Useful Notes: Chile
"Spain foresaw the need. He acquired the necessary clay through totally legitimate means. This clay is named "The End of the World" in local languages. But in frozen wastelands far to the South, Spain did not find what he sought. Instead, Spain found the future colony's fate in desert and sea. He knew that his son would one day achieve his destiny - not today, but in hundreds of years he will know why he was created:Chile is a very long and thin country in South America. Despite what some people think, Chile is not named after the Chili pepper, nor vice-versa. Local tradition says the name "Chile" comes from the Aymara word "End of the World" or from the Quechua word "Cold place", both being very suitable definitions for the former Inca province. Statistically, it has one of the best life qualities and economic developments in Latin Americanote , but also has a big problem with economic inequality and poverty. Chile stretches from the Atacama desert to the Patagonia stopping just before Antarctica (although they do have a claim over a portion of the Antarctica, to the point they have one of the few Civilian settlement there, Villa las Estrellas), and also has two islands in the Pacific, the Juan Fernandez Island and Easter Island or Rapa Nui, which is well known for the big rock heads called Moai that surround the island. Ironically not too many people outside of Chile know is part of the country. Before the Spanish arrival, Chile was part of the Qullasuyu, the southern part of the Inca Empire. The central and southern parts of the territory was controlled by the Mapuche tribes, who are known for successfully repeling both Inca and Spanish invaders. The southern area, namely the Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, were populated by the Patagones, a group of different tribes that were mistaken for giants by the Europeans. When the Spaniards came to America in the 15th century, Chile was the last place they visited, because to reach it, they needed to cross the Atacama Desert, which is fifty times drier than the Death Valley, and for a long time Chile was known as a Spaniard´s grave. When they arrived, a war lasting over 300 years began between the Spaniards and the natives, particularly the Mapuche tribes. During this period, Chile became a Spanish colony, obtaining independence in 1818 after a war of independence against the royalists led by people like Bernardo O' Higgins, Manuel Rodriguez and Jose Miguel Carrera. Do NOT ask who was the best of them. Bernardo O'Higgins led the country until he was forced to abdicate in 1823. Then came 5 years of what is currently called "Ensayos Constitucionales" (Constitutional Attempts/Try-outs), which includes governments that lasted six, five, and even three days. After that, and guided by Diego Portales Palazuelos, Chile's governance stabilized. Between 1879-1883, it fought and defeated Peru and Bolivia in the Warofthe Pacific, conquering the Litoral from Bolivia and landlocking that country (to Bolivia's continuing dismay/fury). This period of (relative) stability would last until the civil war of 1891, which gave power to the Parliament instead, until the arrival of Arturo Alessandri — the following governments would go for the presidential route, but in many different ways... In 1973, the military under General Augusto Pinochet (supported by the United States) performed a coup d'etat against the Socialist government of Salvador Allende. Pinochet's dictatorship lasted until 1989, when a national plebiscite was held to determine whether or not the military government should remain in power. If you happen to be among Chileans, it is usually not wise bring up the topic. Seriously. It may sound weird but Pinochet still has many supporters, so be careful what you say. Since then the country has been growing; most politics focused in trade and economic development, with some ideas to depolitize the country, maybe in an attempt to unite chileans or to forget the old memory of the dictatorship. While a number of chileans support the idea, the rest aren't so happy about the whole deal. Currently the country is being led by Michelle Bachelet from the Socialist Party, who is known for her progressive ways, but being disliked due to her perceived populism. Sebastián Piñera, the first right-wing President democratically elected since 1958, is also a very (in)famous public figure in Chile. Known for his frequent malapropism, an unbreakable record of faceplants, and the seemingly justified belief that he causes bad luck to people around him, he is considered among chileans as some kind of buffoon, even by his own supporters. Chile, like the rest of Latin America, is a multiethnic country, but due to the mixing and numerous immigrants that came from elsewhere, it's hard to keep track of ancestry and race, so most people if asked will answer with whatever group they might feel identified. This groups are:
To landlock Bolivia."
- Halfbloods or Mestizos: Descendants of white Europeans, Middle Easterns, and North Africans, mixed with the Amerindians from Chile. Mestizos make up the majority of the population, having characteristics from both groups.
- Whites or Caucasians: Like Mestizos, they descend from Spanish, French, Germans, Palestinians, Dutch, Syrians, Egyptians, or British. A number of them compose the chilean upper class.
- Amerindians: During the Inca rule, Chile was populated by multiple indigenous people. While not a majority, many chileans can be considered full-blooded Native Americans. Only a handful of them keep practicing their pre-hispanic traditions.
- Afro-descendientes: African slaves brought from West Africa, mainly Angola and the Congo, during the Colonial era. Most of their descendants live in the northern part of Chile. Since the 2000s, a new influx of africans has migrated from the Caribbean and Central Africa.
- Asians: The first Asians in Chile were defectors from Peru that fought for the Chilean side during the Saltpeter War. Since then, many Chinese, Koreans, Indians and Japanese have made Chile their new home.
- Polynesians: Most being pascuenses or rapa nui, they come from Easter Island. They have a small but well known community living in Mainland Chile.
See also:The Chilean flag
The flag's similarity with that of Texas is completely coincidental. The blue canton symbolizes both the sky and the Pacific Ocean, within which is a white five-pointed star, a guide of progress and honor. The white upper stripe symbolizes the snow-capped Andes, while the lower stripe is red with the blood of Chile's liberators.