The large-scale demonstrations in Chile eventually led to a referendum for a new constitution to replace the one established during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Chile now faces the daunting task of writing a new, more inclusive constitution, as well as electing a new president and legislature.

The protests in Chile and across Latin America are key reminders of the social challenges that often erupt when countries enter periods of slow growth and fiscal constraints, Holland said. And while there may be political aspects to the protests, they should not all be viewed through that lens.

Sophomore Janet Hernández, whose father was a political protester in Cuba before becoming a refugee in the 1990s, emphasized the need for those outside of Latin America to truly hear what protesters are demanding. She said Americans learning about the protests and government responses should remember to center the perspectives of those on the ground over those found in the U.S.

Mogollon agreed, especially when it comes to protests in his home country. People not involved with the protests tend to politicize the protests instead of viewing them as human-rights issues, he said.

“Something very important for people outside to know is that these protests aren’t really political,” he said. “People literally have no access to food, water, and medical resources. People are dying because of these things.”