chile

Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast,...

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Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders 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. Chile also claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) of Antarctica, although all claims are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty.

The northern desert contains great mineral wealth, principally copper. The relatively small central area dominates in terms of population and agricultural resources, and is the cultural and political center from which Chile expanded in the late 19th century when it incorporated its northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands, and features a string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands.

Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, northern and central Chile was under Inca rule while independent Mapuche inhabited south-central Chile. Chile declared its independence from Spain on 12 February 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879–83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its current northern territory. It was not until the 1880s that the Mapuche were completely subjugated. In 1973, General Augusto Pinochet overthrew Chilean President Salvador Allende and instituted a 16-year long military dictatorship (1973–1990) that left more than 3,000 people dead or missing.

Today, Chile is one of South America's most stable and prosperous nations, a recognized middle power and an emerging economy. It leads Latin American nations in 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 development. In May 2010, Chile became the first South American nation to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Chile is a founding member of the United Nations, the Union of South American Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

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experiences (2)

have you spent time in chile? share your experiences

6

chile - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 11/14/13.

How much time have you spent in Chile?

In total, I have spent about a year in Chile. 3 months in 2006 and about 9 months this year (2013).

How old were you when you came to Chile? Where were you before?

The first time I came to Chile I was 19 years old. The second time, and for a more permanent move, I was 27 years old. Before my tourist/school trip in 2006 I was living in the state of Wyoming. Before my move this year I had been living in Bellingham, Washington.

What brought you to Chile? What made you choose Chile over any other place you could've gone?

I studied teaching at Western Washington University, my major was 'Language, Literacy, and Cultural Studies' with a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language. As a secondary motive, I came to Chile to teach English. My main motivation was to spend time in Chilean Patagonia. This area is one of the wildest and least populated regions in the world. I had been to the town I am now living in (Coyhaique) before and really liked the area.

Describe the town or city you live in in Chile and your impressions of it.

The town I live in (Coyhaique) is the larges town in the region of Aysén. It has about 50,000...

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4

chile - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/04/13.

I arrived in Santiago in Feb of 2011 and have been here for almost 3 years. I wanted an opportunity to travel and see different parts of South America. I was adopted from Paraguay and decided Chile was a good place to go as they are in need of English teachers and have a steady economy.

It was not what I expected. I thought it would be "dirtier" than it actually was. It's an incredibly large city that but is easy to get around. The metro is very user friendly and extremely clean. The people are OBSESSED with eating bread which I was surprised to find out because everyone is fairly thin.

I think there are 3 classes of people in Chile. The "Flaites" are the US version of "ghetto." They use poor language, dress "gangster," and the guys pluck their eyebrows. They are considered a lower class and not very well respected. On the other end are the "Cuico" people. They don't look like they are typical "Chileans" They look very European and have a lot of money. The people in the middle don't really fit in with Flaites of Cuicos and instead I guess would be considered the "middle class."

I've been to many other countries and here....if you are darker, you are considered "poor," and...

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demographics

population

17,067,369 (July 2012 est.)

ethnic groups

white and white-Amerindian 95.4%, Mapuche 4%, other indigenous groups 0.6% (2002 census)

languages

Spanish (official), Mapudungun, German, English

religions

Roman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 15.1%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.1%, other Christian 1%, other 4.6%, none 8.3% (2002 census)

age structure

0-14: 0-14 years: 21.4% (male 1,860,839/ female 1,784,269)

15-64: 15-64 years: 69.2% (male 5,860,877/ female 5,953,630)

65+: 65 years and over: 9.4% (male 669,559/ female 938,195) (2012 est.)

urbanization

89% of total population (2010)

life expectancy

78.1 years

obesity rate

21.9% (2003)

literacy rate

95.7%

average years of education

15 years

economics

cost of living

4/10 (medium-low)

economic overview

Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade and a reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy that have given it...

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Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade and a reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy that have given it the strongest sovereign bond rating in South America. Exports account for more than one-third of GDP, with commodities making up some three-quarters of total exports. Copper alone provides one-third of government revenue. During the early 1990s, Chile's reputation as a role model for economic reform was strengthened when the democratic government of Patricio AYLWIN - which took over from the military in 1990 - deepened the economic reform initiated by the military government. Since 1999, growth has averaged 4% per year. Chile deepened its longstanding commitment to trade liberalization with the signing of a free trade agreement with the US, which took effect on 1 January 2004. Chile claims to have more bilateral or regional trade agreements than any other country. It has 59 such agreements (not all of them full free trade agreements), including with the European Union, Mercosur, China, India, South Korea, and Mexico. Over the past seven years, foreign direct investment inflows have quadrupled to some $15 billion in 2010, but foreign direct investment had dropped to about $7 billion in 2009 in the face of diminished investment throughout the world. The Chilean government conducts a rule-based countercyclical fiscal policy, accumulating surpluses in sovereign wealth funds during periods of high copper prices and economic growth, and allowing deficit spending only during periods of low copper prices and growth. As of November 2011, those sovereign wealth funds - kept mostly outside the country and separate from Central Bank reserves - amounted to more than $18 billion. Chile used this fund to finance fiscal stimulus packages during the 2009 economic downturn. In December 2009, the OECD invited Chile to become a full member, after a two year period of compliance with organization mandates, and in May 2010 Chile signed the OECD Convention, becoming the first South American country to join the OECD. The economy started to show signs of a rebound in the fourth quarter of 2009, and GDP grew 5.1% in 2010 and 6.5% in 2011. Chile achieved this growth despite the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck in February 2010, which was one of the top 10 strongest earthquakes on record. The earthquake and subsequent tsunamis it generated caused considerable damage near the epicenter, located about 70 miles from Concepcion - and about 200 miles southwest of Santiago.

major industries

copper, lithium, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles

copper, lithium, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles

gdp per capita

$17,400 (2011 est.)

gdp growth rate

5.9% (2011 est.)

gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 3.5% industry: 37.3% services: 59% (2011 est.)

unemployment rate

6.6% (2011 est.)

population below poverty line

15.1% (2009 est.)

gini index

52.1 (2009) country comparison to the world: 15 57.1 (2000)