Valparaiso Reflection

Programs for this blog post

January in Santiago

Authored By:

CIEE Santiago

Author: Emma Denny

University of South Carolina

During their trip to Valparaíso, another Capstone scholar student from the University of South Carolina wrote the following reflection on the architecture of Valparaíso and its connection with the community.

"One of the things I enjoyed most about Valparaiso was the variety of architectural styles. The building and layout of the city felt symbolic of the community there. The stairways and alleys throughout the city held everyone to thrive. I also liked learning about the way many of the houses were constructed from scrap materials, like abandoned sheet metal and the leftover paint from ships. These houses blend together with other neoclassical and European style buildings to create a diverse and lively city that is also incredibly resilient and welcoming. Another thing that stood out to me was the way the city did not have a “point zero” and just build itself up on any land available. This adaptability was shown again when they expanded the coastline by pushing earthquake rubble into the sea. It was hard for me to wrap my head around doing this back in the U.S., but once again it highlighted the resilience of the community there, as well as the innovation and collaboration within the city. Overall, I thought the architecture of the city served as a metaphor for its community which is something that is uncommon back in the U.S."