The Colourful Streets of Punda, Curacao

by Connie

Looking for unique, street art, and 3D visuals in the Downtown core of Curacao, known as Punda, was like a hidden treasure hunt. In no other place, did I see sunflowers shoot out from the wall, parrots look so lifelike they could almost sit on my shoulder, or #Pundawings that made me “look” angelic.

The island of Curacao is a colourful feast for the eyes. The city centre of Punda is at the heart of it. With artistic expressions of street art that takes on an authentic Caribbean vibe, Punda is alive with hidden treasures one can search for without a map. I got lost in a maze narrow streets with wall art as my guide.

The locals would refer to the wallart as a reference point for street directions and shout out, “Did you walk past the parrots?” “Did you see the boy angel with wings?” “If you walked passed the Dushi Flamingo’s, you’ve gone to far!”

During the day, Punda is an artistic expression of the local culture. This expression is heightened by the presence of the ocean. A tantalizing display of colour in the form of a floating market can be found on most weekdays. Fruits and products from Venezuela, a South American country approximately forty minutes away, provides tourists and locals  with a wide selection of fresh fruit. The full-sized, mouth-watering fruit is beyond comparison to fruits normally found in Northern Ontario.

Aside: “Dushi” means sweet. This is similar to the word “Dolce” in Italian. Everything in Curacao is “ultra dushi” – not to be confused with the Canadian or American slang version of the word. It is used to describe “the good things in life” and locals refer to themselves as being “super dushi!”

The streets of Punda are very sweet. Sweet with a “love for life” not normally seen elsewhere. This expression for the “good things in life” is captured in the form of eternal artistic expressions on the walls of buildings and walkways. The artistic representations of the “good life” makes a tranquil tapestry one can compare to birth marks. These birth marks are uniquely attributed  to “everyday” life in Curacao.

The walk through the downtown core was priceless. With a camera in hand, I scooped up a collection of photographs. As a result, I met local shop owners like #dhanarts. I learnt that the artwork found in the city streets is utilized as a tool to encourage tourists to walk around the entire city centre. Her artwork is displayed outside her shop in the form of a statue of a 3D black cat which showcases the colourful UNESCO houses on his back – the symbolic cat of Curacao.

It was an honour to witness the work of locals such as Nena Sanchez, who, surrounded by the beautiful bright colours of Curacao painted as well as sculpted it’s beauty; and “The Three Little Birds” located in Jojo Correa public square by local Maduro and Curiel Bank (“MCB”). If you listen closely, you can almost hear their Caribbean song.

I highly recommend a walk-through Punda, not solely for the Queen Emma floating bridge, which in itself is a wonder, but to navigate the streets of Punda and find these artistic pieces to experience a purely Punda vibe.

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