Valparaiso – a colorful city with its own challenges

Valparaiso is a city at the border of the Pacific Ocean. It has approximately 280.000 inhabitants. When I arrived the first thing I stated was that the city reaches from the sea border up to an extremely high level. Driving a car through the small streets and trying to find a specific address is quite challenge. What really surprised me were those various colorful houses and hats, covered with beautiful paintings. Overwhelming inspirational drawings hide the poor material and the partially very bad condition of the houses. Here I share some of the art I admired….

Design and plastics – upcycling in Chile

When I travel I usually meet interesting people with impressive stories. In Chile I stayed in the hostel Escalera in Valparaiso. Gabriel, the host, a very nice and helpful guy told me his story about his passion. He is originally Chilean, grew up in Miami, USA and came back to Chile 6 years ago. He fell in love with Valparaiso and started his hostel Escalera. Then he stated that his favorite place and its beaches turned more and more into polluted places, overloaded with rubbish, a lot of plastic bottles and containers strand at the beaches. This was his motivation to start recycling those plastic bottles. When I write recycling those bottles what is behind it? He collects them and then melts them in an oven. He developed a certain technique to combine various sorts and colours of plastic, so that they smoothly flow together without creating bubbles with air. „It takes time “ he says, „but it is worth it. Like this I achieve a nice surface without bubbles and colorful patterns „. His plan is to build furniture. Therefore, the material needs to be resistant, smooth and flexibel in terms of colour variety. „You could customize the furniture you would like to have for your bathroom, living room or any other interior element you would like to have built. “

Finally, Gabriel is doing two things at the same time: collecting plastic bottles and recycling them by giving them a second life.

I think this is an admirable approach to build up business and I was quite impressed by his attitude.