Coordinates : 30°S 71°W / 30°S 71°W / -30; -71
Republic of Chile
Chile (Spanish )
Flag Coat of arms
* Por la razón o la fuerza (Spanish )
* (English: "By Right or Might")
National Anthem of Chile
Chile (dark green)
South America (grey)
and largest city
33°26′S 70°40′W / 33.433°S 70.667°W / -33.433;
ETHNIC GROUPS (2012 )
Mestizo and White
* 0.7% Aymara
* 1% Other
* 0.3% Unspecified
Unitary presidential constitutional republic
• SENATE PRESIDENT
• PRESIDENT OF THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES
• UPPER HOUSE
• LOWER HOUSE
Chamber of Deputies
INDEPENDENCE FROM SPAIN
• GOVERNMENT JUNTA
18 September 1810
12 February 1818
25 April 1844
• CURRENT CONSTITUTION
11 September 1980
756,096.3 km2 (291,930.4 sq mi) (37th )
• WATER (%)
• 2017 CENSUS
17,574,003 (64th )
24/km2 (62.2/sq mi) (194th )
GDP (PPP )
$472.413 billion (42nd )
• PER CAPITA
$25,425 (53rd )
$265.224 billion (38th )
• PER CAPITA
$14,274 (49th )
very high · 38th
Peso (CLP )
CLT and EAST c (UTC −3 and −5)
DRIVES ON THE
ISO 3166 CODE
* Legislature is based in
Easter Island and
Isla Sala y Gómez ; does not include
1,250,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) of territory claimed in
CHILE (/ˈtʃɪli/ or /ˈtʃɪleɪ/ ; Spanish: ), officially the
REPUBLIC OF CHILE (Spanish : República de
Chile (help ·info )), is
a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land
Andes to the east and the
Pacific Ocean to the west. It
Peru to the north,
Bolivia to the northeast,
Argentina to the
east, and the
Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory
includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández ,
Salas y Gómez ,
Desventuradas , and
Easter Island in
Chile also claims about
1,250,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) of
Antarctica , although
all claims are suspended under the
Antarctic Treaty .
Atacama Desert in northern
Chile 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
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
Spain conquered and colonized the region in the mid-16th century,
replacing Inca rule in the north and centre, but failing to conquer
Mapuche who inhabited what is now south-central Chile.
After declaring its independence from
Spain in 1818,
Chile emerged in
the 1830s as a relatively stable authoritarian republic. In the 19th
Chile saw significant economic and territorial growth, ending
Mapuche resistance in the 1880s and gaining its current northern
territory in the
War of the Pacific (1879–83) after defeating Peru
and Bolivia. In the 1960s and 1970s the country experienced severe
left-right political polarization and turmoil. This development
culminated with the 1973 Chilean coup d\'état that overthrew Salvador
Allende 's democratically elected left-wing government and instituted
a 16-year-long right-wing military dictatorship that left more than
3,000 people dead or missing. The regime, headed by Augusto Pinochet
, ended in 1990 after it lost a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded
by a center-left coalition which ruled through four presidencies until
Chile is today one of South America's most stable and prosperous
nations, with a high-income economy and high living standards . It
leads Latin American nations in rankings of human development ,
competitiveness , income per capita , globalization , state of peace ,
economic freedom , and low perception of corruption . It also ranks
high regionally in sustainability of the state , and democratic
Chile is the only South American member of the
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), joining
in 2010. Currently it also has the lowest homicide rate in South
Chile is a founding member of the
United Nations , the Union
of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Community of Latin American
and Caribbean States (CELAC).
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Early history
* 2.2 Spanish colonization
* 2.3 Independence and nation building
* 2.4 20th century
* 2.4.1 Pinochet era (1973–1990)
* 2.5 21st century
* 3 Government and politics
* 3.1 Foreign relations
* 3.2 Administrative divisions
* 3.3 National symbols
* 4 Military
* 5 Geography, climate, and environment
* 5.2 Biodiversity
* 5.2.1 Flora and Fauna
* 5.3 Topography
* 5.4 Hydrography
* 6 Demographics
* 6.1 Ancestry and ethnicity
* 6.2 Religion
* 6.3 Languages
* 6.4 Education
* 6.5 Health
* 7 Economy
* 7.2 Tourism
* 8 Infrastructure
* 8.1 Transport
* 8.2 Telecommunications
* 9 Culture
* 9.1 Music and dance
* 9.2 Literature
* 9.3 Cuisine
* 9.4.1 Mythology
* 9.5 Cinema
* 9.6 Sports
* 10 See also
* 11 References
* 12 Further reading
* 13 External links
There are various theories about the origin of the word Chile.
According to 17th-century Spanish chronicler
Diego de Rosales , the
Incas called the valley of the
Aconcagua "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
that of the
Casma Valley in Peru, where there was a town and valley
Other theories say
Chile may derive its name from a Native American
word meaning either "ends of the earth" or "sea gulls"; from the
Mapuche word chilli, which may mean "where the land ends;" or from
the Quechua chiri, "cold", or tchili, meaning either "snow" or "the
deepest point of the Earth". Another origin attributed to chilli is
the onomatopoeic cheele-cheele—the
Mapuche imitation of the warble
of a bird locally known as trile .
The Spanish conquistadors heard about this name from the Incas, and
the few survivors of
Diego de Almagro 's first Spanish expedition
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. The older spelling
"Chili" was in use in English until at least 1900 before switching
over to "Chile."
History of Chile
History of Chile
Stone tool evidence indicates humans sporadically frequented the
Monte Verde valley area as long as 18,500 years ago. About 10,000
years ago, migrating Native Americans settled in fertile valleys and
coastal areas of what is present-day Chile. Settlement sites from very
early human habitation include Monte Verde,
Cueva del Milodon
Cueva del Milodon and the
Pali Aike Crater 's lava tube . The
Incas briefly extended their
empire into what is now northern Chile, but the
Araucanians as they were known by the Spaniards) 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 Maule was that the Inca
conquest of the territories of
Chile ended at the
Maule river .
Conquest of Chile and
toqui and hero of the
Pedro de Valdivia
Pedro de Valdivia , conqueror
In 1520, while attempting to circumnavigate the globe, Ferdinand
Magellan discovered the southern passage now named after him, the
Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan , thus becoming the first European to set foot on
what is now Chile. The next Europeans to reach
Chile were Diego de
Almagro and his band of Spanish conquistadors, who came from
1535 seeking gold. The Spanish encountered various cultures that
supported themselves principally through slash-and-burn agriculture
The conquest of
Chile began in earnest in 1540 and was carried out by
Pedro de Valdivia
Pedro de Valdivia , one of
Francisco Pizarro 's lieutenants, who
founded the city of
Santiago on 12 February 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
Spanish Empire .
Conquest took place gradually, and the Europeans suffered repeated
setbacks. 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 royal prohibitions,
relations remained strained from continual colonialist interference.
Cut off to the north by desert, to the south by the Mapuche, 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 both the
Mapuche and Spain's European enemies, especially the British and the
Dutch. Buccaneers and English adventurers menaced the colony in
addition to the Mapuche, as was shown by
Sir Francis Drake 's 1578
raid on Valparaíso, the colony's principal port.
Chile hosted one of
the largest standing armies in the Americas, making it one of the most
militarized of the Spanish possessions, as well as a drain on the
treasury of the Viceroyalty of
The first general census was conducted by the government of Agustín
de Jáuregui between 1777 and 1778; it indicated that the population
consisted of 259,646 inhabitants: 73.5 percent of European descent ,
7.9 percent mestizos , 8.6 percent indigenous peoples and 9.8 percent
blacks. Francisco Hurtado, Governor of the province of Chiloé ,
conducted a census in 1784 and found the population consisted of
26,703 inhabitants, 64.4 percent of whom were whites and 33.5 percent
of whom were natives.
The Diocese of Concepción conducted a census in areas south of the
Maule river in 1812, but did not include the indigenous population or
the inhabitants of the province of Chiloé. The population is
estimated at 210,567, 86.1 percent of whom were Spanish or of European
descent, 10 percent of whom were indigenous and 3.7 percent of whom
were mestizos, blacks and mulattos .
INDEPENDENCE AND NATION BUILDING
Chilean War of Independence ,
War of the Pacific , and
Argentine–Chilean naval arms race
Argentine–Chilean naval arms race Bernardo O\'Higgins ,
Libertador and the Supreme Director of
In 1808, Napoleon\'s enthronement of his brother Joseph as the
Spanish King precipitated the drive by the colony for independence
Spain . A national junta in the name of Ferdinand – heir to the
deposed king – was formed on 18 September 1810. The Government Junta
Chile an autonomous republic within the Spanish
monarchy (in memory of this day
Chile celebrates its National Day on
18 September each year).
After these events, a movement for total independence, under the
José Miguel Carrera
José Miguel Carrera (one of the most renowned patriots)
and his two brothers Juan José and
Luis Carrera , soon gained a wider
following. Spanish attempts to re-impose arbitrary rule during what
was called the Reconquista led to a prolonged struggle, including
infighting from Bernardo O\'Higgins , who challenged Carrera's
Intermittent warfare continued until 1817. With Carrera in prison in
Argentina, O'Higgins and anti-Carrera cohort
José de San Martín ,
hero of the
Argentine War of Independence
Argentine War of Independence , led an army that crossed
Chile and defeated the royalists. On 12 February 1818
Chile was proclaimed an independent republic . 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.
Chile slowly started to expand its influence and to establish its
borders. By the Tantauco Treaty, the archipelago of Chiloé was
incorporated in 1826. The economy began to boom due to the discovery
of silver ore in Chañarcillo, and the growing trade of the port of
Valparaíso, which led to conflict over maritime supremacy in the
Pacific with Peru. At the same time, attempts were made to strengthen
sovereignty in southern
Chile intensifying penetration into Araucanía
and colonizing Llanquihue with German immigrants in 1848. Through the
Fort Bulnes by the
Schooner Ancud under the command of
John Williams Wilson , the Magallanes region joined the country in
1843, while the
Antofagasta area, at the time part of, Bolivia, began
to fill with people. The
Battle of Iquique on 21 May 1879. The
War of the Pacific allowed the expansion to new
Toward the end of the 19th century, the government in Santiago
consolidated its position in the south by the Occupation of Araucanía
. The Boundary treaty of 1881 between
Chilean sovereignty over the Strait of Magellan. As a result of the
War of the Pacific with
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.
joined the stand as one of the high-income countries in South America
1891 Chilean Civil War 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. Soon after, the
country engaged in a vastly expensive naval arms race with Argentina
that nearly led to a war.
Parliamentary Era in Chile ,
1960 Valdivia earthquake , and
South American dreadnought race Chile's Almirante Latorre
dreadnought in 1921
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
Arturo Alessandri , 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 political instability that lasted until 1932. Of the ten
governments that held power in that period, the longest lasting was
that of General
Carlos Ibáñez del Campo
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).
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
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
In the 1970 election, Senator
Salvador Allende of the Socialist Party
Chile (then part of the "Popular Unity " coalition which included
the Communists, Radicals, Social-Democrats, dissident Christian
Democrats, the Popular Unitary Action Movement, and the Independent
Popular Action), achieved a partial majority in a plurality of votes
in a three-way contest, followed by candidates Radomiro Tomic for the
Christian Democrat Party and
Jorge Alessandri for the Conservative
Party. Allende was not elected with an absolute majority, receiving
fewer than 35 percent of votes.
The Chilean Congress conducted a runoff vote between the leading
candidates, Allende and former president Jorge Alessandri, and,
keeping with tradition, 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 1972 was 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
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
As a result, the
Richard Nixon administration organized and inserted
secret operatives in Chile, in order to swiftly destabilize
Allende’s government. In addition, US 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, business guilds and other organizations helped to
accelerate a campaign of domestic political and economical
destabilization, some of which was backed 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's
soon-to-be seizure of power.
Pinochet Era (1973–1990)
Military government of Chile (1973–90) , Miracle of
Chile , and
Beagle conflict Fighter jets bombing the
Presidential Palace of La Moneda during the
Chilean coup of 1973
A military coup overthrew Allende on 11 September 1973. As the armed
forces bombarded the presidential palace , Allende apparently
committed suicide. After the coup,
Henry Kissinger told U.S.
Richard Nixon that the
United States had "helped" the coup.
A military junta, led by General
Augusto Pinochet , took 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). In 2011,
Chile recognized an additional 9,800 victims, bringing the total
number of killed, tortured or imprisoned for political reasons to
40,018. At the national stadium, filled with detainees, one of those
tortured and killed was internationally known poet-singer Victor Jara
(see "Music and Dance", below). The stadium was renamed for Jara in
A new Constitution was approved by a controversial plebiscite on 11
September 1980, and General Pinochet became president of the republic
for an eight-year term. After Pinochet obtained rule of the country,
several hundred committed Chilean revolutionaries joined the
Sandinista army in
Nicaragua , guerrilla forces in
training camps in
Cuba , Eastern Europe and Northern Africa.
In the late 1980s, largely as a result of events such as the 1982
economic collapse and mass civil resistance in 1983–88, the
government gradually permitted greater freedom of assembly, speech ,
and association, to include trade union and political activity. The
government launched market-oriented reforms with
Hernán Büchi as
Minister of Finance.
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 5 October 1988, Pinochet was
denied a second eight-year term as president (56% against 44%).
Chileans elected a new president and the majority of members of a
bicameral congress on 14 December 1989. Christian Democrat Patricio
Aylwin , the candidate of a coalition of 17 political parties called
Concertación , received an absolute majority of votes (55%).
President Aylwin served from 1990 to 1994, in what was considered a
2010 Chile earthquake and
2011–2012 Chilean protests
Five presidents of
Transition to democracy (1990–2018),
Bicentennial of Chile
Bicentennial of Chile
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 female president,
Michelle Bachelet Jeria , of the
Socialist Party, defeating
Sebastián Piñera , of the National
Renewal party, extending the
Concertación governance for another four
years. In January 2010,
Sebastián Piñera as the
first rightist President in 20 years, defeating former President
Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle of the Concertación, for a four-year term
succeeding Bachelet. Due to term limits,
Sebastián Piñera did not
stand for re-election in 2013, and his term expired in March 2014
Michelle Bachelet returning to office.
On 27 February 2010,
Chile was struck by an 8.8 Mw earthquake , the
fifth largest ever recorded at the time. More than 500 people died
(most from the ensuing tsunami ) and over a million people lost their
homes. The earthquake was also followed by multiple aftershocks.
Initial damage estimates were in the range of US$15–30 billion,
around 10 to 15 percent of Chile's real gross domestic product.
Chile achieved global recognition for the successful rescue of 33
trapped miners in 2010. On 5 August 2010 the access tunnel collapsed
at the San José copper and gold mine in the
Atacama Desert near
Copiapó in northern Chile, trapping 33 men 700 metres (2,300 ft)
below ground. A rescue effort organized by the Chilean government
located the miners 17 days later. All 33 men were brought to the
surface two months later on 13 October 2010 over a period of almost 24
hours, an effort that was carried on live television around the world.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Politics of Chile
Politics of Chile and
Law of Chile The Palacio
de La Moneda in downtown
Santiago . The Palace of Justice in
Constitution of Chile was approved in a national
plebiscite —regarded as "highly irregular" by some observers — 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.
Congress of Chile has a 38-seat Senate and a 120-member Chamber
of Deputies . Senators serve for eight years with staggered terms,
while deputies are elected every 4 years. The last congressional
elections were held on 17 November 2013, concurrently with the
presidential election. The current Senate has a 21–15 split in favor
of the governing coalition and 2 independents. The current lower
house, the Chamber of Deputies, contains 67 members of the governing
center-left coalition, 48 from the center-right opposition and 5 from
small parties or independents. The Congress is located in the port
city of Valparaíso, about 140 kilometres (87 miles) west of the
capital, Santiago. National Congress building in Valparaíso.
Chile's congressional elections are governed by a binomial system
that, for the most part, rewards the two largest representations
equally, often regardless of their relative popular support. Parties
are thus forced to form wide coalitions and, historically, the two
largest coalitions (
Concertación and Alianza) split most of the
seats. 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, which tends to lock the legislature in a roughly
Chile's judiciary is independent and includes a court of appeal, a
system of military courts, a constitutional tribunal, and the Supreme
Chile . In June 2005,
Chile completed a nationwide overhaul
of its criminal justice system. The reform has replaced inquisitorial
proceedings with an adversarial system more similar to that of the
In the 2001 congressional elections, the conservative Independent
Democratic Union (UDI) 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. In the 2009
legislative elections in Chile, the Communist Party won 3 out of 120
seats in the Chamber of Deputies for the first time in 30 years (the
Communist Party was not allowed to exist as such during the
Chileans voted in the first round of presidential elections on 17
November 2013. None of the nine presidential candidates got more than
50 percent of the vote. As a result, the top two candidates,
Nueva Mayoría coalition's
Michelle Bachelet and
center-right Alianza coalition's
Evelyn Matthei , competed in a
run-off election on 15 December 2013, which Bachelet won. This was
Chile's sixth presidential election since the end of the Pinochet era.
All six have been judged free and fair. The president is
constitutionally barred from serving consecutive terms.
Foreign relations of Chile
Foreign relations of Chile State of Chile’s
international relations in the world:
Chile Country with
diplomatic relations and Chilean embassy in the country. Country
with diplomatic relations and an embassy in Chile, but no Chilean
embassy. Country with diplomatic relations but without ambassadors.
Country with no diplomatic relations currently.
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
preeminence in the Pacific trade routes, defeating the short-lived
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
During the 19th century, Chile's commercial ties were primarily with
Britain, a nation that had a major influence on the formation of the
Chilean 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 20th century.
German influence came from the organization and training of the army
by Prussians .
On 26 June 1945,
Chile participated as a founding member of the
United Nations being among 50 countries that signed the United Nations
Charter in San Francisco, California. With the military coup of
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 and
confirmed in his position, being re-elected in 2009.
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 was re-elected as a member of the UN Human
Rights Council in 2011 for a three-year term. It was also elected to
one of five non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council in 2013.
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
Chile has been a major player in international economic issues
and hemispheric free trade.
The Chilean Government has diplomatic relations with most countries.
It settled all its territorial disputes with
Argentina during the
1990s except for part of the border at
Southern Patagonian Ice Field .
Bolivia severed diplomatic ties in 1978 over Bolivia's
desire to regain sovereign access to the
Pacific Ocean 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.
Administrative divisions of Chile
Administrative divisions of Chile
Chile was administratively divided into regions , and in
1979 subdivided into provinces and these into communes. In total the
country has 15 regions , 54 provinces and 348 communes .
Each region is designated by a name and a roman numeral assigned from
north to south, although in the case of
Santiago Metropolitan Region
is not used. The creation of two new regions in 2007,
Parinacota (XV) and Los Ríos (XIV), made this numbering lose its
ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS OF CHILE
Arica y Parinacota
Arica and Parinacota (XV) Tarapacá (I)
Valparaíso (V) Santiago
Metropolitan (RM) O\'Higgins (VI) Maule (VII) Biobío (VIII)
Araucanía (IX) Los Ríos (XIV) Los Lagos (X) Aysén (XI)
Magallanes (XII) Antarctic Territory
1 790 219
7 036 792
Libertador General Bernardo O\'Higgins
1 033 197
2 018 803
Aysén del General
Carlos Ibáñez del Campo
Carlos Ibáñez del Campo
Magallanes and Chilean
17 373 831
(1) Including the Chilean Antarctic Territory, its surface reaches 1
382 554,8 km² (2) Including the Chilean Antarctic Territory, its
surface reaches 2 006 360 km²
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. The flag
Chile is similar to the
Flag of Texas
Flag of Texas , although the Chilean flag
is 21 years older. However, like the Texan flag, the flag of
modeled after the
Flag of the United States
Flag of the United States .
Military of Chile
The Armed Forces of
Chile 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 Humberto Oviedo
Chilean Army is 45,000 strong and is organized with
an Army headquarters in Santiago, six 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 Julio Leiva Molina directs around 25,000-person Chilean Navy
, including 2,500 Marines. Of the fleet of 29 surface vessels, only
eight are operational major combatants (frigates). Those ships are
Valparaíso . 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
Air Force General (four star) Jorge Rojas Ávila heads the 12,500
Chilean Air Force
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 two of ten F-16s, all purchased from the U.S., in March 2007
after several decades of U.S. debate and previous refusal to sell.
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. Gustavo González Jure
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.
Leopard 2A4 of the
Chilean Army Karel Doorman-class frigate
Chilean Navy F-16 Fighting Falcon of the Chilean Air Force
GEOGRAPHY, CLIMATE, AND ENVIRONMENT
Geography of Chile
Geography of Chile See also: Natural regions of Chile
Environmental issues in Chile
A long and narrow coastal
Southern Cone country on the west side of
Andes Mountains ,
Chile stretches over 4,300 km (2,670 mi) north
to south, but only 350 km (217 mi) at its widest point east to west.
This encompasses a remarkable variety of climates and landscapes. It
contains 756,950 square kilometres (292,260 sq mi) of land area. It is
situated within the
Pacific Ring of Fire
Pacific Ring of Fire . Excluding its Pacific
islands and Antarctic claim,
Chile lies between latitudes 17° and
56°S , and longitudes 66° and 75°W .
Chile is among the longest north-south countries in the world. If one
considers only mainland territory,
Chile is unique within this group
in its narrowness from east to west, with the other long north-south
Canada , and the United States,
among others) all being wider from east to west by a factor of more
Chile also claims 1,250,000 km2 (480,000 sq mi) of Antarctica
as part of its territory (
Chilean Antarctic Territory ). However, this
latter claim is suspended under the terms of the
Antarctic Treaty , of
Chile is a signatory. It is the world's southernmost country
that is geographically on the mainland.
Easter Island and
Sala y Gómez Island, the
easternmost islands of Polynesia, which it incorporated to its
territory in 1888, and
Robinson Crusoe Island
Robinson Crusoe Island , more than 600 km (370
mi) from the mainland, in the
Juan Fernández Islands . Also
controlled but only temporarily inhabited (by some local fishermen)
are the small islands of 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 Ocean .
Atacama Desert 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 is also the historical center from
Chile expanded in the late 19th 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
Climate of Chile
Chile map of Köppen climate
The diverse climate of
Chile ranges from the world's driest desert in
Atacama Desert —through a
Mediterranean climate in
the center, humid subtropical in Easter Island, to an oceanic climate
, including alpine tundra and glaciers in the east and south.
According to the Köppen system ,
Chile within its borders hosts at
least ten major climatic subtypes. 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).
Wildlife of Chile
Wildlife of Chile
The flora and fauna of
Chile are characterized by a high degree of
endemism, due to its particular geography. In continental Chile, the
Atacama Desert in the north and the
Andes mountains to the east are
barriers that have led to the isolation of flora and fauna. Add to
that the enormous length of
Chile (over 4,300 km (2,672 mi)) and this
results in a wide range of climates and environments that can be
divided into three general zones: the desert provinces of the north,
central Chile, and the humid regions of the south.
Flora And Fauna
The native flora of
Chile consists of relatively fewer species
compared to the flora of other South American countries. The
northernmost coastal and central region is largely barren of
vegetation, approaching the most absolute desert in the world. On the
slopes of the Andes, in addition to the scattered tola desert brush,
grasses are found. The central valley is characterized by several
species of cacti, the hardy espinos , the Chilean pine , the southern
beeches and the copihue , a red bell-shaped flower that is Chile's
In southern Chile, south of the Biobío River, 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
Patagonia). Much of the Chilean flora is distinct from that of
neighboring Argentina, indicating that the Andean barrier existed
during its formation. Topographic map of Chile. To view maps based
SRTM topographic relief of the country, see here. View of
Ojos del Salado from the Chilean side.
Salar de Atacama
Salar de Atacama and the
Volcano and the
Nef Glacier and the Plomo Lake
Chile is located along a highly seismic and volcanic zone, part of
the Pacific Ring of Fire, due to the subduction of the Nazca and
Antarctic plates in the
South American plate
South American plate .
Paleozoic , 251 million years ago,
Chile belonged to the
continental block called Gondwana. It was just a depression
accumulated marine sediments began to rise at the end of the Mesozoic,
66 million years ago, due to the collision between the Nazca and South
American plates, resulting in the Andes. The territory would be shaped
by millions of years due to the folding of the rocks, forming the
The Chilean relief consists of the central depression, which crosses
the country longitudinally, flanked by two mountain ranges that make
up about 80% of the territory: the
Andes mountains to the east-natural
Argentina , with its most alton 18 located on
Ojos del Salado , at 6891.3 m, the highest volcano in the
world, in the region of Atacama and Coastal Range west-minor height
from the Andes, with its highest point located on the hill Vicuña
Mackenna, at 3114 meters, located in the Sierra Vicuña Mackenna, the
Antofagasta . Among the coastal mountains and the Pacific is
a series of coastal plains, of variable length, which allow the
settlement of coastal towns and big ports. Some areas of the plains
territories encompass territory east of the Andes, and the Patagonian
steppes and Magellan, or are high plateaus surrounded by high mountain
ranges, such as the Altiplano or Puna de Atacama.
The Far North is the area between the northern boundary of the
country and the parallel 26° S, covering the first three regions. It
is characterized by the presence of the
Atacama desert , the most arid
in the world. The desert is fragmented by streams that originate in
the area known as the pampas Tamarugal . The Andes, split in two and
whose eastern arm runs
Bolivia , has a high altitude and volcanic
activity, which has allowed the formation of the Andean altiplano and
salt structures as the
Salar de Atacama
Salar de Atacama , due to the gradual
accumulation of sediments over time.
TEN HIGHEST PEAKS OF CHILE
ALTITUDE (M )
Ojos del Salado 1
Nevado Tres Cruces 1
Cerro El Muerto
Cerro El Muerto 1
Los Patos 1
Note:1 shared with Argentina, 2 shared with Bolivia.
To the south is the Norte Chico , extending to the
Aconcagua river .
Andes begin to decrease its altitude to the south and closer to
the coast, reaching 90 km away at the height of
Illapel , the
narrowest part of the Chilean territory. The two mountain ranges
intersect, virtually eliminating the intermediate depression. The
existence of rivers flowing through the territory allows the formation
of transverse valleys , where agriculture has developed strongly in
recent times, while the coastal plains begin to expand.
The Central area is the most populated region of the country. The
coastal plains are wide and allow the establishment of cities and
ports along the Pacific. The
Andes maintains altitudes above 6000m but
descend slowly starts approaching the 4000 meters on average. The
intermediate depression reappears becoming a fertile valley that
allows agricultural development and human settlement, due to sediment
accumulation. To the south, the Cordillera de la Costa reappears in
the range of Nahuelbuta while glacial sediments originate a series of
lakes in the area of La Frontera .
Patagonia extends from within Reloncavi, at the height of parallel 41
° S, to the south. During the last glaciation , this area was covered
by ice that strongly eroded Chilean relief structures. As a result,
the intermediate depression sinks in the sea, while the coastal
mountains rise to a series of archipelagos, such as Chiloé and the
Chonos , disappearing in Taitao peninsula, in the parallel 47 ° S.
Andes mountain range loses height and erosion caused by the action
of glaciers has caused fjords .
East of the Andes, on the continent, or north of it, on the island of
Tierra del Fuego are located relatively flat plains, which in the
Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan cover large areas.
The Andes, as he had done previously Cordillera de la Costa, begins
to break in the ocean causing a myriad of islands and islets and
disappear into it, sinking and reappearing in the Southern Antilles
arc and then the Antarctic Peninsula, where it is called Antartandes,
in the Chilean Antarctic Territory, lying between the meridians 53 °
W and 90 ° W.
In the middle of the Pacific, the country has sovereignty over
several islands of volcanic origin, collectively known as Insular
Chile. Of these, we highlight the archipelago of Juan Fernandez and
Easter Island, which is located in the fracture zone between the Nazca
plate and the Pacific plate known as East Pacific Rise.
General Carrera lake , the largest in the country.
TEN LONGEST RIVERS OF CHILE
LENGTH (KM )
Note: All lengths exclusively through Chilean territory.
Due to the characteristics of the territory,
Chile is crossed by
numerous rivers generally short in length and with low torrential
flow. They commonly extend from the
Andes to the
Pacific Ocean ,
flowing in an East to West
Because of the desert , in the Norte Grande there are only short
endorheic character streams, except for the river Loa , the longest in
the country 440 km. In the high valleys, wetland areas generate
Chungará Lake , located at 4500 meters above sea level. It and the
river Lauca are shared with
Bolivia , as well as the Lluta .
In the center-north of the country, the number of rivers that form
valleys of agricultural importance increases. Noteworthy are the Elqui
with 75 km long, 142 km Aconcagua, Maipo with 250 km and its
tributary, the Mapocho with 110 km, and Maule with 240 km. Their
waters mainly flow from Andean snowmelt in the summer and winter
rains. The major lakes in this area are the artificial lake Rapel, the
Colbun Maule lagoon and the lagoon of La Laja.
Demographics of Chile Population of
1820, projected up to 2050
Chile's 2017 census reported a population of 17,574,003. Its rate of
population growth has been decreasing since 1990, due to a declining
birth rate . By 2050 the population is expected to reach
approximately 20.2 million people. About 85 percent of the country's
population lives in urban areas, with 40 percent living in Greater
Santiago . The largest agglomerations according to the 2002 census are
Santiago with 5.6 million people,
Greater Concepción with
861,000 and Greater
Valparaíso with 824,000.
ANCESTRY AND ETHNICITY
Indigenous peoples in Chile
Indigenous peoples in Chile and
Immigration to Chile
Immigration to Chile
Mapuche women of
Tirúa German immigrants in southern
Mexican professor Francisco Lizcano, of the National Autonomous
Mexico , estimated that 52.7% of
Chileans were white,
39.3% were mestizo , and 8% were
The most recent study in the Candela Project establishes that the
genetic composition of
Chile is 52% of European origin, with 44% of
the genome coming from Native Americans (Amerindians), and 4% coming
from Africa, making
Chile a primarily mestizo country with traces of
African descent present in half of the population. Another genetic
study conducted by the
University of Brasilia in several American
countries shows a similar genetic composition for Chile, with a
European contribution of 51.6%, an
Amerindian (Native) contribution of
42.1%, and an African contribution of 6.3%.
A public health booklet from the
University of Chile states that 30%
of the population is of Caucasian origin; "predominantly White"
Mestizos are estimated to amount a total of 65%, while Native
Americans (Amerindians) comprise the remaining 5%.
Despite the genetic considerations, many Chileans, if asked, would
self-identify as White. The 2011
Latinobarómetro survey asked
Chile what race they considered themselves to belong
to. Most answered "White" (59%), while 25% said "Mestizo" and 8%
self-classified as "indigenous". A 2002 national poll revealed that a
Chileans believed they possessed some (43.4%) or much
(8.3%) "indigenous blood", while 40.3% responded that they had none.
The 1907 census reported 101,118 Indians, or 3.1% of the total
population. Only those that practiced their native culture or spoke
their native language were considered to be Indians, irrespective of
their "racial purity".
In 2002 a census took place, directly asking the public whether they
considered themselves as part of any of the eight Chilean ethnic
groups, regardless of whether or not they maintained their culture,
traditions and language, and 4.6 percent of the population (692,192
people) fitted that description of indigenous peoples in
Chile . Of
that number, 87.3% declared themselves Mapuche. Most of the
indigenous population shows varying degrees of mixed ancestry.
Chile is one of 22 countries to have signed and ratified the only
binding international law concerning indigenous peoples, the
Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 . It was adopted in
1989 as the
International Labour Organization
International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169.
Chile ratified it in 2008. A Chilean court decision in November 2009
considered to be a landmark ruling on indigenous rights and made use
of the convention. The Supreme Court decision on Aymara water rights
upheld rulings by both the Pozo Almonte tribunal and the
of Appeals, and marks the first judicial application of ILO Convention
169 in Chile.
Chile was never a particularly attractive destination for migrants,
owing to its remoteness and distance from Europe. Europeans
preferred to stay in countries closer to their homelands instead of
taking the long journey through the Straits of Magellan or crossing
the Andes. European migration did not result in a significant change
in the ethnic composition of Chile, except in the region of Magellan .
Spaniards were the only major European migrant group to Chile, and
there was never large-scale immigration such as that to
Uruguay. Between 1851 and 1924,
Chile only received 0.5% of European
immigration to Latin America, compared to 46% to Argentina, 33% to
Brazil, 14% to Cuba, and 4% to Uruguay. However, it is undeniable
that immigrants have played a significant role in Chilean society.
Other groups of Europeans have followed but are found in smaller
numbers, like the descendants of
Dutch people .
Currently, these are estimated at about 50,000 people. After the
failed liberal revolution of 1848 in the German states, a noticeable
German immigration took place, laying the foundation for the German
Chileans . Sponsored by the Chilean government to "unbarbarize" and
colonize the southern region, these Germans (notably the Swiss,
Silesians, Alsatians and Austrians) settled mainly in Valdivia, Osorno
and Llanquihue .
Descendants of different European ethnic groups often intermarried in
Chile. This intermarriage and mixture of cultures and races have
helped to shape the present society and culture of the Chilean middle
and upper classes.
Due in part to its economic fortunes,
Chile has recently become a new
magnet for immigrants, mostly from neighboring
mainly Peru. According to the 2002 national census, Chile's
foreign-born population has increased by 75% since 1992. According to
an estimate by the Migration and Foreign Residency Department, 317,057
foreigners were living in
Chile as of December 2008. Roughly 500,000
of Chile’s population is of full or partial Palestinian origin .
Religion in Chile
RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND IN CHILE (2015)
The Metropolitan Cathedral of
As of 2012 , 66.6% of Chilean population over 15 years of age
claimed to adhere to the Roman Catholic church, a decrease from the
70% reported in the 2002 census. In the same census of 2012, 17% of
Chileans reported adherence to an Evangelical church ("Evangelical" in
the census referred to all Christian denominations other than the
Roman Catholic and Orthodox -- Greek, Persian, Serbian, Ukrainian, and
Armenian -- churches, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Seventh-day Adventists , and Jehovah\'s Witnesses :
essentially, those denominations generally still termed "Protestant "
in most English-speaking lands, although
Adventism is often considered
an Evangelical denomination as well). Approximately 90% of Evangelical
Pentecostal . but Wesleyan ,
Presbyterian , other Reformed ,
Baptist , and Methodist
churches also are present amongst Chilean Evangelical churches.
Irreligious people, atheists, and agnostics account for around 12% of
By 2015, the major religion in
Chile remained Christianity (68%),
with an estimated 55% of
Chileans belonging to the Roman Catholic
church, 13% to various Evangelical churches, and just 7% adhering to
any other religion. Agnostics and atheist were estimated at 25% of the
The Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of religion , and
other laws and policies contribute to generally free religious
practice. The law at all levels fully protects this right against
abuse by either governmental or private actors.
Church and state are officially separate in Chile. A 1999 law on
religion prohibits religious discrimination . However, the Roman
Catholic church for mostly historical and social reasons enjoys a
privileged status and occasionally receives preferential treatment.
Government officials attend Roman Catholic events as well as major
Evangelical and Jewish ceremonies.
The Chilean government treats the religious holidays of 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
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Feast of the Immaculate Conception as national holidays .
Recently, the government declared October 31st,
Reformation Day , to
be an additional national holiday, in honor of the Evangelical
churches of the country.
The patron saints of
Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint
James the Greater (Santiago). In 2005,
Pope Benedict XVI canonized
Alberto Hurtado , who became the country's second native Roman
Catholic saint after Teresa de los
The Spanish spoken in
Chile is distinctively accented and quite
unlike that of neighboring South American countries because final
syllables and "s" sounds are often dropped, and some consonants have a
soft pronunciation. Accent varies only very slightly from north to
south; more noticeable are the differences in accent based on social
class or whether one lives in the city or the country. That the
Chilean population was largely formed in a small section at the center
of the country and then migrated in modest numbers to the north and
south helps explain this relative lack of differentiation, which was
maintained by the national reach of radio, and now television, which
also helps to diffuse and homogenize colloquial expressions.
There are several indigenous languages spoken in Chile:
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
German is still spoken to some extent in southern Chile, either in
small country side pockets or as a second language among the
communities of larger cities.
Through initiatives such as the
English Opens Doors Program , the
government made English mandatory for students in fifth-grade and
above in public schools. Most private schools in
Chile start teaching
English from kindergarten. Common English words have been absorbed
and appropriated into everyday Spanish speech.
Education in Chile and
List of universities in Chile
University of Chile
University of Chile
University of Concepción
In Chile, education begins with preschool until the age of 5. Primary
school is provided for children between ages 6 and 13. Students then
attend secondary school until graduation at age 17.
Secondary education is divided into two parts: During the first two
years, students receive a general education. Then, they choose a
branch: scientific humanistic education, artistic education, or
technical and professional education.
Secondary school ends two years
later on the acquirement of a certificate (licencia de enseñanza
Chilean education is segregated by wealth in a three-tiered system
— the quality of the schools reflect socioeconomic backgrounds:
* city schools (colegios municipales) that are mostly free and have
the worse education results, mostly attended by poor students;
* subsidized schools that receive some money from the government
which can be supplemented by fees paid by the student's family, which
are attended by mid-income students and typically get mid-level
* entirely private schools that consistently get the best results.
Many private schools charge attendance fees of 0,5 to 1 median
Upon successful graduation of secondary school, students may continue
into higher education . The higher education schools in
Chilean Traditional Universities and are divided into public
universities or private universities . There are medical schools and
Universidad de Chile and
Universidad Diego Portales offer law
schools in a partnership with
Yale University .
Healthcare in Chile
The Ministry of Health (Minsal) is the cabinet-level administrative
office in charge of planning, directing, coordinating, executing,
controlling and informing the public health policies formulated by the
President of Chile. The National Health Fund (Fonasa), created in
1979, is the financial entity entrusted to collect, manage and
distribute state funds for health in Chile. It is funded by the
public. All employees pay 7 percent of their monthly income to the
Fonasa is part of the NHSS and has executive power through the
Ministry of Health (Chile)
Ministry of Health (Chile) . Its headquarters are in
decentralized public service is conducted by various Regional Offices.
More than 12 million beneficiaries benefit from Fonasa. Beneficiaries
can also opt for more costly private insurance through Isapre .
Chile are mainly located in the
Economy of Chile Chilean (blue) and average Latin
GDP per capita (1950–2008) The financial
Santiago Stock Exchange
Chuquicamata , the largest open pit copper mine in the world
Central Bank of Chile in
Santiago serves as the central bank for
the country. The Chilean currency is the
Chilean peso (CLP).
one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations, leading
Latin American nations in human development , competitiveness, income
per capita, globalization, economic freedom, and low perception of
corruption. Since July 2013,
Chile is considered by the
World Bank as
a "high-income economy ".
Chile has the highest degree of economic freedom in South America
(ranking 7th worldwide), owing to its independent and efficient
judicial system and prudent public finance management. In May 2010
Chile became the first South American country to join the OECD . In
Chile became the country with the highest nominal
GDP per capita
in Latin America.
Copper mining makes up 20% of Chilean
GDP and 60% of exports.
Escondida is the largest copper mine in the world, producing over 5%
of global supplies. Overall,
Chile produces a third of the world’s
Codelco , the state mining firm, competes with private ones.
Sound economic policies, maintained consistently since the 1980s,
have contributed to steady economic growth in
Chile and have more than
halved poverty rates.
Chile began to experience a moderate economic
downturn in 1999. The economy remained sluggish until 2003, when it
began to show clear signs of recovery, achieving 4.0%
GDP growth. The
Chilean economy finished 2004 with growth of 6 percent. Real GDP
growth reached 5.7 percent in 2005 before falling back to 4 percent in
GDP expanded by 5 percent in 2007. Faced with an international
economic downturn the government announced an economic stimulus plan
to spur employment and growth, and despite the global financial
crisis, aimed for an expansion of between 2 percent and 3 percent of
GDP for 2009. Nonetheless, economic analysts disagreed with government
estimates and predicted economic growth at a median of 1.5 percent.
GDP growth in 2012 was 5.5%. Growth slowed to 4.1% in the first
quarter of 2013.
The unemployment rate was 6.4% in April 2013. There are reported
labor shortages in agriculture, mining, and construction. The
Chileans with per capita household incomes below the
poverty line—defined as twice the cost of satisfying a person's
minimal nutritional needs—fell from 45.1 percent in 1987 to 11.5
percent in 2009, according to government surveys. Critics in Chile,
however, argue that true poverty figures are considerably higher than
those officially published. Using the relative yardstick favoured in
many European countries, 27% of
Chileans would be poor, according to
Juan Carlos Feres of the
As of November 2012, about 11.1 million people (64% of the
population) benefit from government welfare programs, via the "Social
Protection Card", which includes the population living in poverty and
those at a risk of falling into poverty.
The privatized national pension system (AFP) has encouraged domestic
investment and contributed to an estimated total domestic savings rate
of approximately 21 percent of GDP. Under the compulsory private
pension system, most formal sector employees pay 10 percent of their
salaries into privately managed funds. However, by 2009, it has been
reported that had been lost from the pension system to the global
Chile has signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with a whole network of
countries, including an FTA with the
United States that was signed in
2003 and implemented in January 2004. 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
grown over 60 percent since then. Chile's total trade with China
reached US in 2006, representing nearly 66 percent of the value of its
trade relationship with Asia. Exports to Asia increased from US in
2005 to US in 2006, a 29.9 percent increase. Year-on-year growth in
imports was especially strong from a number of countries: Ecuador
(123.9%), Thailand (72.1%),
South Korea (52.6%), and China (36.9%).
Chile's approach to foreign direct investment is codified in the
country's Foreign Investment Law. 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. The Chilean Government has formed a Council on Innovation
and Competition, hoping to bring in additional FDI to new parts of the
Standard "> Vineyard in the
Agriculture in Chile
Agriculture in Chile encompasses a wide range of different activities
due to its particular geography , climate and geology and human
factors. Historically agriculture is one of the bases of Chile's
economy, now agriculture and allied sectors like forestry , logging
and fishing accounts only for 4.9% of the
GDP as of 2007 and employed
13.6% of the country's labor force. Some major agriculture products of
Chile includes grapes , apples , pears , onions , wheat , corn , oats
, peaches , garlic , asparagus , beans , beef , poultry , wool , fish
, timber and hemp . Due to its geographical isolation and strict
Chile is free from diseases such as
Mad Cow Disease ,
fruit fly and
Phylloxera . This, plus being located in the Southern
Hemisphere which has quite different harvesting times from the
Northern Hemisphere , and its wide range of agriculture conditions are
considered Chile's main comparative advantages. However, Chile's
mountainous landscape limits the extent and intensity of agriculture
so that arable land corresponds only to 2.62% of the total territory.
Tourism in Chile
Tourism in Chile
Tourism in Chile
Tourism in Chile has experienced sustained growth over the last few
decades. In 2005, tourism grew by 13.6 percent, generating more than
4.5 billion dollars of which 1.5 billion was 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
followed by a growing number from the United States, Europe, and
Brazil with a growing number of Asians from
South Korea and
PR China .
The main attractions for tourists are places of natural beauty
situated in the extreme zones of the country:
San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama ,
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
Putre , also in the north, there is the
Chungará Lake ,
as well as the Parinacota and the
Pomerape volcanoes, with altitudes
of 6,348 m and 6,282 m, respectively. Throughout the central Andes
there are many ski resorts of international repute, including Portillo
Valle Nevado and
Termas de Chillán .
The main tourist sites in the south are national parks (the most
Conguillío National Park
Conguillío National Park in the Araucanía) and the
coastal area around
Tirúa and Cañete with the
Isla Mocha and the
Nahuelbuta National Park ,
Chiloé Archipelago and
Patagonia , which
Laguna San Rafael National Park
Laguna San Rafael National Park , with its many glaciers, and
Torres del Paine National Park . The central port city of
Valparaíso , which is World Heritage 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.
Antofagasta , La Serena and
Coquimbo are the main summer centers in
the north, and
Pucón on the shores of
Lake Villarrica is the main
center in the south. Because of its proximity to Santiago, the coast
Valparaíso Region, with its many beach resorts, receives the
largest number of tourists.
Viña del Mar , Valparaíso's northern
affluent neighbor, is popular because of its beaches, casino , and its
annual song festival , the most important musical event in Latin
Pichilemu in the O\'Higgins Region is widely known as South
America's "best surfing spot" according to Fodor\'s .
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. Museums in
Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts built in 1880, feature
works by Chilean artists .
Transport in Chile
Transport in Chile Mataveri International Airport
Santiago Metro is South America's most
extensive metro system
Due to Chile's topography a functioning transport network is vital to
its economy. Buses are now the main means of long distance
transportation in Chile, following the decline of its railway network.
The bus system covers the entire country, from
30-hour journey) and from
Punta Arenas (about 40 hours,
with a change at Osorno ).
Chile has a total of 372 runways (62 paved and 310 unpaved).
Important airports in
Chile include Chacalluta International Airport
Diego Aracena International Airport (
Iquique ), Cerro Moreno
International Airport (
Antofagasta ), Carriel Sur International
Airport (Concepción ),
El Tepual International Airport (Puerto Montt
Carlos Ibáñez del Campo
Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport (Punta
Mataveri International Airport
Mataveri International Airport (
Easter Island ), the most
remote airport in the world, and the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez
International Airport (
Santiago ) with a traffic of 12,105,524
passengers in 2011.
Santiago is headquarters of Latin America's
largest airline holding company and Chilean flag carrier LAN Airlines
Torre Entel in
Chile , with the
Andes mountains in
Chile has a telecommunication system which covers much of the
country, including Chilean insular and Antarctic bases. Privatization
of the telephone system began in 1988;
Chile has one of the most
advanced telecommunications infrastructure in
South America with a
modern system based on extensive microwave radio relay facilities and
domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations. In 2012, there were
3.276 million main lines in use and 24.13 million mobile cellular
telephone subscribers. According to a 2012 database of the
International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 61.42% of the Chilean
population uses the internet, making
Chile the country with the
highest internet penetration in
South America . The Chilean internet
country code is "
Culture of Chile ,
Music of Chile
Music of Chile , and Chilean
From the period between early agricultural settlements and up 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. Throughout 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
Puerto Varas , Osorno ,
Temuco , Puerto
Octay , Llanquihue ,
Faja Maisan ,
Pitrufquén , Victoria ,
Puerto Montt .
MUSIC AND DANCE
La Zamacueca, by Manuel Antonio Caro.
Chile ranges from folkloric, popular and classical music.
Its large geography generates different musical styles 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
Between 1950 and 1970 appears a rebirth in folk music leading by
groups such as
Los de Ramón
Los de Ramón , Los Cuatro Huasos and Los Huasos
Quincheros, among others with composers such as
Raúl de Ramón ,
Violeta Parra 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
Víctor Jara ,
Inti-Illimani , and
Quilapayún . Other important folk
singer and researcher on folklore and Chilean ethnography , is Margot
Loyola . Also many Chilean rock bands like
Los Jaivas , Los
Prisioneros , La Ley , and
Los Tres have reached international
success. In February, annual music festivals are held in Viña del Mar
Pablo Neruda and
Gabriela Mistral , Nobel Prize recipients
Chile is a country of poets.
Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin
American to receive a
Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature (1945). Chile's most
famous poet is
Pablo Neruda , who received the Nobel Prize for
Literature (1971) and is world-renowned for his extensive library of
works on romance, nature, and politics. His three highly personalized
Isla Negra ,
Valparaíso are popular tourist
Among the list of other Chilean poets are
Carlos Pezoa Véliz ,
Vicente Huidobro ,
Gonzalo Rojas ,
Pablo de Rokha ,
Nicanor Parra and
Raúl Zurita .
Isabel Allende is the best-selling Chilean novelist,
with 51 millions of her novels sold worldwide. Novelist José Donoso
The Obscene Bird of Night is considered by critic Harold
Bloom to be one of the canonical works of 20th-century Western
literature. Another internationally recognized Chilean novelist and
Roberto Bolaño whose translations into English have had an
excellent reception from the critics.
Chilean asado and marraqueta
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 , pastel de choclo , pastel de papas, curanto and sopaipillas
Crudos is an example of the mixture of culinary contributions from
the various ethnic influences in Chile. The raw minced llama , heavy
use of shellfish and rice bread were taken from native Quechua Andean
cuisine, (although now beef brought to
Chile by Europeans is also used
in place of the llama meat), lemon and onions were brought by the
Spanish colonists, and the use of mayonnaise and yogurt was introduced
by German immigrants, as was beer .
The folklore of Chile, cultural and demographic characteristics of
the country, is the result of mixture of Spanish and Amerindian
elements that occurred during the colonial period. Due to cultural and
historical reasons, they are classified and distinguished four major
areas in the country: northern areas, central, southern and south.
Most of the traditions of the culture of
Chile have a festive purpose,
but some, such as dances and ceremonies, have religious components.
Chilean mythology, is the mythology and beliefs of the
Chilote mythology ,
Rapa Nui mythology and Mapuche
Cinema of Chile
The film originated in
Valparaíso on 26 May 1902 with the premiere
of the documentary Exercise General Fire Brigade, the first film
completely filmed and processed in the country. In the following
decades, marked milestones The deck of Death (or The Enigma of Lord
Street) (1916), considered the first film Chilean story, The
transmission of presidential (1920), the first animated film in the
country, and North and South (1934), the first sound film of Chile.
Sport in Chile
Estadio Nacional de Chile
Estadio Nacional de Chile
Chile's most popular sport is association football.
appeared in nine 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 two Copa
América titles (2015 and 2016 ), and two runners up positions, 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 top league in the
Chilean football league system is the
Chilean Primera División
Chilean Primera División ,
which is named by the IFFHS as the ninth strongest national football
league in the world.
The main football clubs are
Universidad de Chile and
Universidad Católica .
Colo-Colo is the country's most successful
football club, having both the most national and international
championships, including the coveted Copa
Libertadores South American
Universidad de Chile was the last international
Copa Sudamericana 2011).
Tennis is Chile's most successful sport. Its national team won the
World Team Cup
World Team Cup clay tournament twice (2003 "> The Chilean national
polo team with President
Michelle Bachelet and the trophy of the 2015
Polo Championship .
Rodeo is the country's national sport and is practiced in the more
rural areas of the nation. A sport similar to hockey called chueca was
played by the
Mapuche people during the Spanish conquest.
snowboarding are practiced at ski centers located in the Central
Andes, and in southern ski centers near to cities as Osorno, Puerto
Temuco and Punta Arenas. surfing is popular at some coastal
Polo is professionally practiced within Chile, with the country
achieving top prize in the 2008 and
2015 World Polo Championship .
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
Chile hosted the first
FIBA World Championship for
Women in 1953 finishing the tournament with the silver medal. San
Pedro de Atacama is host to the annual "Atacama Crossing", a
six-stage, 250-kilometre (160 mi) footrace which annually attracts
about 150 competitors from 35 countries. The
Dakar Rally off-road
automobile race has been held in both
Argentina since 2009.
The historical district of the port city of
The cultural heritage of
Chile consists, first, of their intangible
heritage, composed of various cultural events, such as visual arts,
crafts, dances, holidays, cuisine, games, music and traditions, and,
secondly, by its tangible, consists of those buildings, objects and
sites of archaeological, architectural, traditional, artistic,
ethnographic, folkloric, historical, religious or technological
scattered through Chilean territory, among them, those goods are
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site by
UNESCO , in accordance with the
provisions of the Convention concerning the Protection of World
Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972, ratified by
Chile in 1980.
These cultural sites are the
Rapa Nui National Park (1995), the
Churches of Chiloé (2000), the historical district of the port city
Valparaíso (2003), Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works
(2005) and the mining city Sewell (2006).
In 1999 the Cultural Heritage Day was established as a way to honour
and commemorate Chiles cultural heritage. It is an official national
holiday celebrated in May every year.
Latin America portal
Index of Chile-related articles
Index of Chile-related articles
International rankings of Chile
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