Teaching in Chile

‘During the last month of November (2008) I was very pleased to visit the ISKCON temple and congregation in Santiago de Chile. The purpose of my visit was to offer two VTE (Vaishnava Training & Education) courses and to support the educational development of ISKCON Chile. I taught together with Param Padam Dasa, an experienced educator in South America, and his wife, Ananta Sayana Dasi, who helped in many ways from the background. We offered the VTE Teacher Training Course, Level II, and the VTE Bhakti-Shastri Teacher Training Course to a group of 24 and 17 enthusiastic devotees, respectively. The courses were taught partly in the Santiago temple and partly in the house of Samya Dasa and Yogesha Dasi, two senior members of ISKCON Chile who have a beautiful house in the countryside.

The devotees who participated in the courses included temple leaders and managers, such as Adikesava Dasa, the temple president, leaders and members from the congregation, senior members of ISKCON Chile, a few devotees from Argentina, and other younger devotees. The participants expressed a desire to apply the skills they studied and practiced during the courses in order to promote the study and propagation of Srila Prabhupada’s books and teachings’.

The temple in Santiago is located next to the University and it is a very good facility for preaching. The devotees regularly distribute books. They serve lunch prasadam to students on a daily basis. They also organize regular lectures for guests, including a ‘Prabhupada programme’ for students, every Friday. In addition they have a monthly congregational gathering during a weekend named ‘Saturday Sanga’. More than 100 devotees from different places assemble in the temple of Santiago for a full morning programme, starting with Mangala Arati at 4.30 am and ending with a sumptuous feast between 10.00 and 11.00 am.

It was inspiring to visit an enthusiastic community of devotees in a beautiful corner of the world and to offer a little contribution to its development’.