Helen is a skilled writer with work published in various continents including Europe, Oceania and the Americas for publications such as Fodors Travel. She is a travel writer, copywriter and social media marketer with 4+ years experience, as well as a successful blogger.  She is an English/Anthropology graduate of Massey University and also speaks Spanish.

Wintec and Hamilton Zoo unite in new collaboration for students

Wintec and Hamilton Zoo unite in new collaboration for students Hamilton Zoo’s Jesse Golden (left), Mel Brookfield (third left) and Wintec animal care students at Hamilton Zoo. Students enrolled in Wintec’s New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care course are collaborating with Hamilton Zoo to research and design enhancements that encourage the natural behaviours of captive animals. “Developing ‘enrichments’ requires heaps of creativity from our staff, and we always welcome a fresh perspective o

The art of being worth your weight in coffee

Image: Marco Guimaraes making a latte at one of the training coffee machines at the Wintec Rotokauri campus. Growing numbers of Waikato secondary school students are signing up to learn the fine art of creating the perfect espresso. In 2019, 94 high school students have experienced barista training at Wintec. There are two STAR courses that teach barista skills, spread out over five days or one day. These give a hands-on and practical taster with just a dash of theory coordinated by tutor Marc

Why mental health first aid is more than a band-aid

Why mental health first aid is more than a band-aid Image: Facilitators Sarah Christensen and Marina Elisara lead mental health first aid workshop participants in conjuntion with I AM HE(R) June 2019. Wintec is raising mental health awareness in the Waikato in an effort to destigmatise mental health concerns and increase access to support for students. Growing demand for Wintec’s mental health first aid training has resulted in 20 public workshops, 170 trained staff and four facilitators so f

Puma Tracking In Chilean Patagonia

Helen Cordery heads to the wilds of Chile to find one of its most captivating creatures We were actually on the bus when it first happened. One minute we were peering through the windows hoping to catch a glimpse of one of Torres del Paine’s snow-capped peaks through the clouds, and the next our guide was saying, ¨I can see a puma¨. I strained in my seat, trying to get a good look at what appeared to be just a barren, sandy-coloured hill, when Felipe said, ¨Yep – three of them. A mother and tw

A Day in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Valparaiso, Chile

Coming from the sea, Valparaiso looks strewn with candy. Colors dance like forgotten rainbows across the 42 cerros (hills) that face the bay and that give this UNESCO World Heritage Site its charm. At its front are the whirring cranes and colossal ships that speak to its importance as a working port, while rising steeply behind them are the mishmash of crumbling colonial buildings that are evidence of its tangled past.

48 Hours in Santiago

In 1541, Pedro de Valdivia made his way south to Santiago from Peru with a band of 150 soldiers and his mistress, Ines de Suarez. They formed a base in today’s Plaza de Armas alongside local indigenous groups (including visiting Inca), and spent the early years of colonisation in constant battle with the tribes collectively known as the Mapuche. The city today is a metropolis of some seven million people, spreading out in all directions including into the pre-cordillera. Although many people das

Rayuela, Christ & BBQ

I have surprised Manuel. His eyes don´t really believe me, his mouth forming a perfectly round O, followed by an exhalation of confused air. ¨What about your family? ¨They always inevitably ask, followed by an exclamation of ¨But New Zealand is paradise! ¨.  But nothing I say ever convinces them, so I just change the subject quickly. The day is a Saturday and I am in the small community of Calpún, four hours south of Santiago and an hour from the nearest city, Curicó.

Greenwashed or Genuine: The Marketing Phenomenon that Isn’t Telling the Truth - Culture-ist

It seems all anyone is talking about these days is health.  Our checklists contain key words that ten years ago were only a vague buzzing in our heads.  We ask: Is it organic? Compostable? Eco-friendly?  Our desire to achieve these goals is driven to peak frenzy by the rise of new travel trends, with ecotourism being touted as the fastest growing sector in travel with an annual revenue of $77 billion that is set to peak in 2018. This is the kind of travel that focuses on the health of a place, l

An unfortunate truth – Patagonia needs our help

The Patagonia of old is a place that conjures up images of impossibly clear skies, mountains for miles, iconic wildlife and thoughts of frozen glaciers that stretch until the end of the world. Its most famous spot, Torres del Paine National Park, is remote, snuggled between mountains and the Southern Patagonian Ice Fields, with a unique landscape featuring the ancient towers of the Paine motif, deep valleys and wetlands of the ilk found nowhere else in the world.

Tracking wild horses in Patagonia

There's something strangely disconcerting about seeing animals in the wild. Maybe it's the way their ears flicker when they sense your presence, or the way they are so quietly oblivious to your footsteps. Or maybe it's because I'm in Patagonia, at the edge of the world, in a place where the scenery is all sharp peaks, grey granite and sloping fields. I am in Torres del Paine National Park, one of eleven protected areas within the Magellanic and Antarctic regions, and which stretches for 181,414

Winter Trekking in Patagonia

There is something strangely delicious about stepping onto fresh snow.  There’s the soft crunch as you place your heel, that tiny sinking feeling as the ball of your foot goes down, then the gentle smattering of ice as your toes press in. Patagonia in winter is like a forgotten wonderland, a solitary space tainted only by white powder, birdsong, and my footsteps. A crisp breeze caresses rather than smothers, the notorious winds for which the area is so well-known have died down for the season

Barrio Concha y Toro

Santiago is not exactly known for having the cobbled streets of Europe, but venture into Barrio Concha y Toro deep in the city’s heart and that is precisely what you will find. This neighbourhood is a declared national monument with architecture dating back to the 1870’s. Picture small winding lanes and looming historical facades that peer out beneath a blanket of silence, and you will be pleasantly surprised by what you might encounter here. There isn’t much to do here except walk the few quiet streets while clutching your camera, but visit at night and this tiny sector takes on an eerily romantic quality that makes it perfect for couples looking to idly stroll hand in hand beside the picturesque fountain.

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