“I finally felt myself lifted definitively away on the winds of adventure toward worlds I envisaged would be stranger than they were, into situations I imagined would be much more normal than they turned out to be.” Ernesto Che Guevara,
The most important thing that I have learned in Chile is that it is pronounced Chill Lee An which rhymes with Jillian not Chill Lay In as in Chilean sea bass. The most expensive fish in Chile is not sea bass.
Chile may derive its name from the indigenous Mapuche word chilli, which may mean “where the land ends.” The Spanish heard about “Chilli” from the Incas in Peru, who had failed to conquer the land inhabited by the Araucanians, of which the Mapuche were the most warlike group. The survivors of Diego de Almagro’s first Spanish expedition south from Peru in 1535-1537 called themselves “Men of Chile.”
The typical greeting is the one-cheek kiss, and it can get awkward if you go for the handshake and they go for your face.
The major religion in Chile is Roman Catholic.
This isn’t the Spanish you have been learning in class. Yes the words are more or less the same, but their vocab is a little different and some phrases have different connotations. They also speak very fast here and sometimes drop the “s”.
Chile remains the most competitive economy in Latin America, with a strong institutional set-up, low levels of corruption and an efficient government.
Chile is the longest country in the world from north to south at 2,647 miles (4,620 km) long and extends across 38 degrees of latitude. The Andes Mountain Range extends the entire length of the country north to south.
With over 100 wineries in the country, Chile is now the 5th largest exporter of wine in the world.
Chile’s national drink, Pisco, is a clear liquid similar to brandy. It is grown in Chile in the Elqui Valley and is commonly with soft drinks like Coca-Cola (Piscola) or ginger ale or vermouth. But the most common version is the Pisco sour where it is blended with lemon juice, sugar, ice, and beaten egg whites. The Peruvians made the Pisco sour famous, but the Chilean version tastes slightly different.
Even though Chile is internationally known for its succulent red wines and its devilish Pisco, Chile also has a strong and diverse beer culture! This is thanks to a strong influx of German immigrants from the late 1800s, who came to Chile to live in the South and brought their brewing traditions.
Chilean husbands and wives have different last names because women keep their maiden names. If they have the same last names, they are often considered brother and sister. Some of the people want to change that now.
Divorce in Chile was legalized only in 2005, and the country has one of the lowest divorce rates globally probably because it was only recently legalized.
Chile began to export salmon in 1984 and is now the world’s second largest exporter of salmon after Norway. Chile is also the largest exporter of fishmeal in the world.
In August 2010, the collapse of the San Jose mine in Chile caused the trapping of 33 miners 2000 feet below ground. The world watched as rigorous, safety-conscious efforts were made to successfully retrieve the affected miners. A small borehole was drilled by rescuers to provide food, liquids, lights, and send notes to and from the mine. All of the trapped miners were successfully rescued after almost 70 days. A few months before another Chilean mine collapsed on the workers without the same success.
Since 1967, it is mandatory to hang the Chilean flag in a proper condition from every public building. Failure to abide by the regulation can lead to fines of up to 40,000 pesos. The colors and symbols on the Chilean flag stand for: white – the snow of the Andes Mountains; blue – the sky and the Pacific Ocean; the star – guidance and progress; red – the blood spilled in the fight for independence.