Valparaíso : aka “Pancho”

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Last weekend, we took a field trip to Valparaíso, a coastal port city about an hour and a half west of Santiago. It is sometimes called Little San Francisco, Jewel of the Pacific, or Pancho, a nickname for the name Francisco.

While it did remind me of San Francisco in ways, it also reminded me of Portland, and of Long Beach, California — three places where I have lived and loved. (The presence of the Pacific was comforting.) But it was also very different; it was very South America.

As I mentioned in the last post, I had a strong feeling — before we even arrived — that I would live in this city someday. And while I was there, I stumbled across so much that I want to bring back with me. I thought to myself, this is what we need in the States. Exactly what that is…I’m not totally sure. Maybe it is what I perceive to be the warmth of Latino culture, how people are always in the street, and seem to always be celebrating, celebrating something, celebrating life.

Words just really cannot express how much beauty this city has to offer: in its colors, its sounds, its location, its energy, its everything. It breathed art and creativity, kindness and culture. It was an incredibly rejuvenating experience, and I felt refreshed and uplifted by the time we left. So, as promised, here are some photos from that weekend. <3


View of the city from Cerro Alegre


Sand dunes in Concón, Chile. I don’t think any of us knew what we were getting ourselves into when we started running up it…


León del mar


                                   That’s me! Doing a cartwheel on the beach.


We came across this impromptu alleyway show just up the hill from our hostel. They covered a song by Buena Vista Social Club. I think I rediscovered love that night.


Port scenes. :)


Eva! Dancing.  <3





And me, just before our boat ride, with the dog we all later deemed our unofficial mascot.


And of course. . . the graffiti. . .










<3 Jenna