I have arrived in Santiago a couple of days ago but so much has happened that it seems to have been a month. The Startup Chile programme started, I’ve met my fellow participants and I am exploring the city.
We spent the first days of the programme in classes to learn about the social involvement, mentorship programs and the financing or reimbursement process. We are meeting former participants and getting to know each other: at the office, on picnics, out for a drink and somethings even randomly bumping into each other throughout the city. Our group – called generation 9.2 – is made up of people from all over the world, of ages ranging from 20 to 60 and with tons of different backgrounds. So far I have spoken to artists, doctors, history students and lawyers. It’s a great potpourri of people and I am really looking forward to what we can do together.
This is our office, a huge open space area extended over a whole floor that gives room to about a hundred people on desks, couches and big bean bags. This week it has been really crowded but I guess with the time it will thin out and leave more space to work.
On Wednesday we met up to go to the police together in order to register as citizens of Santiago and guess who were the first to arrive? The German (me), followed by Austrians, then Polish and a Hungarian team…It feels like being an Erasmus student all over again! I’m curious to see which other stereotypes will be honoured.
This weekend I have been walking through the streets of Santiago and strangely I always ended up around the same places. From what I gather, the city center is rather small and Chileans avoid living there. Santiago Center is surrounded by suburbs with huge skyscrapers and palaces, apparently the cool and rich move out of the center as far north as they can afford. Maybe to move to safer buildings that protect from the earthquakes and little shakings? In my second night I was awoken by one, at two in the morning: a tremor of about half an hour.