Kees Bouten in ‘Sailingsteps’ in Valparaiso.
After being in Valparaiso for more than a week, I was walking from the Plaza Bolivar through the Prat and at a certain moment I noticed a sign for the Dutch Consulate. I thought, why not ask them if they have suggestions on how to find out more about Valparaiso of 160 years ago, but on entering the building everybody was leaving for the day. Going there once again the next day I got to speak someone who advised me to go to the Camara Comercio at nearby Ross 149 and to ask for Rosita, because they had published a book about their history from 1858-2008. Rosita appeared to not understand much English, but there happened to enter somebody from Peru who did speak English and who has been a great help to me for translation. Someone else from the Camara Comercio came to help both of us and during the time she was in discussion with the man from Peru, I looked through the very interesting book. They could not provide me with any other material, but I could buy the book (which I did) and they advised me to go to the El Mercurio, a newspaper at the Esmeralda around the corner, since they had helped them with historic information for the book.
On arriving at the El Mercurio, again I had to first make contact with somebody who could understand English, and after some time somebody working for the El Mercurio advised me to ask for the Director Juan Pablo Toro. By contacting his secretary, I made an appointment with him for 3 pm that afternoon. Upon my return at 3 p.m., I was told that the director would have only 5 minutes maximum for me. I think I spoke with him for half an hour but he could not help me with any pictures, graphs, drawings, etc.. However he suggested “why not come back tomorrow to have a look into our archives of newspapers from those days, because we used to publish the arrivals of ships sailing into Valparaiso”.
And yes, on Wednesday 31st of March 2010, I found: