Valparaiso Chile sits on the Pacific Coast and offers an eclectic blend of culture that reminds me of a mix of San Juan Puerto Rico and Antigua. In 1969 art students from Universidad Católica’s Instituto de Arte began painting the numerous walls of the hillside city, often times called “Little San Francisco.” The original intent of these students was to create an “Open Sky Museum.” Their work continued until 1973 when a military coup began. When the coup ended in 1990, years past the “Hippie” era, local artists picked up their paint brushes and began restoring and painting new walls with the help of the city’s “big shot” artists and wannabe artists. Today the art adorns walls, sidewalks, stairs, and businesses to create one of the most colorful, eclectic must see cities in South America.
Here’s a few pictures from this quaint little city by the sea, where street art is perhaps the main attraction. Street art is so much part of the city the artist have an unwritten code, “Don’t ‘tag’ or otherwise ruin another artist’s wall art. The city also has a large population of stray dogs, that are well kept. No rabies, mange or fleas exist here, and locals seem to feed and water the dogs. Most of the local veterinarians also provide free services for these strays, when needed. When walking the streets of Valparaíso always watch your step, there’s lots of doggie doo everywhere. Also note, the southern end of the city, especially on the grounds of the Navy building, has dozens of stray cats that like to beg for attention.