The ugly duckling waits to turn into a beautiful swan. Although there are many versions of what Porvenir means in English; my translation is “What is to come.” It is the capital of the Tierra del Fuego Province founded in the 1880’s, as a result of a short lived gold rush, that was replaced by sheep farms and fishing operations to this day. It serves as the tourism gateway for Tierra del Fuego but still remains a sleepy town waiting for a revival.
Its beaches have become the trash bin of Punta Arenas, located across the Straits of Magellan; the prevailing winds bring all kinds of debris from its neighbor to the West that are deposited along the shoreline. What a shame that CONAF, the protector of the environment in Chile has ignored these beautiful beaches. At least the “green” residents of Punta Arenas should make yearly pilgrimages to Porvenir’s shoreline and retrieve all the trash that they discarded off their Avenida Costanera. Are you reading this, Luis?
There are several shipwrecks that were also blown onto these shores during storms during the XIX century; there are no records as to their names or origin.
Beachcombers have established residence in shacks constructed from the materials washed ashore. Vehicles that saw better days are scattered around waiting for a collector to rescue and bring back to the shiny old days. A couple of colorful boats may be used to provide the locals with seafood.
In the meantime a statue of a Selknam at the Town waterfront patiently waits for whatever the “future may bring.”