Puerto Abierto

Posted on June 23, 2011

Sometimes I get out and do fun stuff when I’m in Asunción.  I recently moved into an apartment downtown with a great central location, and it’s a bit easier for me to go adventuring.  (Which is also why there was a big gap in my blogging: I don’t have internet in the apartment, so that kills my late evening/weekend blogging time.)  Last Saturday I checked out Puerto Abierto (Open Port) with my roommate and her younger brother.

This is Puerto Abierto:

Puerto Abierto is a citizens’ initiative to turn the port in Asunción into a new public space.  The port is opened to the public for free every Saturday from 3pm to 7pm, and features lots of different activities like:

  • music (sometimes live, I hear)
  • people selling arts and crafts
  • people selling food (hummus! it’s been so long since I’ve seen hummus!)
  • boat rides for 5000Gs (about $1)
  • fishing
  • activities for kids of all ages (even the old ones with mortgages and beards), like painting, jump rope, hopscotch, sidewalk chalk, and ping-pong

And that’s just stuff I saw on my first visit.

Puerto Abierto is guided by a set of principles: self-management (anyone can propose an activity); creating opportunities for new, innovative, local actors; celebration of diversity and shared spaces; inclusiveness; and zero waste.  It’s a really cool initiative for building community.

We also stopped by the Museo Memoria de la Ciudad (Memorial Museum of the City) and checked out the exhibits inside as well as the art exhibits next door (all free for the public).  The funny thing about the museum exhibit: a lot of the odds and ends from old houses that were collected in the museum are still present on today’s houses in Asunción (big wooden doors with beautiful carvings, details on the facades of the houses, etc.).  The museum is located across the street from the Palacio Presidencial (I recommend visiting the palace at night when it’s lit up).