Bryanda’s Daily Life Field Note

Title: Meet My Host Mom Alicia!

Viña del Mar, Chile

I have mentioned my host mom, Alicia, before and how wonderful she is, but I figured it would be cool to give you all a bit more detail about who she is and what she does on a daily basis. Now you get to meet a true Chilean who was born and raised in Valparaiso, Chile. Enjoy!

Alicia has lived in Chile her whole life and says that she would not like it any other way (I don’t blame her!). Every time we are at the dinner table she tells me interesting stories about her life, Chile and her countless incredible experiences. She has been to Argentina, Peru, England and many other places in the world. Cool, huh?

Alicia has been hosting study abroad students just like me for over 10 years now. This also makes for great stories and allows me to learn about the different places and people she has come across. This is why I chose her for this specific interview. Although she knows English, I chose to do this interview in Spanish. When I didn’t know how to translate some words, she helped me find the right words that would translate from English to Spanish. I had an awesome time interviewing her and learning more about her. I hope you do, too!

What is your full name?
Alicia Cowell

Where do you live? What is your house like?
Alicia lives in an apartment in Viña del Mar. Her apartment is very convenient because it is in the center of Viña which is close to everything she needs. Her apartment is very narrow, but has a lot of space for four rooms and two bathrooms. She likes to keep fresh plants all around her house as well.

What is your family like?
Alicia has both of her parents and two other siblings. She has a brother and a sister. Alicia is the youngest of all. Her mom is Chilean and her dad is English. Her family is very caring since she was born because she is the youngest one. “It was like having two moms and two dads”, she says about her parents and siblings. Now she has a family of her own with grandchildren. 

How do you get around?
Walking, just like everybody else. For longer distances, she uses the micro or a taxi. Just like many others, she does not own a car because she has access to everything she needs around her. Her apartment is placed in a very convenient spot in Viña del Mar.

What types of clothing do you like to wear?
Alicia likes to dress very casually and comfortably. There really is no difference between what she wears in the winter and what she wears in the summer. However, she does wear many layers in the winter. She also will not go a day without wearing one of her favorite sweaters.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Alicia enjoys knitting, especially when she is knitting clothes for her grandkids. She would like to paint, but her apartment is too small for that. She likes to visit and play with her grandkids as well.

What language(s) do you speak? How do you say “Hello” in your language?
She speaks Spanish, English and a little bit of French. To say hello, you say “hola” in Spanish and “bonjour” in French.

Do you have pets?
Alicia currently does not have any pets. However, She used to have turtles, squirrel, cats and dogs. Oh! And a bird that only lasted a day.

Have you traveled? Where have you traveled?
Alicia has traveled quite a lot! She has been to England, Spain, Germany, France, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Argentina, Peru, Brazil and other parts of Europe.

What do you do for work?
Alicia is now retired but she dedicated her life industrial design. In Spain she designed shampoo containers, perfumes and candy wrappers, along with many other things. She also worked in architecture for a while. She worked in urbanism and house architecture. As you can tell, she has always loved art. “My brothers were also very artistic,” she says. “It ran in the family”.

Is there anything else you would like to say to students in the United States?
She says she encourages you all to stay in school and learn as much as you can. She hopes that one day you all have the chance to come to Chile and live within the Chilean culture. “You can come experience the culture, food, and people.”


Alicia’s Living Room



Alicia’s Kitchen


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