's CHILE in here!


General Info: Bryce Cullen
History: Jeff Wray
Food: Christian Bezzant
Entertainment: Joelle Johns

Map of Chile

General Information


Chile is located on the south west coast of South America. The country is a really long and thin shape. The land stretches almost 2,700 miles long but is only 250 miles wide at its widest point. The total area of Chile is 292,258 square miles (Country Reports).
Chile’s terrain is very diverse because of low coastal mountains to the west, a fertile valley in the center, and high mountains in the East.
The Andes Mountains in Chile
The west side of Chile touches the Pacific Ocean with 3,996 miles of coastline. The East side of Chile is part of the Andes Mountains (BBC News). The highest point of Chile is 22572 feet on the Nevado Ojos del Salado. Its lowest point is at the Pacific Ocean at 0 feet (Country Reports).
Chile has four regions within it which including a dry desert in the North, fertile land in the center, forest and lakes in the south-central area, and channels, archipelagos, and fiords in the very South. Norte Grande is the big desert in the north part of Chile (Goegraphia). The center of Chile is the major agricultural and industrial production area, and where the capital of Santiago is located (Country Reports). The south-central area, which is south of the Bio-Bio River, is known as the Chilean Lake District (Región de los Lagos) because it has many lakes (Country Reports). It also is increasingly forested and has many hot springs and snowcapped volcanoes, making it a huge tourist attraction. The very south of Chile is made up of many archipelagos that have glaciers, sea channels, fiords, and a lot of rainfall (BBC News).


In the central region of Chile, the summer consists of dry warm days around high 80°F to 90°F. The summer is considered during the months of December to March. In the winter, it’s usually foggy, rainy and cold, in 50°F to 60°F. Winter is considered from June to September (Country Reports). The average annual rainfall of the central region is 14 inches a years, while in the lake region to the south; it is cooler and has a higher average rainfall, reaching up to 100 inches a year (Geographia).

Exports/ Natural Resources

Some main natural resources of Chile are nitrates, molybdenum, timber, copper, precious metals, hydropower, and iron ore (CIA the World Factbook). Chile has important exports for the world. It is the world’s most important exporter of plums and grap
Plums and grapes, Chile's main exports.
es, the second most important exporter of avocados, and the third largest exporter of pears, kiwi, and apples (Country Reports). Chile also mainly exports paper, copper, wine, fish, and chemicals. Copper makes the most money out of all of the exports. Chile’s imports are food, electrical machinery, chemicals, consumer goods, fuels, industrial machinery, and cars (CIA the World Factbook).


The natural hazards that most commonly occur are severe earthquakes, tsunamis, and active volcanoes (Geographia). The current issues with the environment are water pollution from sewage, deforestation, mining threatening resources, and air pollution (Country Reports).

Other Facts

The population of Chile is about 16,284,741 people. The currency in Chile is known as the Chilean Peso (Country Reports). Chileans celebrate the day of independence on September 18th, because that is the day that their road to independence from Spain began, although they proclaimed independence on February 12, 1818 (Country Reports). More then 80% of Chileans are Roman Catholic. The famous Easter Island is part of Chile. Chile has an unemployment rate of 7 % (Country Reports). Their economy type is a market economy, where the market gets to make most of the decisions about the prices (Geographia). Chile’s government type is a republic. Their president is Michelle Bachelet Jeria who came in to office on March 11, 2006 (BBC News).

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Spanish Rule

Chile was unknown to the European world until 1520, when Magellan traveled the world by ship. Magellan never landed on the Chilean coast,
Magellan, the man who first saw Chile.
yet saw it from a distance in the ocean (Ferdinand Magellan-Quick Facts). The credit to discovering Chile is given to Diego De Almagro. Almagro was an accomplice of Pizarro (History of Chile). Pizarro was a Spanish conquistador who conquered the lands of the Inca (Francisco Pizarro), Almagro was in control of the southern lands of the Inca Empire, located in Chile. He originally went on the expedition in 1537, but he found that the lands were poor in comparison and returned to the Peruvian lands (History of Chile).

There was no interest from the Spanish in Peru until Pedro de Valdivia requested Pizarro's permission to expand the southern border of the empire (History of Chile). Valdivia was able to conquer the lands without large amounts of men. He founded the city of Santiago, now the capital of Chile.

The reign of the Spanish would not be a peaceful one. The conquerors originally conquered the lands of the Incas, but the Mapuche still remained. They resisted fiercely, and took many of the Spanish conquered cities. The Mapuche resistancy was not a time of complete turmoil, as trade of goods occurred between the Spaniards and Mapuche (Araucania).

Because the valley of Chile was great for crops and the economy, Europeans flocked to the valley. The people mined for gold, grew crops such as wheat, and domesticated cattle and horses.

Ancient Peoples

Chile was inhabited by many native groups. The most notable peoples were the Incan Empire and the Mapuche Indians.
The Incan empire established its southern border in Chile. However, the Chilean region was dominated by the strong Mapuche Indians (CIA: The World Factbook). The Mapuche had no form of a central leader, and leadership was normally found on a village level (Araucanian). By the time the Spanish arrived, the Mapuche were scattered around central Chile, growing crops such as corn, beans, squash, and potatoes. They domesticated animals such as the guinea pig and llama. They were hunters, fishers, and established metalsmithing and pottery making (Araucanian).

The Mapuche were strong to resist the new Spanish people. They quickly conquered many villages, but they were able to develop leadership above a village level and also used horseback to combat the Spaniards. The Spaniards pushed them below the Bio Bio river, but the hard fought war (or the Araucanian Wars) was never won by the Spaniards. The Mapuche continued to fight back and the Bio Bio river became the boundary line between the two civilizations.

This boundary and the Mapuche existed until 1884, when the Chilean government ordered that the Mapuches be conquered. They were conquered quickly, and they were given settlements to live on towards the south of Chile (CIA: The World Factbook).

The Fight for Independence

The War of Chilean Independence began in 1810. The peoples of Chile were heavily divided between the loyalty to Spain (loyalists) and the people who wanted political separation from the Spanish royals (independentists). The war is usually divided into 3 stages: Patria Vieja, Reconquista, and Patria Nueva (Chilean War for Independence).

On September 18th, 1810, the people held a meeting in Santiago. They elected a junta, which is a counsel of local leaders. These revolutionists went unmatched for a period of 3 to 4 years. They were able to change trade laws, move toward ending slavery, and newspapers were published as propaganda to change people to the side of the revolutionists. However, in 1814, the Spanish looked to reconquer the Chilean lands, and did so at the Battle of Rancagua (Chilean War for Independence).

After the Spanish showed their force in the Battle of Rancagua, many of the revolutionists fled from the Chilean territor
Jose De San Martin
y. The most important revolutionary however, O’Higgins, fled to Argentina and there met Jose De San Martin. These men organized an army to cross the the Andes mountains into Chile and take back the Chilean lands (Jose De San Martin-Knight of the Andes). As they crossed the Andes, they fought the royalist army during the Battle of Chacabuco, and won decisively. Because of this victory, the patriots were able to re-enter Santiago (Chilean War for Independence).

On February 12, 1818, O’Higgins (the leader of Chile at the time) signed the Chilean Declaration of Independence. Complete independence, however, was secured at the Battle of Maipu, as the last large Spanish force was completely defeated (CIA: The World Factbook). The royalists vowed never to attack Santiago again, and O’Higgins gave up the leadership role to Jose De San Martin. Spanish forces continued to attack, but never gave the Chilean forces a large threat (Chilean War for Independence).

Timeline of Chilean History

Pre-1520- Chile is inhabited by many native groups, including the Incas and Mapuche Indians.

1520- Ferdinand Magellan is the first European to see what is now known as Chile.

1532- Francisco Pizarro arrives and begins to conquer the Peruvian Incas.

1536-Almagro, the accomplice of Pizarro, explores the Incan areas of Chile, but did not find it worthwhile.

1536- First battle of the Arauco wars are fought between Mapuche and Spanish forces.

1541- Pedro de Valdivia founds the city of Santiago.

16th, 17th, 18th Century- Mapuche continually resist the Spanish forces.

1810- People of Santiago declare junta as their new leadership, this junta is run by revolutionists.

1814- Spanish regain control of Chile during Battle of Rancuaga.

1817- Revolutionist forces led by Jose de San Martin defeat royalist army at Battle of Chacabuco, retake Santiago from Spanish forces.

1818- Declaration of Chilean Independence is signed.

1818-1828- The Chilean people continue to fight off Spanish forces and gain total independence.

1829- Chile goes through a Civil War.

1844- Spain recognizes Chile’s independence.

1883- End of the War of Arauco

1929- Chile suffers from the stock market crash, is the hardest hit economically in the world.

1960- Great Chilean Earthquake occurs. The largest earthquake ever recorded, as a 9.5.

2006- Michelle Bachelet is elected President of Chile, first woman to ever do so.

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Chilean Cuisine

Due to its long coastline, Chileans have have more access to different types of seafood than any of its neighbors. Chile has a wide variety of fishes, such as salmon, sea bass, eel, clams, mussels, sea urchins, crabs, octopus, etc. They also have other types of specialties such as beef, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Because the growing season in South America is opposite that of the Northern Hemisphere, many fresh fruits and vegetables from Chile are imported to the United States during the winter season.

History of Chilean Foods

Many of the native Chileans used corn in there dishes. However, when the Spaniards came to Chile in 1541, they brought over an assortment of herbs, spices, fruits that were not native to Chile. They also brought over some animals that the country of Chile did not have such as chickens, sheeps, Pigs , and cows. The pigs especially have a large influence currently due to the outbreak of Swine flu or H1N1 virus.
Over time European immigrants brought over many different styles of cooking and foods to Chile. In 1841, German immigrants began coming to Chile bringing an assortment of pastries and cakes. The Italians brought over ices and flavored them with many of the different Chilean fruits. In the early 1900’s British immigrants introduced tea to Chile.

Chile today

Today, Chileans usually eat four meals per day. In the morning, Chileans eat a light breakfast, which can consist of some toast and tea. Lunch is the main meal of the day it usually is around 1-3 pm. Around 5 and 7 pm is afternoon tea, which includes sandwiches and desserts, along with tea or coffee. Dinner starts around 9 pm and sometimes lasts until midnight. Mealtime is an important time for families.

Alfajor: carmelized milk layered between thin pastries
Alfajor: carmelized milk layered between thin pastries

Some common dishes that Chile has to offer are a cazuela, which is a broth with rice, potatoes, and corn-on-the-cob with a piece of beef or chicken. Pan amasado is a heavy bread that is baked in a wood burning oven. One of the most popular foods is a hot dog with mayonnaise, ketchup, guacamole, and tomatoes. Another favorite of the Chileans, is the Empanada which is a stuffed pastry. One of the delicacies of Chile is the “manchas a la parmesana,” which are clams baked with melted parmesan cheese. One of the most well-known desserts that Chile has to offer is the “alfajor”: a caramelized milk layered between thin pastries that are then rolled in powdered sugar.

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Chilean entertainment is unlike that of any other country. It has art that is very unique to its culture. Textile and pottery designs are often used in Chilean art. (Country Reports) Most of these textile and pottery designs are derived from indigenous Chilean art. Famous artists from Chile include Pedro Lira, Juan Fransisco Gonzalez Escobar, and Samuel Roman Rojas. (Artcyclopedia)


Chilean music is also very unique to Chile’s culture and history. It often reflects the Spanish and native heritage of Chile. Chilean folk music, called
The guitarron, a 25-string guitar used in Chilean music.
tonadas, is very popular. It has also been influential in political and social reform in Chilean history. In Chilean music, popular instruments include the European guitar, the guitarron, a 25-string guitar, the piano, the harp, and the rabel, which is similar to a fiddle. (CultureGrams World Edition). Famous Chilean musicians include Margot Loyola, a well-known musician and folk singer and Vicente Bianchi Alarcon, a composer, pianist, and director of Los Coros y Orquesta Chileno (The Chilean Choir and Orchestra).


Though Chileans enjoy being entertained very much, film is not the most popular form of entertainment. However, it has had its fair share of popular movies. Arguably one of the most famous Chilean movies, Il Postino (The Postman) is an Oscar-winning film based on Antonio Skarmeta’s book called Burning Patience about Pablo Neruda. (Chip Sites). Famous actors from Chile include Massimo Troisi, Philippe Noiret, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, and Linda Moretti. The most well-known director from Chile is Miguel Litín. (Cinema in Latin America)


As with the film industry, theater is not an extremely popular form of entertainment in Chile. However, there have been some popular plays produced in Chile. A play written by playwright and humans rights activist Ariel Dorfman called Death and the Maiden was so popular that it was made into an English film. Also, a popular play from the 1990s called La Negra Ester was written by Roberto Parra, a Chilean native. Santiago’s Municipal Theater is the most high-class theater in Chile and has been visited by a number of celebrities, concerts, operas, and ballets. (Chip Sites)


Chileans love to play and watch sports, particularly soccer (futbol). They also love being outdoors. They fly kites, play rayuela, and take part in a variety of activities like fishing, golf, polo, rugby, basketball, scuba diving, etc. Rayuela is a Chilean game in which men launch tejos, which are metal disks, at a string that is stretched across a patch of damp ground. They also enjoy playing chueca, a traditional Indian game that is played like hockey, using a curved stick on a field (Country Reports). Famous Chilean athletes include, Marlene Ahrens (track and field), Ivan Zamorano (soccer), Carlos Caszelly (soccer), and Marcelo Rios (tennis) (Fun Facts About Chile). Other popular athletes in Chile include all members of their professional soccer team and Fernando Gonzalez, an incredible tennis player. (The Santiago Times)


People that reside in Chile enjoy entertainment in all forms. Most adults in Chile are employed year-round, and children go to school from fall to spring, and get summer off. However, in Chile, summer is from December to February because it is located in the southern hemisphere. When Chileans aren’t in school or working, though, they enjoy dancing! Dancing is one of the most popular pastimes in Chile. Because the beach is very close to almost all Chileans, they also enjoy going to the beach. When they go to the beach, Chileans play all kinds of water and beach sports, like beach volleyball and surfing (Spotlight on Chile).


Chile has produced many brilliant authors. The most famous and popular author in Chile’s history is undoubtedly Pablo Neruda. (Pablo
Isabel Allende, a popular author who is also a Chile-native.
Neruda) Some other famous authors from Chile include Isabel Allende, Ariel Dorfman, and Roberto Bolano. Isabel Allende is a very popular fiction and non-fiction author who was born in Chile. She has written two series, six novels, four non-fiction books, two short stories, and was even awarded a place in "Oprah's Book Club" as the Best Novel nominee. (Isabel Allende)

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