La Copa America

Today we had class with Anny and we learned a lot about the history of Chile, more specifically its political and economic history. We learned a lot about the import substitution industrialization (ISI) model of development, Pinochet’s dictatorship and the transfer from ISI to neo-liberalism. I thought Anny was a great lecturer and her slideshow made it really easy to follow along. I learned a lot, especially about the different development strategies, which I ended up writing one of my papers on.


Chile was playing Peru in the Copa America that night (A huge South American Soccer tournament) and you didn’t have to be a soccer fan to know. There were signs outside every restaurant advertising the game and beckoning people to come in to watch the game. We decided that we were definitely going out tonight to watch the game. We went out at right about game time and that was a big mistake. The streets were empty, every restaurant full. We walked down a main street near our hotel and were repeatedly rejected by 5 restaurants that claimed they were at capacity. They certainly appeared full, but I wondered whether their reason for denying us was that they didn’t want gringos to take up the last few seats for a big game.


We finally found a place that would accommodate us although they only had a table for 5 and there was probably about fifteen of us there tonight. We crammed in, sitting on a leather bench and using any random chairs we could find. It was a full house. The air was filled with waving Chilean flags, chants of “CHI-CHI-CHI-LE-LE-LE, VIVA CHILE!” and of course, cigarette smoke. It was a great atmosphere to watch a game in, people would yell or complain with every attempted shot by either side. The game was tied for the whole game until the final minutes when Chile scored and took the lead. Peru almost scored in extra time but barely missed the net. It was an awesome night.

La Copa America

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