Tome / Chile

Tome is a small fishing village along the Chilean coast. It isn’t exactly a tourist destination. In fact, many Chileans we mentioned it to had never heard of it, but we had a friend there, and we were itching for the coastline, so we took an overnight bus from Bariloche, to Concepcion where we were very grateful to be picked up by our buddy Ben.

Ben’s a fellow Masshole, but Annie and I had only briefly met him before in LA where the company he cofounded – Bureo — is headquartered. In short, Bureo recycles plastic fishing nets (which otherwise get dumped in the ocean) into skateboard decks. “Nets to decks” as they say. But their vision is much larger, and the amount of plastic they can potentially prevent from going into the ocean is huge. Going beyond sustainable practices, to what is potentially a “net positive” for the ocean.

Ben’s cofounders are in LA still, but Ben made the move to Chile to be the boots on the ground, working with the local fishermen, setting up the collection program etc. Not an easy job, but crucial to the company’s mission.

Tome local snooping around for fish scraps at the market.

He and his awesome wife Gabi posted up in a wonderful little beachside community just north of Tome and we were really happy to join them for a couple nights by the sea. Happy to have a kitchen to work with, Annie and I attempted to make homemade veggie burgers on homemade biscuits (two things we’ve never cooked before, but why not?). Ben and Gabi appreciated coming home from work to a hot meal, or at least pretended they enjoyed it, and we had a great time talking about Chilean culture, working with the locals, Bureo’s experience in Startup Chile, and on the personal side, their upcoming wedding in Brazil (Gabi’s home).  

No waves to speak of, but it was so nice to just jump in the water, as cold as it was. Thanks again to Ben and Gabi for welcoming us!

At a glance… 

  • Don’t order the french toast at the local cafe. (See photo below). 
  • Don’t miss the beautiful little beach. Quiet, clean, and “invigorating” water temperatures. 
  • Tip Collectivos are a great cheap way to get around. It’s taxi ride’sharing without the pink mustache.
French Toast. ugh.

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