sea estruktures -palafitte-    The priest from Quemchi, a friend of my mother’s, gave me a book by Salgari. It didn’t move me at all. From where we lived, we saw the fights between the Yaga and Chilote through our window every day, the waves brought by the earthquakes, storms... It was much better than Salgari’s adventures.

Francisco Coloane
As Chilean writer Francisco Coloane so well describes, living on a palafitte is like living in an adventure book. Coloane, the writer of the classic Chilean novel El último grumete de la Baquedano, was born at Quemchi on Chiloé Island on a palafitte, closer to the sea than to the land. His father was a whale hunter and he went on his first voyages with him. He spent many years working on the sea off the south of Chile.

Like Coloane, there are still people today who are born, live and die on palafittes all over the world. The word palafitte comes from the house they discovered in the water at Pompei. Based on mangrove architecture, there are many cultures in which houses are built on pillars in the water. Having a house on the seafront is a very new type of luxury. Until very recently, houses on the sea or on the seafront were for fishermen, migrants, prisoners or people in the margins. People who are born on palafittes fall asleep each night rocked by the waves and the sound of the sea. And, like it or not, that leads to different dreams.