Labor Free in Chile: Reserva National Altos de Lircay

Labor Free in Chile: Reserva National Altos de Lircay

I am extremely sad to report that there is no Labor Day in Chile.


I can’t be too sad because Chile is actually near the top of the list of countries that celebrates the most holidays in the world. Chile has a total of 16 holidays in comparison to the 10 in the United States, so there will be many labor-free days for us to celebrate.

We spent Labor Day weekend hiking in the Reserva National Altos de Lircay

However, in honor of our American heritage and Labor Day, here are three thoughts.

The thoughts of a smart man, the wisest man in the world, and little ole me.

1. Thoughts from a smart man 

Labor Day is not about being “free” from the burden of work. It is actually a day that celebrates the workforce!

The holiday has its roots in many labor movements to achieve rights in the workplace, and it is a celebration of the people. Jonathan Cutler, associate professor of sociology at Wesleyan, described Labor Day as a day that “celebrates the ‘dignity’ of work.”

So, this Labor Day, don’t just celebrate a break from working. Take a second to thank God for the blessings of the workplace!

2. Thoughts from the wisest man in the world 

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Ecclesiastes 1:2-3

 King Solomon (the wisest and richest man to ever live, the man many other rulers came to see, the man who built the temple of God) wrote those words. How strange would it be to accomplish so much with your life and then to declare it meaningless!

But Solomon’s words are true. Human accomplishments mean nothing in the scope of heaven and hell.

Faith in Christ and His grace does. (Ephesians 2:8)

So what does that mean for us? Should we toss work aside?

Solomon has more to say:

“What does the worker gain from his toil? [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:9-13

Think of the testimony it would be to God if all Christians worked hard and found joy in their work here on earth!

God calls on us to have faith in Him and to share that faith with others. He also calls on us to serve Him in our daily lives so that we shine as witnesses for Him. As Solomon says “whatever you hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”

Finding joy in work is a gift of God!

3. Thoughts from little ole me

While work is a blessing and an opportunity to let your light shine, leisure days like “Labor Day” are wonderful opportunities to spend quality time with your friends and loved ones. Don’t spend the day on the couch! Spend it doing something you love with the people you love.

Happy Labor Day! Remember 1. work is a blessing 2. work is a gift from God and an opportunity to let your light shine 3. Spend Labor Day with loved ones! 

Hike Chile: Reserva Nacional Altos de Lircay

Jon and I love to plan out our “quality time” during the school year so that we can truly spend our labor-free days together doing something. We LOVE the outdoors so we almost always plan hiking expeditions on our days off. Here are pictures and information about our most recent hike in the Reserva Nacional Altos de Lircay.

  1. In order to get to the Reserva Nacional Altos de Lircay, you need to take a 2 hour bus ride to Vilches from the city of Talca. It leaves at either 7:15 am or 12 noon. The last bus coming back to Talca from Vilches leaves at 5 pm. If you are really looking to have a good hike then it is important to take the 7 am bus from Talca! Otherwise you will have very little time at the park before having to catch the 5 pm bus back. The bus one-way for two people was less than 4,000 pesos. The buses on this route look like they are from the 60s and some of the travel, especially in the high mountains, is on dirt roads. Look forward to some sweet views and good talks with the few people on the bus!
                          Our “vintage” bus 

2. You will get off the bus at it’s last stop. It is literally the end of the road with only mountains ahead. There is a sign right there for the Reserve pointing you to follow the dirt road on the left. You will hike that road for 2 km before you get to the Reserve entrance. Everything is very well marked and the Reserve is obviously well taken care off. Stop at the main office to check in. YOU WILL NEED YOUR PASSPORT! Say hi to the man working for us. I forget his name but he is very kind and will show you a sweet Chilean “peace in the world” handshake.

       Dirt Road leading up to the reserve
             Welcome Sign

3. Enjoy the Reserve! We didn’t know about the bus times so we got there too late to really do much. BUT…we will be back with our backpacking gear since there are some cool camping spots to go to pretty far back in the mountains. There are a number of hikes you can do with good views, forests, rivers, and waterfalls. There is a longer hike to Laguna Alta which looks pretty cool as well. Even though we were only able to be there for a couple hours, the pictures are a testimony to how cool this Reserve is even if you can only be there for a little time.

“I can’t believe I’m walking in the Andes Mountains!” 
Be ready to cross some small rivers from melting snow
It was pretty warm for being in the mountains
Jon’s new obsession is trail running, and I’m along for the ride. #almostdied
        Mountain views from the bus

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