because whatever I show there, the way I carry myself there is the image that they are going to have about what we do here. They were very welcoming to me and they also may have some communication with the club in the future. They expect me to help in that way," said Villagran.
Although he comes from Chile Villagran feels like Canada is home after living here for the past seven years.
"The thing is when I'm there I kind of miss here, which is a very weird feeling. I miss here, and when I get here it's kind of like I'm coming back home," said Villagran.