Parque Brasil is one of the stops I wanted the family to make on our nostalgic trip to Antofagasta. A decade ago, my husband and I ate French fries with mayonnaise under the red and yellow umbrellas at the rickety refreshment stand. On my return tour, I was hoping to enjoy those very mediocre papas fritas with the kids–it wasn’t the flavor I was after, but the memory.
Stretching a long five or so blocks, Parque Brasil parallels the ocean a tad inland and is capped at both ends with statues of national heroes like the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral. At the park’s midpoint are several large and brightly colored play structures, which are all in very good condition.
On our first day in Antofagasta, we went to the park and my kids were in paradise. We went to the park on our second, third and forth day too. It was like a crescendo of activity, with the culmination taking place on Sunday afternoon. Until that point, there were a just a few other families (Thursday), a lone trampoline set up for kids to jump on for a nominal fee (Friday),and then a trampoline and a bounce house (Saturday).
Evidently, Sunday is the day when hundreds of Chileans hang out and partake in various activities in this one block. We arrived around five o’clock, and whereas in the US we would likely retreat back to our abode at this hour, Chileans were out in force to enjoy this great community asset.
On Sunday afternoons the playground at Parque Brasil isn’t just a playground–it practically transforms into a carnival. To this, my son exclaimed, “Yesterday it was the alligator bounce house. Today it’s everything you wish to have.” Everything you wish to have included things like: four play structures; three bounce houses; eight trampolines; face painting; art stations; fooseball; ice cream and other treats for sales; and trinkets and toys as well.
The kids explored every iota of this park with each other and Chilean friends they just met. At six o’clock the birds chirped as the sun began to set. At seven it was pretty much dark yet the park remained full. We never made it to the papas fritas stand.