I arrived in Pucon in the summer of 2017.
It was a new chapter in my life, I had recently turned 30 & had no definitive plans except to learn about Chilean wine.
To be truly honest with you, I thought I knew it all when it came to Chile, I had been here 10 years ago….but oh no how ignorant of me ja!. The country had evolved immensely in a positive way & for the first time in my life I understood the meaning of culture shock (not just the dictionary meaning). Culture is always difficult to adapt to, but over time you let go & flow with it.

When it came to Spanish, I thought I was pretty good, but when I started working at a popular hostel in Pucon I realised I sucked, both verbally & written. Working at the reception game me the opportunity to interact with native Spanish speakers & locals ( obviously).
My workmates spoke normally to me which helped me better understand the tone & rhythm of ‘Chilean’ Spanish. Naturally, reading & writing were apart of the job & given the slow pace of the job I had time to learn it right (won’t lie, I still struggle with grammar & spelling but I can write an email or a badly written essay- in Spanish).
There is no doubt that when a Puconino hears a gringo accent they will ask you where you are from etc, but they will always talk to you like a Chilean or Puconino. There’s always a little giggle or tease if you can’t pronounce something right but they always help or correct you in getting it right.
With all the charm that is Pucon, the most valuable part of learning Spanish here has been how slow paced the town is. Time is kind of irrelevant here, people move slower, they’re more conscientious, patient & therefore have time  to speak to you right.
This town is such good vibes it makes learning a language breezy.
If you are up for an unexpected language experience. This is one of the place to be !

Natalie Valenzuela