Notre Dame students and staff safe after quake in Chile

by Dennis Brown

Santiago, Chile

The University of Notre Dame has been assured that all students and staff members associated with its programs in Chile are accounted for and safe after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the nation Saturday morning (Feb. 27).

Those from Notre Dame include 19 undergraduate students and two staff members participating and working in the University’s study abroad program in Santiago, five graduate students involved in Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education program in Santiago, and a staff member from the MBA program.

In addition, Chilean-based members of Notre Dame’s founding religious community, the Congregation of Holy Cross, which has engaged in education and pastoral work in the country for more than 50 years, also are reported to be safe.

“For the second time this semester, we are immensely grateful that Notre Dame students, faculty and staff are safe in the wake of a devastating natural disaster,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “As was the case last month for Haitians after an earthquake hit that nation, the prayers of the Notre Dame family now are with the people of Chile.”

The University will monitor the situation in coming days to determine whether to continue with its programs in Chile this semester.

Established in 1993, Notre Dame’s study abroad program in Chile is based in Santiago. Students take most of their courses at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica, one of the most prestigious universities in South America.

ACE Chile is an 18-month program involving teaching for one year at St. George’s College in Santiago, certification in teaching English as a new language and Spanish language immersion.