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Santiago, Chile: silos Climbing Park

During the 2010 earthquake in Santiago, Chile, many structures were left unusable for their designed purpose. Following this disaster, an energetic group of young architects, engineers and adventurers formed Fundation Deporte Libre, a non-profit corporation dedicated to the development of a public sports infrastructure by recycling abandoned urban spaces. One such project focused on a large silo complex located in the inner city which the group planned to re-purpose as an urban climbing center.

SEPTEMBER 2014

industrial silos transformed into climbing walls in Santiago © Collection Fundacion Deportelibre
In Santiago, industrial silos transformed into climbing walls.

Chile has more than two thousand unexplored summits and superb climbing venues throughout the Andes. Climbing and mountaineering have become increasingly popular sports as climbers discover the true potential of this magnificent mountain range. With the rapidly growing interest in climbing, the Silos Climbing Park is an ideal location to introduce the urban community to this new sport, teach new climbers proper technique, and instill an appreciation for nature and the importance of conservation.

With the renovation of the climbing park underway, climbers of all ages began training on the silos and many new climbers were introduced to the sport. Guided by the belief that sports are a fundamental part of a child's education, Fundation Deportes Libre began offering free climbing courses to inner city youth. The classes focused on modern climbing techniques and proper use and care of climbing equipment, with an emphasis on safety and environmental stewardship of natural climbing sites. Adolescents of Santiago, Quinta Normal and Independencia communes benefited greatly from these programs. These communities have very high teenage crime rates, drug use and domestic violence.

To support the training and education efforts of Fundation Deportes Libre, the Petzl Foundation donated climbing equipment to outfit their training courses. By the end of the summer, 80 participants had completed the course. They plan to provide training for over 300 new climbers in 2015. The young climbers not only learn about climbing and conservation, but also learn self-confidence, good judgment, and teamwork in a supportive environment.

Miguel Anabalón Galiano, Silos Project Coordinator, says:

Miguel Anabalon "The Silos Climbing Park has been a real innovation in Santiago. The positive interaction that this climbing park has created between the community and sports, gives us the motivation to replicate next year this model in others regions of Chile where people don't have the resources, but do have a huge motivation for climbing and exploring the unique natural features of the Andes. The other positive effect from this project is the regeneration of a place that had very disturbing statistics of juvenile delinquency. Now, every day you can see young people with their families enjoying any of the twelve routes that this public climbing park has already opened."

Uploaded in september 2014


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