Day 1 – Vina del Mar & Valparaiso

Ayla S.                                                                                                                      

            Today we got to travel to Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. It was really interesting seeing what the towns looked like. In Vina del Mar we saw some really cool buildings with amazing architecture. We first saw the UVM Campus which used to be a German school forty years ago. The campus is in the middle of a neighborhood in which many campuses are located in the cities. We also got to see an area where people had their own stands set up and were selling various products. The city council provided this space for entrepreneurs to be able to sell their products, which gives people an opportunity to work and have their businesses advertised. In Valparaiso, we saw a lot of different artworks which were very beautiful and pretty to look at. Murals can be found in almost every building that has the intention of sharing a message that is communicated through symbols and other visual elements. It was a great first day and I am excited to see more of Chile!

Lionel N.

The department store out in the open, the “Carrabella” (I’m unsure of how its spelled) this is a very interesting place, because we don’t often get to see open markets in America in a plaza that is in between traffic often, things like this in our country are considered like an illegal market; usually places that people run markets have a designated area like the store or a lot. 

Joining Caroline and Christian in Valparaíso; the UNESCO site had wonderful views in a great history that I’ve never read about. There was a house built in 1916 by two Italian architects that had a very nice design and dimensions. One thing I admire about chile is the architecture and how old original the buildings look. In our country a lot of things are either modernized or they are far too old and people don’t use those buildings anymore unless they’re historical buildings downtown like Townhall or a library. 

 Visiting the art gallery was very refreshing. The house was also an older building built in the late 1800s by a British immigrant who moved Chile. Some of the artwork of Chile is really astounding I’d also say this about some of the food that we’d see in their country it’s made with far more quality ingredients than the stuff that we buy at the grocery store here in America.

The Red Bull Valparaiso downhill was also another interesting fact about Chile that I had not known before, the hill, for that event was very steep. It kind of reminds me of France where they have the Grand Prix car racing in Monaco. When walking through the German corner of the neighborhood, Beethoven Street, there was also a Lutheran Church that had amazing architecture that I really admired.

Vanessa G.

That being said, on my first day exploring Chile, we traveled to Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. In Vina del Mar, I learned that it is a prime location for students to study. Many students travel to Vina del Mar, to study at the UVM campus which is located in the central city of Chile. Carlos said this is the best place to get various types of education and opportunities. Something I also appreciated learning about in Vina del Mar, was the various forms of transportation systems. Carlos provided us with a point of view on what it’s like to actually get onto a bus. Something I learned is that merchants will get onto these buses and sell nuts and candies to people while they are traveling to their destination. What also shocked me is that there is a man that stands at the bus stop and logs when each bus comes to the bus stop and will notify how far each bus is from one another. To get onto the bus you pay the driver in the exact amount of coins needed, unlike Santiago Chile they do not have cards you can just swipe to get onto the bus. Once on the bus he described music playing, they had very colorful orange curtains covering the open windows looking out at the beautiful city. I was surprised to see how fast that

bus was driving as well. We also learned that there is a Metro, colectivos which are like taxis that you can take, as well as electric scooters you can purchase with your credit card to travel in the central area. No matter what transportation is used, you always get a view of the beautiful city!

Idowu O.

The first day, we saw Valparaiso in Santiago. It was sad to see the devastating effect of the earthquake on such a masterpiece. Valparaiso is located in central Chile, to the northwest of Santiago. It is referred to as the “Joya del Pacifico” which means the jewel of the Pacific and is reflected in the outlines of stone on the streets and alleyways. I was awestruck all through the tour and captivated by the beauty. It reflected the beauty of nature. Another aspect of the tour was the guide to see the effect of the wildfire in strategic places in Chile. I was opportune to see the unprecedented catastrophe that struck the hillsides around the coastal city of Vina del Mar where entire blocks of houses were burned out overnight. It was sad to see how natural disasters could affect natural beauty and the quality of life. People were thrown out of their homes to live on the street and depend on others for survival.  

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