life

Seen at a Chilean university

As I walked down the stone-ladden stairs from the road to campus, groups of students crowded a single doorway. peligroso tape blocked off its entryway and through it lay a complicated contraption of strings similar to a laser beam security trap. Above the doorway, a sign begged the question students to choose between the hard way or the easy way in life. I, for the moment, was choosing the objective way.

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Upon completion of the “hard way,” students received sandwiches and juice from their peers.

“Excuse me, why is this going on? Is this a promotion for something?”

A Chilean student poured some more jugo into plastic cups. She smiled.

“No, we’re just doing it because we can.”

Just because they can.

As the day progressed, an inflatable rock climbing wall was set up in the middle of campus. Mats, blankets and pillows were spread in a large alcove for students to sleep. Triangular, colorful paper flags flew across the main building of campus: in between the labyrinth of walkways and staircases that is UAI.

A band of drummers came onto campus. A crowd surrounded the group and then dispersed as the music ended.

Giant banners hung from the ceiling in one of the buildings told students to follow sus sueños. 100 percent organized by the students and performed simply because they could. Viva Chile.

 

peligroso – dangerous (peligroso tape is the equivalent of caution tape)

jugo – juice

sus sueños – (their) dreams

 

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A glimpse at artisanal fishermen in Valparaiso

 

 

 

Carlos – Charlie – fist pumps me. His only two scraggly teeth are decaying but still his smile to could light up a city. He fears shaking my hand for he has been working with murky water and slime since before the sun rose. I ask him about his life as a fisherman – or, as I was corrected, un pescador artesanal.
Soy el primer y ultima,” he says. His eyes are deadlocked with mine and just to make sure I understand, he repeats slowly. “El primer y ultima.” The forefinger shakes for emphasis.

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I ask him about the future of the fishing industry in the once prosperous port. He’s not hopefully. Within the next five years, the outlook is grave. Overfishing is a large problem across the planet: there is a high demand for pescado.

Enter Andrés Silvia. his skin leathered from years of daily hard work: In the sea, on the port, under the sun. Around his eyes, harsh wrinkles turn soften into laugh lines. He is an old soul, he understands that despite the hardships (syn) this life presents him, everything will be okay in the end. His eyes are kind. It is with him that I learn the term pescadores artesanales.

Chile, is the number one exporter of salmon, and according to some of the fishermen at the mercado, there is unfair competition (of sorts) between the artisanal fishermen.

This partially fueled a protest on the July 2.