Puppies, Friends, Love and Loss:
These are a Few of My Favourite Themes

Poetry Recitation Competition, Semifinals and Finals
25 and 26 October 2023, hosted by St. George's College

Villa María Academy students (and teachers!) were the recipients - for second year running - of our Traveling Trophy for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Recitation. This is awarded to the school with most participants, semifinalists and top 4 places.

Friendship is discovered in the unlikeliest places. Friendship brings closer together the most mismatched personalities. Friendship is a puzzle like an obtuse metaphor and as evident as the brick wall you fail to climb over (that’s a simile, by the way.) Friendship is nurtured with care and withers with neglect. Friendship’s presence keeps you thriving, and its absence drains you. Friendship is as essential to human life as drinking water, eating bread, and having your own Instagram account. As it happens, Friendship, was also this year’s ESU Poetry Recitation Competition’s Theme!

Saint George’s College once again were supremely kind in offering their sprawling, outstandingly beautiful campus for the occasion, spread out in two days, first for 3rd, 4th and 5th grades and second for 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Out of nearly 30 schools that sent over 170 participants in Round 1, more than 20 schools, from La Serena to Temuco, made it into the semifinals! It borders on cliché but it certainly bears repeating: those who made it into the semifinals are tough competitors who already achieved so much just by getting there.

Each grade had 10 semifinalists who recited their poems in front of our judges in different classrooms. Out of those 10, the top 4 were selected as finalists and had to recite their poems once again in the auditorium in front of a larger audience. Not only were the stakes higher, but the pressure was also greater! It certainly is impressive to see our young students stepping up to the challenge and nailing it. Scroll down to see who our top 4 for each grade were.

We would like to thank Marcela Lafourcade, Chris Lembo, their team and students from St. George’s for another flawless event. The warmth and laughter provided are a treasured bonus. 

Big thank you to Books and Bits and Mindbuilder, who continue the tradition of gifting our Duologue and Poetry finalists with some very appetising prizes!

Last, but certainly not least, our thanks to the Judges throughout the competition -virtual round 1 and in-person semifinals/finals-, as their prestige, experience and dedication ensure we can provide our students with the academic heft they deserve. They come from chilean universities, schools, language institutes, bookstores, up and down the country: Alejandra Miranda, Álvaro Osses, Andrea Gaete, Ariana de Andrade, Bastián Pfeiffer, Bernardita Latorre, Camila Mora, Chris Lembo, Christie Alonso, Christine Jeppesen, Eduardo Vásquez, Eugenia Contreras, Francisca Torres, Gabby Baker, Gloria Faundes, Jan Updegraff, José Curiqueo, Kiyomi Cuevas, Lidy Olea, Loreto Abascal, Louise Campbell, Marcela Salgado, Maria Eugenia Bambach, María Paz Rivera, Miqueias Rodrigues, Miriam Rojas, Natasha Little, Philip Rovnak, Rahmi Nazarala, Sebastián Vicencio, Susan Roraff and Tamara Álvarez. 

Our participant schools this year

The institutions associated with our judges

3rd Grade Finalists

L to R: Amanda Leiva (The International School La Serena), Honourable Mention; Bautista González (American British School), 3rd Place; Valentina Herrera (Villa María Academy), 2nd Place; Ema Aresti (La Maisonnette), 1st Place.

4th Grade Finalists

L to R: Diego Barbé (The Mayflower School), 1st Place; Denise Korenblit (Santiago College), 2nd Place; Emilia Monsalve (Lincoln International Academy - Chicureo), 3rd Place; Julieta Serrano (La Maisonnette), Honourable Mention.

5th Grade Finalists

L to R: Maral Zárate (Redland School), Honourable Mention; Margarita Cuevas (Orchard College), 3rd Place; Elizabeth Foote (The International School La Serena), 2nd Place; Nicolás Torres (Colegio Pumahue Curauma), 1st Place.

6th Grade Finalists

L to R: Sofía Humphreys (Villa María Academy), 3rd Place; Gaspar Ratinoff (Redland School), 2nd Place; Vicente Jiménez (Colegio Cumbres), 1st Place; Mateo Jiménez (The Wessex School), Honourable Mention.

7th Grade Finalists

L to R: Esperanza Herrera (The International School La Serena), Honourable Mention; Catalina Castilla (Colegio Cumbres), 3rd Place; Melissa Sosa (Colegio Pedro de Valdivia - Las Condes), 2nd Place; Francisco Vargas (Colegio Cumbres), 1st Place.

8th Grade Finalists

L to R: Isabel Bascuñán (Villa María Academy), Honourable Mention; Justina Esnaloa (The Grange School), 3rd Place; Claudia Riesco (Colegio Cumbres), 2nd Place; María Isidora Pastene (Villa María Academy), 1st Place.