Home Institution

Harvard University

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Program Name

Chile: Cultural Identity, Social Justice, and Community Development


This paper seeks to address the relationship between the “clubes deportivos” of Valparaíso and the offices within the city government. Both national and municipal laws address the importance of developing sport within their jurisdictions, along with methods of developing and maintaining relevant institutions. The “clubes deportivos,” while they are a collection of private actors, are widely popular, and appear to be an effective method of achieving the goals that are set out in the municipal laws. The research question, then, is: how does the municipality perceive the local clubs, and based on this, in what ways does the municipal government of Valparaíso support the “clubes deportivos,” and is that support perceived as sufficient?

Within the I. Municipalidad de Valparaíso are two entities that are relevant to this theme. One is the Comisión Desarrollo Comunitario y Deportes, which is chaired by Concejal Eugenio Trincado. The other is the office of the Asesor de Deportes, which is headed by Byron Andrade. In order to get an up-close look at the political effects within the clubs, I have chosen the club Unión Jiménez as my primary subject. This club, as many in Valparaíso, has been active in the regional soccer league for many years (over sixty). By interviewing the heads of the municipal entities, becoming familiar with active associates of the club, and comparing the politics of both the municipality and the club, I have become able to see how the two groups have come to affect one another.

The municipality certainly acknowledges the value of the local clubs, at least to some degree. While their priorities appear to lie in the development of “non-traditional” (i.e.: non-soccer) sports, the city does support the clubs both structurally and financially. There are tangible results as far as Unión Jiménez is concerned, although from their perspective (and also thinking more globally as the municipality relates to the clubs), there is certainly more room for the municipality to acknowledge the goals that are achieved in their laws by the clubs in the way of more (and more accessible) funding. If the municipality offered better communication, easier methods of attaining funding for regular needs (i.e.: non-digital methods), both would be better equipped to achieve their goals.


Civic and Community Engagement | Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Politics and Social Change