(Because in a year I'm going to LIVE THERE (YEEP))
  1. Valparaíso first came to prominence as a shipping port, a vital stop for trade crossing the Atlantic and Pacific via the Straits of Magellan.
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  2. Valparaíso is a highly multicultural city; blending mestizo Chilean culture with a longstanding European immigrant tradition.
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  3. The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 almost spelled death for the city.
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  4. But there has been a major renaissance there!
  5. The city is home to four major universities as well as several smaller colleges and technical schools:
  6. Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María
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  7. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
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    (I WILL BE GOING HERE)
  8. Universidad de Playa Ancha de Ciencias de la Educación
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  9. Universidad de Valparaíso
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  10. Valparaíso is also the home of the Chilean National Congress!
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  11. The city also boasts the world's oldest continually published Spanish newspaper, El Mercurio de Valparaíso.
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  12. The funicular railways of Valparaíso allow access to the steep slopes surrounding the city.
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  13. The buildings and street art of Valparaíso are extravagantly colorful.
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  18. Salvador Allende and Augusto Pinochet are both from Valparaíso.
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    If you know your Latin American history, you understand why this is sorta ironic.
  19. The city is extremely vulnerable to earthquakes.
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    ...Considering the entire country is one gigantic fault line.
  20. Carlos Van Buren Hospital is named after an American-Chilean doctor who helped the city after a massive earthquake in 1906.
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  21. Valparaíso is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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  22. (PS thank you Wikipedia for this list)