Fantastic! A resolution has been reached between the government and the fishermen and women of the Isla de Chiloe! May 19th marked the return of the ferries and supply trucks to the island, after Ancud finally agreed to the terms presented. I’m not exactly sure what these terms are, but I’m thankful for them! The protests started around May 2 and lasted almost 3 weeks. Towards the end, our friends at their hostel, Palafito Waiwen, had to close their doors because the island had barred itself from the mainland. Another friend and our go-to taxi driver, Javier, could not work because there was no gas. I didn’t quite understand how a community could be so supportive of this protest when it was literally taking food off their own tables, when citizens were essentially giving up their salaries so the fishing families could receive aid. It was an incredible sense of community I’m not sure I could ever witness in the United States.
The streets are bustling again, the vegetables are pouring in from the rural farmers, the grocery stores have butter again! We’ve had some fantastic sunny (but quite cold!) days recently, and that coupled with this resolution and rush of supplies seems like it has put everyone in a good mood. The ferries are functioning again so that means we can renew our visas!!! Just in the nick of time too! They expire this Thursday! So we leave for Argentina by bus early tomorrow morning.
It appears we have a “and they lived happily ever after” type ending here, but one thing remains unresolved and that is the blatant pollution of the ocean by the salmon industry. This is not ok. We have decided to not buy salmon anymore. It’s not much but if more people followed suit it might send the message that the ocean is not their personal toxic dumping ground.