Flag of Chile

Torres del Paine National Park Chile








Country Chile             (Link to map of Chile)
Continent South America
Capital Santiago – 1/3 of the population live there
Population 17.62 million (2013)
Language Spanish
Religion Christianity (Catholic 55% – Protestant or Evangelical 13%)

A multi-ethnic society with  people of European and Indian ancestry

The indigenous people are the Mapuche

Terrain It is the longest country in the world  with 2647 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline on the west and the Andes mountains on the east

Huge variation in climate ranges from Atacama, the world’s driest desert in the north, through a Mediterranean climate in the center to a snow-prone Alpine climate in the south with glaciers, fjords and lakes

The Andes have more than 2000 active volcanos.  Nevada Ojos del Salado is the world’s highest volcano

The Patagonia is vast, remote, extremely diverse and wild

The alerce tree is noted for longevity – over 4000 years old

Easter Island noted for its 867 Moais – sculptures of volcanic rock

Many observatories are in Norte Grande as the air is so clear with 300 clear nights a year

Sports Football is the most popular – –  tennis is the most successful – – rodeo is the national sport
Animals The pudu is a tiny deer unique to Chile.

Penguins are found in several areas from north to south.

Most native animals are mammals – llamas, alpacas, vicuna, deer, boars, emus, armadillos, porcupines and fox

Facts of Interest Chile is one of SA’s most stable and prosperous nations with minimal coups except for the 17 year rule of General Pinochet whose 1973 coup that ousted the elected Marxist Salvado Alloende, was one the bloodiest.  His dictatorship lasted until 1990

Family is very important. Women keep their maiden names and the divorce rate is one of the lowest in the world

Chile is the 5th largest exporter of wine, the 2nd largest exporter of salmon and the largest exporter of fishmeal in the world

Chile has the largest reserves of copper (1/4 of global supply) and the 2nd largest reserve of lithium

Chile has a government-supported UFO research organization

The national drink is Pisco, a clear liquid similar to brandy

Concerns The current “red tide” environmental crisis in the fishing industry

Some boundary disputes with Chile, Peru and Bolivia

Money laundering – Chile is a significant consumer of cocaine

Mission PCUSA started in 1845 with missionary David Trumbell. Obstacle to church growth was strong link between the Roman CC and the state.  The Presbyterian Church was founded in 1868 – the first Protestant church in Chile.  The Alliance missionaries work with orphans, broken families, youth, and projects to improve living conditions.