WHEN Melbourne resident Douglas Funes was three months old, he made his first trip to Warrnambool. Thirty-five years on, the annual trip continues.
The Funes are one of up to 40 families, mostly from Melbourne, with a Chilean background to camp at Surfside Caravan Park each summer.
"They like to play music, the men play cards until 10pm, the children stay up late past 10 o'clock, and you get to know the neighbouring campers, so it's very family-oriented," Mr Funes said.
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Mr Funes' grandparents first camped at the site in 1981 with a group of families.
"After my grandparents first found this spot, each year more and more families would come," Mr Funes said.
"That's grown to having between 30 and 40 Chilean families staying at the caravan park at the one time."
Mr Funes said he hoped future generations would continue the families' annual trips.
"I first came here with my parents when I was three years old and I did the same with my son," he said.
"I have beautiful memories of the trips I've made here.
"We've had good Christmases and summers here."
The families are mostly from Melbourne, but have also travelled from Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland for their annual trip to Warrnambool.
Mr Funes was born in Australia, but his father migrated to Australia from El Salvador in 1982, when the Central American country was in the midst of a civil war, while his mother moved to Australia from Chile, which at the time was under military dictatorship, with her parents in 1978.
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