Chile: Map

  
  
  
  
  
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:



Chile, officially the Republic of Chile (Spanish: ), is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Perumarker to the north, Boliviamarker to the northeast, Argentinamarker to the east, and the Drake Passagemarker in the far south. It is one of two countries in South America (with Ecuadormarker) which do not border Brazilmarker. The Pacific coastline of Chile is 6,435 kilometres. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernándezmarker, Salas y Gómezmarker, Desventuradasmarker and Easter Islandmarker. Chile also claims about of Antarctica, although all claims are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty.

Chile's unusual, ribbon-like shape— long and on average wide—has given it a varied climate, ranging from the world's driest desert—the Atacamamarker—in the north, through a Mediterranean climate in the centre, to a rainy temperate climate in the south. The northern desert contains great mineral wealth, principally copper. The relatively small central area dominates in terms of population and agricultural resources, and is the cultural and political center from which Chile expanded in the late 19th century, when it incorporated its northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands.

Prior to arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, northern Chile was under Inca rule while the indigenous Araucanians inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879–83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Araucanians were completely subjugated. Although relatively free of the coups and arbitrary governments that blighted South America, Chile endured a 17-year military dictatorship (1973–1990) that left more than 3,000 people dead and missing.

Currently, Chile is one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations. It leads Latin American nations in human development, gross domestic product per capita, competitiveness, quality of life, political stability, globalization, economic freedom, low perception of corruption and comparatively low poverty rates. It also ranks high regionally in freedom of the press and democratic development. However, it has a high income inequality, as measured by the Gini index. Chile is a founding member of the United Nations and the Union of South American Nations.

Etymology

There are various theories about the origin of the word Chile. According to a theory proposed by 18th century Spanish chronicler Diego de Rosales, the Incas of Peru called the valley of the Aconcaguamarker "Chili" by corruption of the name of a Picunche tribal chief ("cacique") called Tili, who ruled the area at the time of the Incan conquest in the 15th century. Another theory points to the similarity of the valley of the Aconcagua with that of the Casma Valley in Peru, where there was a town and valley named Chili. Other theories say Chile may derive its name from the indigenous Mapuche word chilli, which may mean "where the land ends," "the deepest point of the Earth," or "sea gulls;" or from the Quechua chin, "cold", or the Aymara tchili, meaning "snow". Another meaning attributed to chilli is the onomatopoeic cheele-cheele—the Mapuche imitation of a bird call. The Spanish conquistadors heard about this name from the Incas, and the few survivors of Diego de Almagro's first Spanish expedition south from Peru in 1535–36 called themselves the "men of Chilli." Ultimately, Almagro is credited with the universalization of the name Chile, after naming the Mapocho valley as such.

History

The Mapuche people were the original inhabitants of southern and central Chile
About 10,000 years ago, migrating Native Americans settled in fertile valleys and coastal areas of what is present day Chile. Example settlement sites from the very early human habitation are Cueva del Milodonmarker and the Pali Aike Crater's lava tube. The Incas briefly extended their empire into what is now northern Chile, but the Mapuche successfully resisted many attempts by the Inca Empire to subjugate them, despite their lack of state organization. They fought against the Sapa Inca Tupac Yupanqui and his army. The result of the bloody three-day confrontation known as the Battle of the Maulemarker was that the Inca conquest of the territories of Chile ended at the Maule river.

In 1520, while attempting to circumnavigate the earth, Ferdinand Magellan discovered the southern passage now named after him, the Strait of Magellanmarker. The next Europeans to reach Chile were Diego de Almagro and his band of Spanish conquistadors, who came from Peru in 1535 seeking gold. The Spanish encountered hundreds of thousands of Native Americans from various cultures in the area that modern Chile now occupies. These cultures supported themselves principally through slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting. The conquest of Chile began in earnest in 1540 and was carried out by Pedro de Valdivia, one of Francisco Pizarro's lieutenants, who founded the city of Santiago on February 12, 1541. Although the Spanish did not find the extensive gold and silver they sought, they recognized the agricultural potential of Chile's central valley, and Chile became part of the Viceroyalty of Peru.
Pedro de Valdivia


Conquest of the land took place only gradually, and the Europeans suffered repeated setbacks at the hands of the local population. A massive Mapuche insurrection that began in 1553 resulted in Valdivia's death and the destruction of many of the colony's principal settlements. Subsequent major insurrections took place in 1598 and in 1655. Each time the Mapuche and other native groups revolted, the southern border of the colony was driven northward. The abolition of slavery by the Spanish crown in 1683 was done in recognition that enslaving the Mapuche intensified resistance rather than cowing them into submission. Despite the royal prohibitions relations remained strained from continual colonialist interference.

Cut off to the north by desert, to the south by the Mapuche (or Araucanians), to the east by the Andes Mountains, and to the west by the ocean, Chile became one of the most centralized, homogeneous colonies in Spanish America. Serving as a sort of frontier garrison, the colony found itself with the mission of forestalling encroachment by Araucanians and by Spain's European enemies, especially the British and the Dutchmarker. In addition to the Araucanians, buccaneers and English adventurers menaced the colony, as was shown by Sir Francis Drake's 1578 raid on Valparaíso, the principal port. Because Chile hosted one of the largest standing armies in the Americas, it was one of the most militarized of the Spanish possessions, as well as a drain on the treasury of Peru. By the end of the colonial period, the population reached an estimated 500,000 (not including unsubjugated Indians); approximately 300,000 were mestizos and about 150,000 were Creoles (native-born persons of European descent).

The drive for independence from Spain was precipitated by usurpation of the Spanish throne by Napoleon's brother Joseph in 1808. A national junta in the name of Ferdinand—heir to the deposed king—was formed on September 18, 1810. The Government Junta of Chile proclaimed Chile an autonomous republic within the Spanish monarchy. A movement for total independence soon won a wide following. Spanish attempts to re-impose arbitrary rule during what was called the Reconquista led to a prolonged struggle.
Bernardo O'Higgins


Intermittent warfare continued until 1817, when an army led by Bernardo O'Higgins, Chile's most renowned patriot, and José de San Martín, hero of the Argentine War of Independence, crossed the Andes into Chile and defeated the royalists. On February 12, 1818, Chile was proclaimed an independent republic under O'Higgins' leadership. The political revolt brought little social change, however, and 19th century Chilean society preserved the essence of the stratified colonial social structure, which was greatly influenced by family politics and the Roman Catholic Church. A strong presidency eventually emerged, but wealthy landowners remained powerful.


Toward the end of the nineteenth century, the government in Santiago consolidated its position in the south by ruthlessly suppressing the Mapuche during the Occupation of Araucanía. In 1881, it signed a treaty with Argentina confirming Chilean sovereignty over the Strait of Magellan. As a result of the War of the Pacific with Peru and Bolivia (1879–83), Chile expanded its territory northward by almost one-third, eliminating Bolivia's access to the Pacific, and acquired valuable nitrate deposits, the exploitation of which led to an era of national affluence. The Chilean Civil War in 1891 brought about a redistribution of power between the President and Congress, and Chile established a parliamentary style democracy. However, the Civil War had also been a contest between those who favored the development of local industries and powerful Chilean banking interests, particularly the House of Edwards who had strong ties to foreign investors. The Chilean economy partially degenerated into a system protecting the interests of a ruling oligarchy. By the 1920s, the emerging middle and working classes were powerful enough to elect a reformist president, Arturo Alessandri Palma, whose program was frustrated by a conservative congress. In the 1920s, Marxist groups with strong popular support arose.


A military coup led by General Luis Altamirano in 1924 set off a period of great political instability that lasted until 1932. The longest lasting of the ten governments between those years was that of General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, who briefly held power in 1925 and then again between 1927 and 1931 in what was a de facto dictatorship, although not really comparable in harshness or corruption to the type of military dictatorship that has often bedeviled the rest of Latin America and certainly not comparable to the violent and repressive regime of Augusto Pinochet decades later. By relinquishing power to a democratically elected successor, Ibáñez del Campo retained the respect of a large enough segment of the population to remain a viable politician for more than thirty years, in spite of the vague and shifting nature of his ideology. When constitutional rule was restored in 1932, a strong middle-class party, the Radicals, emerged. It became the key force in coalition governments for the next 20 years. During the period of Radical Party dominance (1932–52), the state increased its role in the economy. In 1952, voters returned Ibáñez del Campo to office for another six years. Jorge Alessandri succeeded Ibáñez del Campo in 1958, bringing Chilean conservatism back into power democratically for another term.

The 1964 presidential election of Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei Montalva by an absolute majority initiated a period of major reform. Under the slogan "Revolution in Liberty", the Frei administration embarked on far-reaching social and economic programs, particularly in education, housing, and agrarian reform, including rural unionization of agricultural workers. By 1967, however, Frei encountered increasing opposition from leftists, who charged that his reforms were inadequate, and from conservatives, who found them excessive. At the end of his term, Frei had not fully achieved his party's ambitious goals.

In 1970, Senator Salvador Allende not reaching a majority in a plurality of votes in a three-way contest, was nominated president by an agreement in the Chilean Congress. He was a Marxist physician and member of the Socialist Party of Chile, who headed the "Popular Unity" (UP or "Unidad Popular") coalition of the Socialist, Communist, Radical, and Social-Democratic Parties, along with dissident Christian Democrats, the Popular Unitary Action Movement (MAPU), and the Independent Popular Action. Despite pressure from the United Statesmarker government, the Chilean Congressmarker, keeping with tradition, conducted a runoff vote between the leading candidates, Allende and former president Jorge Alessandri and chose Allende by a vote of 153 to 35. Frei refused to form an alliance with Alessandri to oppose Allende, on the grounds that the Christian Democrats were a workers party and could not make common cause with the right-wing.

An economic depression that began in 1967 peaked in 1970, exacerbated by capital flight, plummeting private investment, and withdrawal of bank deposits in response to Allende's socialist program. Production fell and unemployment rose. Allende adopted measures including price freezes, wage increases, and tax reforms, to increase consumer spending and redistribute income downward. Joint public-private public works projects helped reduce unemployment. Much of the banking sector was nationalized. Many enterprises within the copper, coal, iron, nitrate, and steel industries were expropriated, nationalized, or subjected to state intervention. Industrial output increased sharply and unemployment fell during the Allende administration's first year.Allende's program included advancement of workers' interests, replacing the judicial system with "socialist legality", nationalization of banks and forcing others to bankruptcy, and strengthening "popular militias" known as MIR. Started under former President Frei, the Popular Unity platform also called for nationalization of Chile's major copper mines in the form of a constitutional amendment. The measure was passed unanimously by Congress.As a result, the Richard Nixon administration organized and inserted secret operatives in Chile, in order to quickly destabilize Allende’s government. In addition, American financial pressure restricted international economic credit to Chile.The economic problems were also exacerbated by Allende's public spending which was financed mostly by printing money and poor credit ratings given by commercial banks.

Simultaneously, opposition media, politicians, and other organizations, helped to accelerate a campaign of domestic destabilization, some of which was helped by the United States. By early 1973, inflation was out of control. The crippled economy was further battered by prolonged and sometimes simultaneous strikes by physicians, teachers, students, truck owners, copper workers, and the small business class.On 26 May 1973, Chile’s Supreme Court, which was opposed to Allende's government, unanimously denounced the Allende disruption of the legality of the nation. Although, illegal under the Chilean constitution, the court supported and strengthened Pinochet seizure of power.

Finally, a military coup overthrew Allende on September 11, 1973. As the armed forces bombarded the presidential palace of (Palacio de La Monedamarker), Allende reportedly had committed suicide. A military junta, led by General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, took over control of the country. The first years of the regime were marked by human rights violations. On October 1973, at least 72 people were murdered by the Caravan of Death. According to the Rettig Report and Valech Commission, at least 2,115 were killed , and at least 27,265 were tortured (including 88 children younger than 12 years old). A new Constitution was approved by a controversial plebiscite on September 11, 1980, and General Pinochet became president of the republic for an 8-year term.

In the late 1980s, the government gradually permitted greater freedom of assembly, speech, and association, to include trade union and political activity. The government launched market-oriented reforms, which have continued ever since. Chile moved toward a free market economy that saw an increase in domestic and foreign private investment, although the copper industry and other important mineral resources were not opened for competition. In a plebiscite on October 5, 1988, General Pinochet was denied a second 8-year term as president (56% against 44%). Chileans elected a new president and the majority of members of a two-chamber congress on December 14, 1989. Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin, the candidate of a coalition of 17 political parties called the Concertación, received an absolute majority of votes (55%). President Aylwin served from 1990 to 1994, in what was considered a transition period.

In December 1993, Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, the son of previous president Eduardo Frei Montalva, led the Concertación coalition to victory with an absolute majority of votes (58%). Frei Ruiz-Tagle was succeeded in 2000 by Socialist Ricardo Lagos, who won the presidency in an unprecedented runoff election against Joaquín Lavín of the rightist Alliance for Chile. In January 2006 Chileans elected their first woman president Michelle Bachelet Jeria, of the Socialist Party, extending the Concertación government for another four years.

Geography

Parinacota Volcano in northern Chile


A long and narrow coastal Southern Cone country on the west side of the Andes Mountains, Chile stretches over 4,630 kilometres (2,880 mi) north to south, but only 430 kilometres (265 mi) at its widest point east to west. This encompasses a remarkable variety of landscapes. It contains of land area.

The northern Atacama Desertmarker contains great mineral wealth, primarily copper and nitrates. The relatively small Central Valley, which includes Santiago, dominates the country in terms of population and agricultural resources. This area also is the historical center from which Chile expanded in the late nineteenth century, when it integrated the northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests, grazing lands, and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands. The Andes Mountains are located on the eastern border. Chile is the longest north-south country in the world, and also claims of Antarcticamarker as part of its territory. However, this latter claim is suspended under the terms of the Antarctic Treaty, of which Chile is signatory.

Chile controls Easter Island and Sala y Gómezmarker Island, the easternmost islands of Polynesia, which it incorporated to its territory in 1888, and Robinson Crusoe Islandmarker, more than from the mainland, in the Juan Fernández archipelago. Easter Island is today a province of Chile. Also controlled but only temporally inhabited (by some local fishermen) are the small islands of Sala y Gómez, San Ambrosio and San Felix. These islands are notable because they extend Chile's claim to territorial waters out from its coast into the Pacific.

Climate

A Glacier in southern Chile
The climate of Chile comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large geographic scale, extending across 38 degrees in latitude, making generalisations difficult. According to the Köppen system, Chile within its borders hosts at least seven major climatic subtypes, ranging from desert in the north, to alpine tundra and glaciers in the east and south east, humid subtropical in Easter Island, Oceanic in the south and Mediterranean climate in central Chile. There are four seasons in most of the country: summer (December to February), autumn (March to May), winter (June to August), and spring (September to November).

Flora and Fauna

Chile's botanical zones conform to the topographic and climatic regions. The northernmost coastal and central region is largely barren of vegetation, approaching the most closely an absolute desert in the world.On the slopes of the Andes, besides the scattered tola desert brush, grasses are found. The central valley is characterized by several species of cactus, the hard espinos, the Chilean pine, and the Copihue, a red bell-shaped flower that is Chile's national flower. In southern Chile, south of the Bío-Bío River, the heavy precipitation has produced dense forests of laurels, magnolias, and various species of conifers and beeches, which become smaller and more stunted to the south.

The cold temperatures and winds of the extreme south preclude heavy forestation. Grassland is found in Atlantic Chile (in Patagonia). The Chilean flora is distinct from that of neighboring Argentina, indicating that the Andean barrier existed during its formation. Chilean species include the monkey-puzzle tree and the pine-like Araucaria, also found in Australia.

Chile's geographical isolation also has restricted the immigration of faunal life, so that only a few of the many distinctive Latin American animals are found. Among the larger mammals are the Puma or cougar, the llama-like Guanaco, the Andean Wolf, and the fox-like chilla. In the forest region, several types of marsupials and a small deer known as the pudu are found.There are many species of small birds, but most of the larger common Latin American types are absent. Few freshwater fish are native, but North American trout have been successfully introduced into the Andean lakes. Owing to the vicinity of the Humboldt Current, ocean waters abound with fish and other forms of marine life, which in turn support a rich variety of waterfowl, including different penguins. Whales are abundant, and some six species of seals are found in the area.

Time zones

Because of the distance between the mainland and Easter Island, Chile uses 4 different UTC offsets:



Economy

Chilean notes currently in circulation
After a decade of impressive growth rates, Chile began to experience a moderate economic downturn in 1999, brought on by unfavorable global economic conditions related to the Asian financial crisis, which began in 1997. The economy remained sluggish until 2003, when it began to show clear signs of recovery, achieving 4.0% real GDP growth. The Chilean economy finished 2004 with growth of 6.0%. Real GDP growth reached 5.7% in 2005 before falling back to 4.0% growth in 2006. GDP expanded 5.1% in 2007.

Sound economic policies, maintained consistently since the 1980s, have contributed to steady growth and reduced poverty rates by over half. The 1973–90 military government sold many state-owned companies, and the three democratic governments since 1990 have continued privatization, though at a slower pace. The government's role in the economy is mostly limited to regulation, although the state continues to operate copper giant CODELCO and a few other enterprises (there is one state-run bank). Chile is strongly committed to free trade and has welcomed large amounts of foreign investment. Chile has signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with a whole network of countries, including an FTA with the United States, which was signed in 2003 and implemented in January 2004.

Over the last several years, Chile has signed FTAs with the European Union, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, China, and Japan. It reached a partial trade agreement with India in 2005 and began negotiations for a full-fledged FTA with India in 2006. Chile conducted trade negotiations in 2007 with Australia, Malaysia, and Thailand, as well as with China to expand an existing agreement beyond just trade in goods. Chile concluded FTA negotiations with Australia and the expanded agreement with China in 2008. The members of the P4 (Chile, Singapore, New Zealand, and Brunei) also plan to conclude a chapter on finance and investment in 2008. The economic international organization the OECD agreed to invite Chile to be among four countries to open discussions in becoming an official member.
Santiago's growing skyline


High domestic savings and investment rates helped propel Chile's economy to average growth rates of 8% during the 1990s. The privatized national pension system (AFP) has encouraged domestic investment and contributed to an estimated total domestic savings rate of approximately 21% of GDP. However, the AFP is not without its critics, who cite low participation rates (only 55% of the working population is covered), with groups such as the self-employed outside the system. There has also been criticism of the inefficiency and high costs because of a lack of competition among pension funds. Critics cite loopholes in the use of pension savings through lump sum withdraws for the purchase of a second home or payment of university fees as fundamental weaknesses of the AFP. The Bachelet administration plans substantial reform, but not an overhaul, of the AFP during the next several years.

Unemployment hovered in the 8%-10% range after the start of the economic slowdown in 1999, above the 7% average for the 1990s. Unemployment finally dipped to 7.8% for 2006, and has kept falling in 2007, averaging 6.8% monthly (up to August). Wages have risen faster than inflation as a result of higher productivity, boosting national living standards. The percentage of Chileans with household incomes below the poverty line—defined as twice the cost of satisfying a person's minimal nutritional needs—fell from 45.1% in 1987 to 13.7% in 2006, according to government polls. Critics in Chile, however, argue true poverty figures are considerably higher than those officially published, because the government uses an outdated 1987 household budget poll, updated every 10 years. According to these critics, using the 1997 household budget data, the poverty rate rises to 29%. Using the relative yardstick favoured in many European countries, 27% of Chileans would be poor, according to Juan Carlos Feres of the ECLAC.

Despite enjoying a comparatively higher GDP and more robust economy compared to most other countries of Latin America, Chile also suffers from one of the most uneven distributions of wealth in the world, ahead only of Brazil in the Latin American region and lagging behind even of most developing sub-Saharan African nations. Chile's top 10 richest percentile possesses 47 percent of the country's wealth. In relation to income distribution, some 6.2% of the country populates the upper economic income bracket, 15% the middle bracket, 21% the lower middle, 38% the lower bracket, and 20% the extreme poor.


Chile's independent Central Bank pursues an inflation target of between 2% and 4%. Inflation has not exceeded 5% since 1998. Chile registered an inflation rate of 3.2% in 2006. The Chilean peso's rapid appreciation against the U.S. dollar in recent years has helped dampen inflation. Most wage settlements and loans are indexed, reducing inflation's volatility. Under the compulsory private pension system, most formal sector employees pay 10% of their salaries into privately managed funds.

Total foreign direct investment (FDI) was only $3.4 billion in 2006, up 52% from a poor performance in 2005. However, 80% of FDI continues to go to only four sectors: electricity, gas, water and mining. Much of the jump in FDI in 2006 was also the result of acquisitions and mergers and has done little to create new employment in Chile. The Chilean Government has formed a Council on Innovation and Competition, which is tasked with identifying new sectors and industries to promote. It is hoped that this, combined with some tax reforms to encourage domestic and foreign investment in research and development, will bring in additional FDI and to new parts of the economy. As of 2006, Chile invested only 0.6% of its annual GDP in research and development (R&D). Even then, two-thirds of that was government spending. Beyond its general economic and political stability, the government also has encouraged the use of Chile as an "investment platform" for multinational corporations planning to operate in the region, but this will have limited value given the developing business climate in Chile itself. Chile's approach to foreign direct investment is codified in the country's Foreign Investment Law, which gives foreign investors the same treatment as Chileans. Registration is reported to be simple and transparent, and foreign investors are guaranteed access to the official foreign exchange market to repatriate their profits and capital.

Faced with an international economic downturn the government announced a $4 billion economic stimulus plan to spur employment and growth despite the global financial crisis, aiming for an expansion of between 2 percent and 3 percent of GDP for 2009. Nonetheless, economic analysts differ from the government stimates and forecast economic growth at a median of 1.5 percent.

Foreign trade

Chile produces more than a third of the world's copper
2006 was a record year for Chilean trade. Total trade registered a 31% increase over 2005. During 2006, exports of goods and services totaled US$58 billion, an increase of 41%. This figure was somewhat distorted by the skyrocketing price of copper. In 2006, copper exports reached a historical high of US$33.3 billion. Imports totaled US$35 billion, an increase of 17% compared to the previous year. Chile thus recorded a positive trade balance of US$23 billion in 2006.

The main destinations for Chilean exports were the Americas (US$39 billion), Asia (US$27.8 billion) and Europe (US$22.2 billion). Seen as shares of Chile's export markets, 42% of exports went to the Americas, 30% to Asia and 24% to Europe. Within Chile's diversified network of trade relationships, its most important partner remained the United States. Total trade with the U.S. was US$14.8 billion in 2006. Since the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement went into effect on January 1, 2004, U.S.-Chilean trade has increased by 154%. Internal Government of Chile figures show that even when factoring out inflation and the recent high price of copper, bilateral trade between the U.S. and Chile has grown over 60% since then.

Total trade with Europe also grew in 2006, expanding by 42%. The Netherlands and Italy were Chile's main European trading partners. Total trade with Asia also grew significantly at nearly 31%. Trade with Korea and Japan grew significantly, but China remained Chile's most important trading partner in Asia. Chile's total trade with China reached U.S. $8.8 billion in 2006, representing nearly 66% of the value of its trade relationship with Asia.

The growth of exports in 2006 was mainly caused by a strong increase in sales to the United States, the Netherlands, and Japan. These three markets alone accounted for an additional US$5.5 billion worth of Chilean exports. Chilean exports to the United States totaled US$9.3 billion, representing a 37.7% increase compared to 2005 (US$6.7 billion). Exports to the European Union were US$15.4 billion, a 63.7% increased compared to 2005 (US$9.4 billion). Exports to Asia increased from US$15.2 billion in 2005 to US$19.7 billion in 2006, a 29.9% increase.

During 2006, Chile imported US$26 billion from the Americas, representing 54% of total imports, followed by Asia at 22%, and Europe at 16%. Mercosur members were the main suppliers of imports to Chile at US$9.1 billion, followed by the United States with US$5.5 billion and the European Union with US$5.2 billion. From Asia, China was the most important exporter to Chile, with goods valued at US$3.6 billion. Year-on-year growth in imports was especially strong from a number of countries—Ecuador (123.9%), Thailand (72.1%), Korea (52.6%), and China (36.9%).

Chile's overall trade profile has traditionally been dependent upon copper exports. The state-owned firm CODELCO is the world's largest copper-producing company, with recorded copper reserves of 200 years. Chile has made an effort to expand nontraditional exports. The most important non-mineral exports are forestry and wood products, fresh fruit and processed food, fishmeal and seafood, and wine.

Successive Chilean governments have actively pursued trade-liberalizing agreements. During the 1990s, Chile signed free trade agreements (FTA) with Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Chile also concluded preferential trade agreements with Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. An association agreement with Mercosur—Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay—went into effect in October 1996. Continuing its export-oriented development strategy, Chile completed landmark free trade agreements in 2002 with the European Union and South Korea. Chile, as a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization, is seeking to boost commercial ties to Asian markets. To that end, it has signed trade agreements in recent years with New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, India, China, and most recently Japan. In 2007, Chile held trade negotiations with Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, and China. In 2008, Chile hopes to conclude an FTA with Australia, and finalize an expanded agreement (covering trade in services and investment) with China. The P4 (Chile, Singapore, New Zealand, and Brunei) also plan to expand ties through adding a finance and investment chapter to the existing P4 agreement. Chile's trade talks with Malaysia and Thailand are also scheduled to continue in 2008.


After two years of negotiations, the United States and Chile signed an agreement in June 2003 that will lead to completely duty-free bilateral trade within 12 years. The U.S.-Chile FTA entered into force January 1, 2004, following approval by the U.S. and Chilean congresses. The bilateral FTA has inaugurated greatly expanded U.S.-Chilean trade ties, with total bilateral trade jumping by 154% during the FTA's first three years.

Chile unilaterally lowered its across-the-board import tariff for all countries with which it does not have a trade agreement to 6% in 2003. Higher effective tariffs are charged only on imports of wheat, wheat flour, and sugar as a result of a system of import price bands. The price bands were ruled inconsistent with Chile's World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations in 2002, and the government has introduced legislation to modify them. Under the terms of the U.S.-Chile FTA, the price bands will be completely phased out for U.S. imports of wheat, wheat flour, and sugar within 12 years.

Chile is a strong proponent of pressing ahead on negotiations for a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and is active in the WTO's Doha round of negotiations, principally through its membership in the G-20 and Cairns Group.

Finance

Skyline of Santiago's Financial District


Chile's financial sector has grown quickly in recent years, with a banking reform law approved in 1997 that broadened the scope of permissible foreign activity for Chilean banks. The Chilean Government implemented a further liberalization of capital markets in 2001, and there is further pending legislation proposing further liberalization. Over the last ten years, Chileans have enjoyed the introduction of new financial tools such as home equity loans, currency futures and options, factoring, leasing, and debit cards. The introduction of these new products has also been accompanied by an increased use of traditional instruments such as loans and credit cards. Chile's private pension system, with assets worth roughly $70 billion at the end of 2006, has been an important source of investment capital for the capital market. However, by 2009, it has been reported that $21 billion had been lost from the pension system to the global financial crisis. Chile maintains one of the best credit ratings (S&P A+) in Latin America. There are three main ways for Chilean firms to raise funds abroad: bank loans, issuance of bonds, and the selling of stocks on U.S. markets through American Depository Receipts (ADRs). Nearly all of the funds raised through these means go to finance domestic Chilean investment. The government is required by law to run a fiscal surplus of at least 1% of GDP. In 2006, the Government of Chile ran a surplus of $11.3 billion, equal to almost 8% of GDP. The Government of Chile continues to pay down its foreign debt, with public debt only 3.9% of GDP at the end of 2006.

Demographics

Population of Chile from 1820, projected up to 2050


Chile's 2002 census reported a population of 15,116,435. Its growth has been declining since 1990, because of a decreasing birth rate. By 2050 the population is expected to reach approximately 20.2 million. About 85% of the country's population lives in urban areas, with 40% living in Greater Santiago. The largest agglomerations according to the 2002 census are Greater Santiago with 5.6 million people, Greater Concepciónmarker with 861,000and Greater Valparaíso with 824,000.

Racial and ethnic structure

Congregation of people in Chile
Studies on the racial and ethnic structure of Chile are non-conclusive and might vary significantly from one study to the next.

University UNAMmarker professor of Latin American studies, Francisco Lizcano, believes Chile has an estimated 52,7% of white European, with mestizos estimated at 44%.

Other study conducted by the University of Chile found that within the Chilean population 30% are white, the mestizos component of predominantly white ancestry is estimated at 65%.

Another genetic study, found a white majority that would exceed 60% to 64% of the Chilean population.

The white segment consists mainly of Spanish and German descent, as well as Italian, Irish, French, English, Swiss or Croat ancestry, alone or combined among themselves.In that respect, the mestizo segment derives from the racial mixture between colonial Spanish settlers (mainly Andalusians and Castilian) and indigenous tribes (mainly Picunches and Mapuches). Chile is relatively homogeneous, with the majority of the people sharing a common ethnic identity stemming from what is known locally as Chilenidad.

The Afro-Chilean population was negligible, reaching a high of 2,500 during the colonial period; their racial contribution is less than 1%. The current Native American population is relatively small (see below).

According to the Census 2002, 4.6% of the Chilean population considered themselves indigenous, although most show varying degrees of mixed ancestry.

Indigenous communities

Those belonging to recognised indigenous communities (2002)
Alacaluf 2,622 0.02% Mapuche 604,349 4.00%
Atacameño 21,015 0.14% Quechua 6,175 0.04%
Aymara 48,501 0.32% Rapanui 4,647 0.03%
Colla 3,198 0.02% Yámana 1,685 0.01%


The 1907 census reported 291,118 Araucanian Indians, or 7.1% of the total country population. Only those that practiced their native culture or spoke their native language were considered, irrespective of their "racial purity."

At the 2002 census, only indigenous people that still practiced a native culture or spoke a native language were surveyed: 4.6% of the population (692,192 people) fit that description; of these, 87.3% declared themselves Mapuche. although most show varying degrees of mixed ancestry.

Immigration

From Chile's various waves of immigrants Spanish, Italians, Irish, French, Greeks, Germans, English, Dutch, Scots, Croats, and Palestinian communities.
The largest ethnic group in Chile arrived from Spainmarker and the Basque regions in the south of Francemarker. Estimates of the number of descendants from Basques in Chile range from 10% (1,600,000) to as high as 27% (4,500,000).

In 1848 an important and substantial German immigration took place, laying the foundation for the German-Chilean community. Sponsored by the Chilean government for the colonization of the southern region, the Germans (including German-speaking Swiss, Silesians, Alsatians and Austrians), strongly influenced the cultural and racial composition of the southern provinces of Chile. The German Embassy in Chile estimated 500.000 to 600.000 Chileans are of German origin.

It is estimated that near the 5% of the Chilean population is of Asian origin immigrants descendant, chiefly of the Middle East (i.e. Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese and Middle East Armenians), are around 800,000. Note that Israelis, both Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of the nation of Israelmarker may be included. Chile is home to a large population of immigrants, mostly Christian, from the Levant. Roughly 500,000 Palestinian descendants are believed to reside in Chile.
Other historically significant immigrant groups include: Croatiamarker whose number of descendants today is estimated to be 380,000 persons, the equivalent of 2.4% of the population. Other authors claim, on the other hand, that close to 4.6% of the Chilean population must have some Croatian ancestry. Over 700,000 Chileans may have British (English, Scottish and Welsh) origin. 4.5% of Chile's population. Chileans of Greek descent are estimated 90,000 to 120,000. Most of them live either in the Santiagomarker area or in the Antofagastamarker area, and Chile is one of the 5 countries with the most descendants of Greeks in the world. The descendants of Swiss add 90,000 and it is estimated that about 5% of the Chilean population has some French ancestrymarker. 600,000 to 800,000 are descendants Italians. Other groups of European descendants have followed, but are found in smaller numbers. They did transform the country culturally, economically and politically.European emigration in Chile and to a lesser extent, the arrival from Middle East, produced during the second half of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, was the most important in Latin America after that occurred in the Atlantic Coast of the Southern Cone (ie, Argentinamarker and southern Brazilmarker).

Also, the different ethnic groups in Europe intermarried therefore diluting the cultures and separate identities of the home countries and fusing them together with each other as well as with that of the original Basque-Castilian aristocracy of the colonial period while at the same time preserving elements of them, to form the society and culture of the Chilean middle and upper classes. Therefore they enjoy elements of the original European cultures, such as the British afternoon tea, German cakes and Italian pasta. This can be clearly in the architecture of the cities. They also look down on Chilean folk culture, as it is an offshoot of the culture of the Spaniards who settled the country in the colonial period.

Chile has recently become a new pole of attraction for immigrants, mostly from neighboring Argentinamarker, Perumarker and Boliviamarker. According to the 2002 national census, Chile's foreign-born foreign population has increased by 75% since 1992.

Religion

According to the most recent census (2002), 70 percent of the population over age 14 identify as Roman Catholic and 15.1 percent as evangelical. In the census, the term "evangelical" referred to all non-Catholic Christian churches with the exception of the Orthodox Church (Greek, Persian, Serbian, Ukrainian, and Armenian), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Seventh-day Adventists, and Jehovah's Witnesses. Approximately 90 percent of evangelicals are Pentecostal. Wesleyan, Lutheran, Reformed Evangelical, Presbyterian, Anglican, Episcopalian, Baptist, and Methodist churches are also present.

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and other laws and policies contribute to the generally free practice of religion. The law at all levels protects this right in full against abuse, either by governmental or private actors.

Church and state are officially separate. The 1999 law on religion prohibits religious discrimination; however, the Catholic Church enjoys a privileged status and occasionally receives preferential treatment. Government officials attend Catholic events and also major Protestant and Jewish ceremonies.

The Government observes Christmas, Good Friday, the Feast of the Virgin of Carmen, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the Feast of the Assumption, All Saints' Day, and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception as national holidays. The government has recently declared October 31, a public national holiday, in honor of the Protestant churches of the country.

Languages

Spanish

The Spanish spoken in Chile is distinctively accented and quite unlike that of neighbouring South American countries because final syllables and "s" sounds are dropped, and some consonants have a soft pronunciation. Accent varies only very slightly from north to south; more noticeable are the small differences in accent based on social class or whether one lives in the city or the country. The fact that the Chilean population essentially was formed in a relatively small section of the center of the country and then migrated in modest numbers to the north and south helps explain this relative lack of differentiation, which is now maintained by the national reach of radio and especially of television. The media diffuse and homogenize colloquial expressions.

German

German is spoken to a limited extent in southern Chile, either in small country side pockets or as a second language among the communities of larger cities.

English

English language learning and teaching is popular among students, academics and professionals, with some English words being absorbed and appropriated into everyday Spanish speech. In 2003, the English Opens Doors Program was started in an effort to reinforce language teaching and learning in the public school system.

Indigenous languages

There are several indigenous languages spoken in Chile: Mapudungun, Quechua, Aymara and Rapa Nui. After the Spanish invasion, Spanish took over as the lingua franca and the indigenous languages have become minority languages, with some now extinct or close to extinction.

Government and politics

Palacio de La Moneda in downtown Santiago
The Congress of Chile in Valparaíso
The Constitution of Chile was approved in a highly irregular national plebiscite in September 1980, under the military government of Augusto Pinochet. It entered into force in March 1981. After Pinochet's defeat in the 1988 plebiscite, the constitution was amended to ease provisions for future amendments to the Constitution. In September 2005, President Ricardo Lagos signed into law several constitutional amendments passed by Congress. These include eliminating the positions of appointed senators and senators for life, granting the President authority to remove the commanders-in-chief of the armed forces, and reducing the presidential term from six to four years.

Chileans voted in the first round of presidential elections on December 11, 2005. None of the four presidential candidates won more than 50% of the vote. As a result, the top two candidates, center-left Concertación coalition's Michelle Bachelet and center-right Alianza coalition's Sebastián Piñera, competed in a run-off election on January 15, 2006, which Michelle Bachelet won. She was sworn in on March 11, 2006. This was Chile's fourth presidential election since the end of the Pinochet era. All four have been judged free and fair. The president is constitutionally barred from serving consecutive terms.

The Congress of Chilemarker has a 38-seat Senate and a 120-member Chamber of Deputies. Senators serve for 8 years with staggered terms, while deputies are elected every 4 years. The current Senate has a 20–18 split in favor of pro-government senators. The last congressional elections were held on December 11, 2005, concurrently with the presidential election. The current lower house—the Chamber of Deputies—contains 63 members of the governing center-left coalition and 57 from the center-right opposition. The Congress is located in the port city of Valparaíso, about 140 kilometres (84 mi) west of the capital, Santiago.

Chile's congressional elections are governed by a binomial system that rewards large representations. Therefore, there are only two senate and two deputy seats apportioned to each electoral district, parties are forced to form wide coalitions and, historically, the two largest coalitions (Concertación and Alianza) split most of the seats in a district. Only if the leading coalition ticket out-polls the second place coalition by a margin of more than 2-to-1 does the winning coalition gain both seats. In the 2001 congressional elections, the conservative Independent Democratic Union surpassed the Christian Democrats for the first time to become the largest party in the lower house. In the 2005 parliamentary election, both leading parties, the Christian Democrats and the UDI lost representation in favor of their respective allies Socialist Party (which became the biggest party in the Concertación block) and National Renewal in the right-wing alliance. The Communist Party again failed to gain any seats in the election.

Chile's judiciary is independent and includes a court of appeal, a system of military courts, a constitutional tribunal, and the Supreme Court of Chilemarker. In June 2005, Chile completed a nation-wide overhaul of its criminal justice system. The reform has replaced inquisitorial proceedings with an adversarial system more similar to that of the United States.

Chile is divided into 15 regions, each headed by an intendant appointed by the president. The regions are further divided into provinces, with provincial governors also appointed by the president. Finally each province is divided into commune which are administered by municipalities, each with its own mayor and council elected for four year terms. Each region is designated by a name and a Roman numeral, assigned from north to south. The only exception is the Santiago Metropolitan Region which is designated RM (Región Metropolitana). Two new regions were created in 2006 and became operative in October 2007; Los Ríos in the south (Region XIV), and Arica y Parinacota in the north (Region XV). The numbering scheme skipped Region XIII.
Key Name Spanish Capital
XV Arica and Parinacotamarker Región de Arica y Parinacota Aricamarker
I Tarapacá Región de Tarapacá Iquiquemarker
II Antofagastamarker Región de Antofagasta Antofagastamarker
III Atacamamarker Región de Atacama Copiapómarker
IV Coquimbomarker Región de Coquimbo La Serenamarker
V Valparaísomarker Región de Valparaíso Valparaisomarker
VI O'Higginsmarker Región del Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Rancaguamarker
VII Maule Región del Maule Talcamarker
VIII Biobío Región del Biobío Concepciónmarker
IX Araucanía Región de la Araucanía Temucomarker
XIV Los Ríosmarker Región de Los Ríos Valdiviamarker
X Los Lagosmarker Región de Los Lagos Puerto Monttmarker
XI Aisénmarker Región Aisén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Coihaiquemarker
XII Magallanes Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena Punta Arenasmarker
RM Santiagomarker Región Metropolitana de Santiago Santiago


Defense

Chile's Armed Forces are subject to civilian control exercised by the president through the Minister of Defense. The president has the authority to remove the commanders-in-chief of the armed forces.

The commander in chief of the Chilean Army is General Oscar Izurieta Ferrer. The Chilean Army is 45,000 strong and is organized with an Army headquarters in Santiago, seven divisions throughout its territory, an Air Brigade in Rancagua, and a Special Forces Command in Colina. The Chilean Army is one of the most professional and technologically advanced armies in Latin America.

Admiral Rodolfo Codina directs the 21,773-person Chilean Navy , including 2,500 Marines. Of the fleet of 29 surface vessels, only eight are operational major combatants (frigates). Those ships are based in Valparaiso. The Navy operates its own aircraft for transport and patrol; there are no Navy fighter or bomber aircraft. The Navy also operates four submarines based in Talcahuano.

Gen. Ricardo Ortega Perrier heads 12,500 strong Chilean Air Force. Air assets are distributed among five air brigades headquartered in Iquique, Antofagasta, Santiago, Puerto Montt, and Punta Arenas. The Air Force also operates an airbase on King George Island, Antarctica. The Air Force took delivery of the final 2 of 10 F-16s, all purchased from the U.S., in March 2007. Chile also took delivery in 2007 of a number of reconditioned Block 15 F-16s from the Netherlands, bringing to 18 the total of F-16s purchased from the Dutch.

After the military coup in September 1973, the Chilean national police (Carabineros) were incorporated into the Defense Ministry. With the return of democratic government, the police were placed under the operational control of the Interior Ministry but remained under the nominal control of the Defense Ministry. Gen. Eduardo Gordon is the head of the national police force of 40,964 men and women who are responsible for law enforcement, traffic management, narcotics suppression, border control, and counter-terrorism throughout Chile.

Foreign relations

President Michelle Bachelet saluting with world leaders at the inauguration ceremony in Valparaíso
Since the early decades after independence, Chile has always had an active involvement in foreign affairs. In 1837 the country aggressively challenged the dominance of Peru's port of Callaomarker for preeminence in the Pacific trade routes, defeating the short-lived alliance between Peru and Bolivia, the Peru-Bolivian Confederation (1836–39) in the War of the Confederation. The war dissolved the confederation while distributing power in the Pacific. A second international war, the War of the Pacific (1879–83), further increased Chile's regional role, while adding considerably to its territory.

During the nineteenth century, Chile's commercial ties were primarily with Britain, a country that had a decisive influence on the organization of the navy. The French influenced Chile's legal and educational systems and had a decisive impact on Chile, through the architecture of the capital in the boom years at the turn of the century. German influence came from the organization and training of the army by Prussians.

On June 26, 1945, Chile participated as a founding member of the United Nations being among 50 countries that signed the United Nations Charter in San Franciscomarker, Californiamarker. With the military coup of 1973, Chile became isolated politically as a result of widespread human rights abuses.

Since its return to democracy in 1990, Chile has been an active participant in the international political arena. Chile completed a 2-year non-permanent position on the UN Security Council in January 2005. Jose Miguel Insulza, a Chilean national, was elected Secretary General of the Organization of American States in May 2005. Chile is currently serving on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, and the 2007–2008 chair of the board is Chile's ambassador to the IAEA, Milenko E. Skoknic. The country is an active member of the UN family of agencies and participates in UN peacekeeping activities. It is currently bidding for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. Chile hosted the Defense Ministerial of the Americas in 2002 and the APEC summit and related meetings in 2004. It also hosted the Community of Democracies ministerial in April 2005 and the Ibero-American Summit in November 2007. An associate member of Mercosur and a full member of APEC, Chile has been an important actor on international economic issues and hemispheric free trade.

The Chilean Government has diplomatic relations with most countries. It settled its territorial disputes with Argentina during the 1990s. Chile and Bolivia severed diplomatic ties in 1978 over Bolivia's desire to reacquire territory it lost to Chile in 1879–83 War of the Pacific. The two countries maintain consular relations and are represented at the Consul General level.

Culture

Gabriela Mistral, Nobel Prize laureate for Literature (1945)
Pablo Neruda, Nobel Prize for Literature (1971)
During the period between early agricultural settlements and to the late pre-Hispanic period, northern Chile was a region of Andean culture that was influenced by altiplano traditions spreading to the coastal valleys of the north. While southern regions were areas of Mapuche cultural activities. Through the colonial period following the conquest, and during the early Republican period, the country's culture was dominated by the Spanish. Other European influences, primarily English, French, and German began in the 19th century and have continued to this day. German migrants influenced the Bavarian style rural architecture and cuisine in the south of Chile in cities such as Valdivia, Frutillarmarker, Puerto Varasmarker, Osorno, Temuco, Pucónmarker and Puerto Montt.

Music and dance

Music in Chile ranges from folkloric music , popular music and also to classical music. Its large geography generates different musical expressions in the north, center and south of the country, including also Easter Island and Mapuche music . The national dance is the cueca. Another form of traditional Chilean song, though not a dance, is the tonada. Arising from music imported by the Spanish colonists, it is distinguished from the cueca by an intermediate melodic section and a more prominent melody. Between 1950 and 1970 appears a rebirth in folk music leading by groups such as Los de Ramon, Los Cuatro Cuartos and Los Huasos Quincheros, among others with composers such as Raul de Ramon, Violeta Parra, Nicanor Molinare and others. In the mid-1960s native musical forms were revitalized by the Parra family with the Nueva Canción Chilena, which was associated with political activists and reformers such as Victor Jara,in this period also appeared other important groups like Inti-Illimani. Other important folk singer and researcher on folklore and Chilean ethnography, is Margot Loyola.Also many Chilean Rock bands like La ley, Los tres and Kudai have reached international success

Literature

Chileans call their country país de poetas—country of poets. Gabriela Mistral was the first Chilean to win a Nobel Prize for Literature (1945). Chile's most famous poet, however, is Pablo Neruda, who also won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1971) and is world-renowned for his extensive library of works on romance, nature, and politics. His three highly individualistic homes, located in Isla Negramarker, Santiago and Valparaíso are popular tourist destinations.

Cuisine

Chilean cuisine is a reflection of the country's topographical variety, featuring an assortment of seafood, beef, fruits, and vegetables. Traditional recipes include asado, cazuela, empanadas, humitas, and curanto.

Sports

Marcelo Ríos was chosen Chilean sportsman of the century
Chile's most popular sport is association football (soccer). Chile has appeared in seven FIFA World Cups which includes hosting the 1962 FIFA World Cup where the national football team finished third. Other results achieved by the national football team include four finals at the Copa América, one silver and two bronze medals at the Pan American Games, a bronze medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics and two third places finishes in the FIFA under-17 and under-20 youth tournaments. The main soccer clubs are Colo-Colo, CF Universidad de Chile and CD Universidad Católica. Colo-Colo is the country's most successful club, winning 46 national tournaments and three international championships, including the coveted Copa Libertadores South American club tournament.

Tennis is the country's most successful sport. Its national team won the World Team Cup clay tournament twice in 2003–04, and played the Davis Cup final against Italymarker in 1976. At the 2004 Summer Olympics the country captured gold and bronze in men's singles and gold in men's doubles. Marcelo Ríos became the first Latin American man to reach the number one spot in the ATP singles ranking in 1998. Anita Lizana won the US Openmarker in 1937, becoming the first women from Latin America to win a grand slam tournament. Luis Ayala was twice a runner-up at the French Openmarker and both Ríos and Fernando González reached the Australian Openmarker men's singles finals.

At the Olympic Games Chile boasts two gold medals (tennis), seven silver medals (athletics, Equestrian, boxing, shooting and tennis) and four bronze medals (tennis, boxing and football). Rodeo is the country's national sport and is practiced in the more rural areas of the country. A sport similar to hockey called chueca was played by the Mapuche people during the Spanish conquest. Skiing and snowboarding are practiced at ski centers located in the Central Andes, while surfing is popular at some coastal towns. Polo is professionally practiced within Chile and in 2008 Chile achieved top prize in the World Polo Championship a tournament where the country has earned both second and third places medals in previous editions. Basketball is a popular sport in which Chile has earned a bronze medal in the first men's FIBA World Championship held in 1950 and winning a second bronze medal when Chile hosted the 1959 FIBA World Championship. Chile hosted the first FIBA World Championship for Women in 1953 finishing the tournament with the silver medal.

Tourism

San Pedro de Atacama
Tourism in Chile has experienced sustained growth over the last few decades. In 2005, tourism grew by 13.6%, generating more than 4.5 billion dollars of which 1.5 billion is attributed to foreign tourists. According to the National Service of Tourism (Sernatur), 2 million people a year visit the country. Most of these visitors come from other countries in the American continent, mainly Argentina; followed by a growing number from the United States, Europe, and Brazil with a growing number of Asians from South Koreamarker and PR Chinamarker.


The main attractions for tourists are places of natural beauty situated in the extreme zones of the country: San Pedro de Atacamamarker, in the north, is very popular with foreign tourists who arrive to admire the Incaic architecture, the altiplano lakes, and the Valley of the Moon. In Putremarker, also in the North, there is the Chungará Lakemarker, as well as the Parinacotamarker and the Pomerapemarker volcanoes, with altitudes of 6,348 m and 6,282 m, respectively. Throughout the central Andes there are many ski resorts of international repute, like Portillomarker and Valle Nevado. In the south, the main tourist sites are the Chiloé Archipelago and Patagonia, which includes Laguna San Rafael National Parkmarker, with its many glaciers, and the Torres del Paine National Parkmarker. The central port city of Valparaísomarker, with its unique architecture, is also popular. Finally, Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean is one of the main Chilean tourist destinations.


For locals, tourism is concentrated mostly in the summer (December to March), and mainly in the coastal beach towns. Aricamarker, Iquiquemarker, Antofagastamarker, La Serenamarker and Coquimbomarker are the main summer centres in the north, and Pucón on the shores of Lake Villarricamarker is the main one in the south. Because of its proximity to Santiago, the coast of the Valparaíso Region, with its many beach resorts, receives the largest number of tourists. Viña del Marmarker, Valparaíso's northern affluent neighbor, is popular because of its beaches, casino, and its annual song festival, the most important musical event in Latin America.

In November 2005, the government launched a campaign under the brand "Chile: All Ways Surprising," intended to promote the country internationally for both business and tourism.

National symbols

A red copihue
The national flower is the copihue (Lapageria rosea, Chilean bellflower), which grows in the woods of southern Chile.

The coat of arms depicts the two national animals: the condor (Vultur gryphus, a very large bird that lives in the mountains) and the huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus, an endangered white tail deer). It also has the legend Por la razón o la fuerza (By reason or by force).

The flag of Chile consists of two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; there is a blue square the same height as the white band at the hoist-side end of the white band; the square bears a white five-pointed star in the center representing a guide to progress and honor; blue symbolizes the sky, white is for the snow-covered Andes, and red stands for the blood spilled to achieve independence.

See also



References

  1. http://www.chile.com/tpl/articulo/detalle/ver.tpl?cod_articulo=7225
  2. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/459648/Picunche
  3. Archived 2009-10-31.
  4. [1]
  5. Bárbaros, page 66. David J. Weber
  6. " Chile". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  7. [2] The United States and Chile: coming in from the cold
  8. [3] The Secret history of the CIA
  9. [4]
  10. http://grace.evergreen.edu/~arunc/texts/chile/torre/Allende.html
  11. http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB8/ch01-01.htm
  12. http://www.fas.org/irp/ops/policy/church-chile.htm
  13. http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/chile/doc/hinchey.html
  14. http://www.ddhh.gov.cl/ddhh_rettig.html
  15. [5]
  16. [6] Antarctic Treaty and how Antarctica is governed
  17. [7] Derecho de Aguas by Alejandro Vergara Blanco
  18. [8] Chile GDP - real growth rate
  19. [9] USA-Chile FTA Final Text
  20. [10] The Chilean pension system
  21. http://www.reuters.com/article/economicNews/idUSN1027661220090110
  22. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/chile/090121/uncertain-future
  23. [11]Chile: Overview of economy
  24. Genetic epidemiology of single gene defects in Chile.
  25. Esteva-Fabregat (1988), Book: El mestizaje en lberoamérica "a white majority that would exceed 60% of the Chilean population".
  26. El gradiente sociogenético chileno y sus implicaciones ético-sociales.
  27. 1907 census
  28. Diariovasco.
  29. entrevista al Presidente de la Cámara vasca.
  30. vascos Ainara Madariaga: Autora del estudio "Imaginarios vascos desde Chile La construcción de imaginarios vascos en Chile durante el siglo XX".
  31. Basques au Chili.
  32. Contacto Interlingüístico e intercultural en el mundo hispano.instituto valenciano de lenguas y culturas. Universitat de València Cita: " Un 20% de la población chilena tiene su origen en el País Vasco".
  33. La población chilena con ascendencia vasca bordea entre el 15% y el 20% del total, por lo que es uno de los países con mayor presencia de emigrantes venidos de Euskadi.
  34. El 27% de los chilenos son descendientes de emigrantes vascos. DE LOS VASCOS, OÑATI Y LOS ELORZA Waldo Ayarza Elorza.
  35. Presencia vasca en Chile.
  36. German Embassy in Chile.
  37. Arabes de Chile.
  38. En Chile viven unas 700.000 personas de origen árabe y de ellas 500.000 son descendientes de emigrantes palestinos que llegaron a comienzos del siglo pasado y que constituyen la comunidad de ese origen más grande fuera del mundo árabe.
  39. Arab.
  40. Chile: Palestinian refugees arrive to warm welcome.
  41. 500,000 descendientes de primera y segunda generación de palestinos en Chile.
  42. Santiago de Chile es un modelo de convivencia palestino-judía.
  43. Exiling Palestinians to Chile.
  44. Chile tiene la comunidad palestina más grande fuera del mundo árabe, unos 500.000 descendientes.
  45. Diaspora Croata..
  46. Splitski osnovnoškolci rođeni u Čileu.
  47. hrvatski.
  48. Embajada de Grecia en Chile.
  49. Griegos de Chile
  50. 90,000 descendants Swiss in Chile.
  51. 5% de los chilenos tiene origen frances.
  52. "Cristián Doña and Amanda Levinson, Chile: Moving Towards a Migration Policy". Migrationinformation.org.
  53. http://www.economist.com/world/americas/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12564066&fsrc=rss
  54. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/specials/2007/en_nombre_de_la_fe/newsid_7701000/7701290.stm
  55. http://www.research-worldwide.de/article-chile2005.html
  56. [12] Anglicism in Chilean Spanish.
  57. http://www.armada.cl/p4_ingles/site/artic/20050707/pags/20050707095041.html
  58. http://www.armada.cl/p4_ingles/site/artic/20050719/pags/20050719132710.html
  59. http://www.armada.cl/p4_ingles/site/artic/20050719/pags/20050719132849.html
  60. Carabineros de Chile, accessed on May 31, 2008
  61. Memoria Chilena
  62. Conjuntos Folkloricos de Chile
  63. http://www.protocolo.com.mx/articulos.php?id_sec=2&id_art=600
  64. http://www.uchile.cl/cultura/poetasjovenes/bianchi26.htm
  65. [13] The South American Table by Maria Baez Kijac


Bibliography



External links




Embed code:






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message