Chile

PEOPLE AND CULTURE

Carlos Ibáñez del Campo click on the image to enlarge
The population of Chile is made up of Mestizos, persons of mixed Spanish and Native American ancestry, who make up for 93 percent of the current population. Only 3 percent consists of pure Native American, mainly Araucanians who are concentrated in the southern region; and the other 2 percent of the population is made up of unmixed European race. Most of the population lives in urban centers, and more than one-third of the people live in the capital city of Santiago. Communities both in the south and in the northern desert are generally isolated and separated by vast, virtually unpopulated stretches.

Augusto Pinochet click on the image to enlarge
The country of Chile has two lively and contrasting cultures: the cosmopolitan culture of the affluent urban population, and the popular culture of the peasants, which is mainly Spanish but contains traces of Araucanian heritage. The culture of peasants is heavily reflected in their music and dance. The country also has a flourishing literary tradition and has produced two Nobel Prize winners in literature, Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda, both poets.


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