Chile has a really interesting history but I’ll start with Allende. Salvador Allende was the democratically elected Marxist leader of Chile. The USA helped with a military coupe that violently took over government and put it in the hands of Augusto Pinochet. This isn’t a conspiracy theory. This happened and all the evidence is somewhere out there. Pinochet went about mass executions and filling up his concentration camps.
Here’s the interesting thing: Chilean economy kicked up after the military take over. The right wing, pro-business government of Pinochet kicked off the economy so there is, to this day, a debate over wether the killing of Allende was good or bad for the country. The leftists riot in the streets on the day of his murder but the Pinochet supports still stand on the streets in solidarity with their former leader.
If you’re visiting during these times, don’t go to the Plaza de Armas in Santiago during this time. Just go to the beach and wait it out. People are smarter near the coast.
Chile is doing great economically these days. It may be one of the best places in the world to go and build a farm. They have strong property laws, they have lenient immigration legislation and it’s essentially like a huge, empty California.
It’s about twice the size of Montana, but it is the longest country in the world. It would stretch from Norway to Nigeria. We’re talking about 760,000 sq km
Cerro Chirripo – 3,810 meters
About 17 million people live in Chile (about twice the population of New York City)
Special notes to know before you travel:
- Buena Onda – This is a Chilean phrase that means, “all good.” It has, of course, much deeper connotations meaning, good life and that sort of thing
- Chilean spanish is probably the most difficult spanish to understand along with Mexico, Argentina and Spain
- Visit Torres Del Paine if you get a chance. It’s world class.
- Learn about Pablo Neruda and visit his home near Pio Nono in Santiago or Isla Negra
Stories of Adventure Living in Chile:
- Gotta write more about this place. It’s fantastic.