Rondrigo is a Chilean grad student at the Universidad de Concepcion. He's working on a project with Sergio Navarrete on the effects of temperature on intertidal organisms.
During the day, he's hard-working and reserved. But at night, he becomes the life of the party.
In fact, the first time I met him was at an ECIM party one week after I arrived. I knew from that moment that we would be good friends because we discovered a mutual love for cumbias. Although, he had never heard a Mexican cumbia. And he opened up a whole new world to me when he played for me Chilean cumbias! Here's one of his favorite bands, Chico Trujillo:
But I've also had some of my most intellectually stimulating interactions with Rondrigo. He is very passionate and knowledgeable about Chilean politics, a quality that I've noticed a lot in Chilean students. So he's told me a lot about Chilean history and government, and the current student protests. But what makes it more special is that I can actually understand everything that he tells me and respond, which is something that I had been looking forward to doing during this experience.
Finally, you just have to love a guy with a smile and cheeks like these: