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www.ilovechile.cl - Universidad Mayor
Media | Culture | Economics | News |
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Edition 15: September 2011
Price $1.000
Promoting English in Chile, Promoting Chile in English.
Condorito:
Icon of the
Chilean Spirit
www.ilovechile.cl
03
SEPTEMBER 2011 / TABLE OF CONTENTS
STAFF
Publisher & CEO
Daniel Brewington
Editor In Chief
Julie Gibson
Managing Editor
Kelsey Bennett
Copy Editor
Sharon Ewing
Travel Editor
Jonathan Franklin
Chief Strategy Officer
Pamela Lagos
Corporate & Special Projects
Shonika Proctor
Sales & Marketing
Steve Halsey
Online Editor
Kayla Young
News Desk
Bárbara Hermosilla
Contributors
Shonika Proctor
Harper Bridgers
Pablo Retamal
Ian Gilbert
Marcelle Dubruel
Ben Angel
Pepe Rawlinson
Alexis Psarras
Jonathan Franklin
Andrea Cibotti
Nick Levine
Laura Seelau
Ryan Seelau
Kelsey Bennett
Monica Gilbert-Saez
David Wilson
Pamela Villablanca
Mamiko Ito
Colin Bennett
David Wilson
Letter From
the Editor
As we are about to celebrate Chile’s 201st birthday amid a
myriad of social unrest, it’s easy to jump on the global bandwagon and say that everything is going wrong. The media thrives
on bad news. They report on wars, crimes, famines, recessions,
diseases and disasters all the time. Such news, they say, sells. But
in reality Chile is doing amazingly well. We are enjoying the
lowest unemployment in years and we seem to have completely
missed the global financial crisis that is griping the rest of the
world. Chile has so much to be thankful for on this Dieciocho.
So how do we stay focused on the positive when we are
constantly surrounded by negative images and ideas from the
media? Many of our family and friends may be negative because
of concerns over their careers, health, relationships or the world
in general. From any of these angles we may be bombarded
with doom and gloom. Remember that you are responsible for
creating your own outlook on life; even if other people tend to
be negative, you can choose to be happy and positive. You can
make the conscious choice to focus only on the aspects of society
and your life that make you feel positive.
Surround yourself with friends who have a positive outlook. Avoid spending time with friends and colleagues who are
downers, as their negativity can rub off on you. Spend more
time with people who are happy, easy-going and enjoy focusing
on the positive things in life. Set time aside for yourself each day
to engage in an activity that is healthy and fun. When you give
to yourself, it will help your overall attitude and perspective.
At least for one day
Chileans and foreigners
alike can set aside the
problems plaguing the
country and the world and
focus only on what Chile
has accomplished over the
last 201 years. No doubt
we have a lot to celebrate!
Felices Fiestas!
Finally, be thankful for your situation in life, realizing that we
are truly blessed just to be here. Life is such a special gift! People
with a strong sense of gratitude, love and appreciation don’t necessarily have more than others; they simply recognize and see
more beauty in their lives. If you are grateful, you will see the
world differently. You will see that there are always good things
behind everything that happens and you will realize that your life
is wonderful, and you will be full of joy.
At least for one day Chileans and foreigners alike can set
aside the problems plaguing the country and the world and focus
only on what Chile has accomplished over the last 201 years. No
doubt we have a lot to celebrate! Felices Fiestas!
Sincerely,
Julie Gibson
Editor
Photographers
Gardner Hamilton
Daniel Brewington
Lorenzo Moscia
Rodrigo Unda
Felipe Burgos
Design
Alfonso Gálvez
Translations
Mary Tapia
Interns
Katie Bolin
Avery Cropp
The I Love Chile Office is located on Loreto 6,
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Cover IMAGE: Courtesy Pie Grande.
Table of Contents
Page 3
Page 4 - 5
Page 6 - 7
Page 8 - 9
Page 10 - 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15 - 18
Page 19
Page 20 - 21
Page 22 - 23
Page 23
Page 24 - 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Letter of Editor / Advertiser Profile
News Round Up
Student Protests Rock Santiago
The 21
Quantifying las Fiestas Patrias
Chile Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Indigenous Rights
La Cueca: A Timeless Chilean Tradition
Patriotic Parties
Saucepans, Google and Teachers
Colegio Colonial de Pirque: The School that Love Built
Condorito: Icon of the Chilean Spirit
What are we scared of?
Aviso Museo EFM
Battles, Babies and the Fight for Chilean Independence
Spring Detox
Why The Dieciocho is Go Green Time!
Secrets of the Andes
Just What is Chicha Anyways?
Abundant Women are Empowered Women
ILC Recommends
Follow feature column ‘My Two Cents’, opinions about Chile every week on www.ilovechile.cl
04
NEWS / SEPTEMBER 2011
News round-up
By Andrea Cibotti
Photo: Rodrigo Unda
Chilean president proposes
bill to legalize gay unions
The historic day came quietly announced, getting
little coverage by the local press, undoubtedly overshadowed by the Chilean education crisis, which has
dominated the Chilean media for the last few months.
On August 9, Chile’s conservative president Sebastian Piñera proposed a legislation that will recognize
civil unions for heterosexual and same-sex couples.
The proposal was signed and sent to Congress, hoping to give respect, dignity and similar marriage
rights to all those couples who choose to live together
but not marry. Piñera’s announcement, if approved,
will tackle the social loop whole that affects more
than two million people in Chile living together with
no legal recognition, placing “opposite-sex and samesex couples on the same footing, because in both cases
it is possible to develop love, affection and respect,” as
stated by the announcement. If congress accepts the
legislation as written, couples will have the opportunity to sign agreements of life partnership before civil
registry and receive benefits of inheritances, social
welfare and health care.
The news strikes mostly considering Chile is a predominantly Catholic country, and its current government a conservative one. Nevertheless, this move
from the government echoes the necessities of a new
and changing Chilean society, more open and tolerant, more organized and outspoken, one that a few
months ago marched and gathered a massive turnout
to support equal rights for everyone, in spite of sexual
orientation.
By presenting this bill, President Piñera will face opposition not from the outside of his government, but
from the inside. Leaders of the two majority parties
from the government, Carlos Larrain from the Renovation National and Juan Antonio Colona of the Independent Democratic Union boycotted Piñera’s ceremony that announced the bill and have stated that
they will vote against it. Piñera stressed that the new
legislation will not change the concept of marriage,
which will remain solely between a man and a woman, but its adoption would mark an important step
for gay rights in Latin America, where only a handful of countries recognize civil unions. Organizations
supporting sexual diversity rights say it’s a step in the
right direction towards equality and human dignity;
a legal recognition from the state and society of love
and freedom of expression that will contribute to the
happiness of over two million Chileans.
Photo: ILC
Health care tax in
Chile eliminated
for retirees
Ten days after a bill eliminating the health care tax for retirees was passed by
the senate, President Sebastián Piñera signed the bill into law. The president
thanked the Senate for almost unanimously approving this initiative. The long
awaited bill for many senior citizens came as a campaign promise and was one of
the signature goals of this administration. The law, according to the government,
will benefit mainly those who receive help from Pilar Solidario, a pension group
with the goal of preventing poverty in the older members of society. All those
pensioners that receive CLP$255,000 or less each month will benefit from this
tax cut. This aims to the 60 percent of Chilean seniors who are most vulnerable in
society. For those retirees that receive a pension between $255,000 and $286,000
there will be a health tax deduction of 7 to 5 percent. President Piñera states that
this doesn’t mean that their health plans are going to deteriorate, on the contrary,
the Chilean state will make that contribution for them.
This law comes to fill the wishes of all the senior citizens of this country, many
whom receive extremely low pensions, who have been demanding this cut for
decades. The government has estimated that this new law will help over 700,000
people in Chile. It will go into effect in November.
Follow the life of countryside ‘Life in the Sexta’ on www.ilovechile.cl
SEPTEMBER 2011 / NEWS
05
Photo: Courtesy FECH
Photo: Courtesy FECH
Two days of National Strike
Around 80 unions across Chile, led by the
Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT), went
on an unprecedented 2 days national strike on
August 24 and 25 throughout Chile. Public sector workers were called to protest to demand a
new labor code, various social reforms regarding health and pensions and a reconsideration
of the economic model. While Chile’s economy
grows at an impressive 6 percent, it is one of the
countries with more unequal social distribution
in the world, according to the OECD.
Chile’s main workers union federation, the
CUT, said the strike was a success, while the
government stressed that most workers ignored
the strike call. According to the Central Workers Union, at least 600,000 people participated
in the nation wide strike.
The government reported that 99 percent of
people who could’ve gone on strike showed up
for work on Wednesday while only 90 percent
showed up on Thursday, according to Minister
of Labor Evelyn Matthei. The protests were
relatively peaceful though hooded protesters
at times turned violent. The peaceful protesters
did help the carabineros, or local police, prevent
the hooded protestors from turning the demonstration violent. Violence was more prevalent during the nighttime hours. Banks, schools,
churches and grocery stores were damaged and
looted by hooded protestors during both days of
the strike. Sub-secretary of the Interior, Rodrigo Ubilla, called the night of Wednesday 24 “a
night of violence,” when 71 were detained in the
Metropolitan Region and 37 other regions; six
carabineros were injured and 285 Transantiago
buses were damaged, but the most tragic event
of the violent clashes was the death of a 16 year
old boy. Five Chilean officers where dismissed
after investigation proved that the bullet that
killed teenager came from a police weapon.
Minister Secretary General of the government, Andrés Chadwick, praised the peaceful protesters, but condemned the incidents of
violence that occurred in Santiago and the rest
of the country on the two-day strike. He also
stated that the national strike was not necessary,
mainly because it showed that its main demonstrators were students not workers.
06
NEWS / SEPTEMBER 2011
By Nick Levine
C
Student
Protests
Rock
Santiago
hile was recently rocked by the threemonth student conflict and the rising intensity of the protests culminated in the
declaration of a two-day national strike by
the country’s Central Workers Union. The situation is
unusual here, one not seen since before the return to
democracy over 20 years ago. Many people have wondered why it is happening at all, given the fact that the
macroeconomic situation and employment numbers
are the best they have been in over a decade. On the
one hand, after two decades of hard work to increase
the coverage of education and to improve the salaries
of teachers, among other measures, the country is now
faced with its biggest challenge in education: to make
a significant leap in terms of the quality of the education it provides to those sectors unable to pay for their
children’s schooling. There is a general sense that neither the current government nor its predecessors have
For all of us who love Chile, live here and try and understand our new
had the political will to see the matter in a strategic
home, the death of Felipe Camiroaga was a moment to reflect and
light and that the protests are merely the symptoms of
appreciate that even in 2011, we live in a nation that can pull together
a system that cannot wait any longer.
like a single family.
On the other hand, the latest polls confirm that
neither the government nor the opposition can rise to
the occasion. The former has reacted to the problem
Photo: Courtesy FECH
both too late and superficially. Its renowned communications problems have not been of much help either,
with ministers and legislators speaking without coordinating the details among themselves.
For its part, the opposition, Concertación, continues adrift without either a specific direction or leadership. Polls show scant support for the coalition. Its
attempts to support protest actions and the national
strike ring hollow and look opportunistic. Today’s protestors do not stick to political banners as in the past,
so this approach is not likely to win over supporters.
Meanwhile, the student movement is to be congratulated for bringing the issue of education to the
top of public priorities after decades of being relegated far behind things like security, employment and
health. However, and perhaps this is where experience
or the lack thereof comes into play, the students must
also be aware of how far to take things and when to
take an offer and leave the rest of their demands for a
later round in the fight.
As students begin to tire, the movement will inevitably lose force. At some point its leaders must decide
whether the initial momentum can be sustained. Remember: there are municipal elections next year and
Photo: Courtesy
Camila Vallejo is the iconic
FECH
presidential and congressional elections in 2013. If figure and leader behind the
there is no solution this year, the cause may be hijacked student movement.
Photo: Courtesy FECH
Students get crea
tive with expressin
g their
message.
Find out about environmental issues & wildlife in Chile: every Tuesday by Carolina Lesseigneur on www.ilovechile.cl
Photo: Courtesy FECH
SEPTEMBER 2011 / NEWS
07
Photo: Presidencia
President meets with
student leaders to
discuss solutions.
by political forces seeking to gain the upper hand in the
vote. Students who lose their year of schooling will begin
questioning their leaders.
There is no shame in taking an imperfect deal if the
time is right. There is a local saying among lawyers: “better
a bad deal than a good lawsuit.” The government’s latest
offer is far from perfect, but the time is ripe for students
to be able to have an influence on improving it before the
political scenario changes. Already the country’s students
have managed to get concessions never before dreamed
of: the government has offered to reduce the interest on
student loans from 5.7 percent to 2 percent and increase
the universe of potential beneficiaries of student scholarships by 75 percent with coverage for the 60 percent lowest income brackets in the country, overdue debts will be
pardoned, it will take control of underperforming schools
away from municipalities, a constitutional reform will be
passed to oversee educational quality and the prohibition
against for-profit higher education will be enforced.
This is just the beginning. Critics are clearly right
when they say that the proposed solutions are not enough.
Now is the time to work together to improve these solutions and pick up pending issues as they come with all
sides showing flexibility. This goes equally for the government as well as for the opposition and the student movement. It would also reflect the tradition of consensus that
has marked Chilean politics in recent. • ILC
Chilean Political Comic View
By David Wilson
Follow ‘Pepe’s Chile’, insightful advise to life in Chile, every Monday at www.ilovechile.cl
08
NEWS / SEPTEMBER 2011
Chile Mourns
Its
Heroes
Plane Crash Off
Robinson Crusoe Islands
Takes the Lives of 21
By Jonathan Franklin
C
hile continues to mourn the 21 passengers
and crew of a small plane that plummeted
into the ocean last week, taking the lives of all
aboard and leaving a gaping hole in TVN—the state
run television station. Felipe Camiroaga, 44, a beloved
fixture of Chilean television and most recently the
host of “Buenos Dias A Todos” was killed in the crash
along with his crew of four colleagues. Camiroaga, known as a comic, actor and host, had
a loyal following of millions, many of whom had been
fans for over two decades. His sudden death ripped
away the nation’s most charismatic personality and led
to an outpouring of solidarity. Thousands of Chileans
flocked to the offices of TVN in Bellavista where impromptu shrines were built, religious ceremonies were
enacted and stunned Chileans gathered to mourn a
figure they adored.
Also killed in the crash was an entire team from
Desafio Levantemos Chile, a non-profit led by Felipe Cubillos, a sailor, explorer and visionary, who had
dedicated the better part of two years rebuilding Chile
after the devastating February 2010 earthquake. Cubillos and Camiroaga were headed to the island in an
effort to promote new schools and new infrastructure
after a massive tsunami wiped out most of the coast,
killing 16 people and shattering the island’s tourist
industry.
I have lived in Chile since 1995 and never have
I seen such a national mourning. Camiroaga was the
closest thing Chile had to a Royal Prince. As a handsome and single man, Camiroaga was more than just
a sex symbol, he was Chile’s Prince Felipe, a charming man who took the time to address fans, work for
NGOs, support social causes (including the students)
and avoid the backstabbing madness that is so endemic in the Chilean television/celebrity world. Cubillos was a rare example of a wealthy businessman who put aside his personal interests and found
joy and satisfaction in the most simple of pleasures—
building a school, sailing on his beloved boats and
coordinating volunteers to rebuild homes along the
central Chilean coast, so destroyed by the earthquake.
The full cause of the crash may never be known
as there were no survivors, no witnesses and no black
box. Earlier flights that same day reported dangerous
cross winds near the runway and even on a good day,
the airstrip at Juan Fernandez Island is so dangerous
that pilots call the plateau strip “the Aircraft Carrier”
because it is narrow and has sharp drop-offs at both
the beginning and the end.
On my one and only trip to the island, I felt the
dangers firsthand. Flying in a small Cessna from Tobalaba airport, my heart tightened as banks of clouds
swallowed up the plane and bounced us like a child’s
toy inside a washing machine. The plane dropped
into free falls that would make any amusement park
operator jealous—hundreds of feet (or so it seemed)
into invisible air pockets. Would the wings rip off ?
Would we nose dive into the ocean? Never in my 30-
For all of us who love Chile, live here and try and understand our new
home, the death of Felipe Camiroaga was a moment to reflect and
appreciate that even in 2011, we live in a nation that can pull together
like a single family.
Photo: Courtesy Desafío Levantemos Chile
Felipe Cubillos and
Sebastián Correa
in a previous trip to
the island.
Photo: Amanda Saviñon - ILC
Felipe Camiroaga of Buenos Dias a Todos adorned
the cover of ILC newspaper in an exclusive interview
earlier this year.
plus years of flying have I felt so vulnerable and terrified. The flight is approximately three hours from the
coast and even if I did not have six daughters to take
care of—never again. Camiroaga and Cubillos and the
other passengers all knew of the dangers—they had
flown repeatedly to the island, bringing hope, experts
and attention to the difficult task of rebuilding a remote, nearly inaccessible island. Adding to the tragedy was the presence of two devoted employees of the Chilean Ministry of Culture,
also on a mission to help artist islanders. In a small
way the plane crash highlights the often overlooked
solidarity that so marks Chile. While it is easy to criticize Chileans for being plagued by jealousies, envy
and lack of self-confidence, there are many signs that
the Chile of today has begun to appreciate the benefits
of altruism. When I first began living in Chile in the
late 1980s, I used to joke that altruism was not in the
Chilean dictionary. Today, I am confident that it has
arrived and will be here forever. Where else do you see a policeman helping motorists change a tire? Think that happens in Boston?
Yeah, right. Whether it is untied shoelaces, a child
who has slipped or a blind man trying to negotiate a
busy Santiago street, the ordinary Chilean steps up to
help in seconds. At first I found this off-putting. Being a bit staid from Boston, I was unnerved by what
seemed like a brash intrusion of privacy. Only later,
Follow what is happening to the human rights in Chile: every Monday by US attorneys Ryan & Laura Seelau on www.ilovechile.cl
09
SEPTEMBER 2011 / NEWS
Photos: Courtesy FACH
The Chilean
Government and
Military leads the
rescue efforts.
The death of Camiroaga was
Chile’s “Princess Di” moment.
years later, have I learned to appreciate this
sense of community.
Before the plane crash I had virtually
no understanding of Felipe Camiroaga. I
rather religiously avoid TV and, apart from
nuggets here and there, had no sense of
the genuine love that Chileans felt for this
broad-smiling giant. But in the 24 hours
after the crash, I was like a Londoner after
the death of Princess Diane. I was glued
to the screen. Thousands of Chileans via
email, twitter, Facebook, expressed their
sorrow and gratitude to a single man.
When he was alive, it was easy to dismiss
Camiroaga as a superficial, albeit extraordinarily talented television host. Only
after his death did I come to appreciate
the way in which he made life better for
so many thousands of Chileans every day.
His following was so intense that psychologists are now worried that his disappearance has left such a gaping hole in the
Chilean family that it will cause depression in more than a few of his fans. Usually I would read that last sentence and
consider it trite and dumb. Depressed
because a television host is gone? But for
all of us who love Chile, live here and try
and understand our new home, the death of Felipe
Camiroaga was a moment to reflect and appreciate
that even in 2011, we live in a nation that can pull
together like a single family.
For me, the death of Camiroaga was Chile’s “Princess Di” moment. A national shock and sadness as a
gifted and generous public figure was suddenly swept
from the stage. Other figures will fill the void, but we
can all pay homage to this man and his example by
recognizing that even something as simple as confronting the daily grind with an extra dose of generosity and a smile can affect those around us far more
than we realize. • ILC
Religious
and Military
ceremonies in
honor of the 21.
Inject some Chilean rock aggression into your life. Join Sean Black on ‘Low Rent’ every Friday 8pm on www.ilovechile.cl/radio
Photo: Cocinarte - Anabella
10
ECONOMICS / SEPTEMBER 2011
Quantifying Las Fiestas Patrias
Or, at least, trying to...
“Anticuchos” is a popular
food served during Las
Fiestas Patrias.
By Alexis Psarras
›› What does September 18 mean to you? A difficult question to answer, and
The Traditions
One of the most resounding and
common answers given by Chileans to
the question “What does September
18 mean to you?” has been as a way of
spending quality time with family and
friends, and indulging in a bit of Chilean
culture, whether that be flying a kite, organising an asado (barbeque), watching
or participating in some traditional rodeos and cuecas (dances), playing games
like emboque (stick in a bottle) or simply
heading off down to the nearest fonda
(inn) for a good old knees-up. While national pride does occasionally come up
as an answer, it has not been a common
one.
The albeit unscientific study undertaken to gauge this subject found that
the overall sentiment was not really
of pride in being Chilean or in Chile’s
military past, but rather a celebration of
a country’s traditions-especially countryside traditions like the food, music,
dance, games and horsemanship. Other
common sentiments overheard included
the aguinaldo, or workers bonus from
employers; time off work in general and
traffic jams. So in this sense, it’s much
like any other public holiday.
an even more difficult one to quantify, but whether you’re Chilean or not it
The Forgotten People
While the majority of the population
celebrate the traditions of Chile in September, the original, indigenous populations of the land now called Chile (about
4.6 percent of the current population)
have a slightly different opinion of the
festivities that are worthy of note.
During the official bicentenary celebrations last year, some Mapuche orga-
probably means something. What does September 18 mean to the economy?
This is somewhat easier to answer, as statistics can help fill in the gaps and
provide some kind of overall picture. However, trying to quantify las fiestas
patrias is a tricky business, but at I Love Chile we thought we’d give it a go.
nizations were represented alongside the
Catholic Church and the Armed Forces.
But while some chose to join in with, for
example, the hoisting of the 60-meter
flag outside La Moneda, many chose not
to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the
birth of the Chilean state.
Much like the marking of Columbus Day every October 12, September
18 marks a point in history, which while
perhaps taken for granted in the Western
world, has a very different significance
for the Mapuche and other indigenous
groups, in Chile and beyond.
Many such groups consider las fiestas patrias an event that marks the
beginning of the loss of land, self-determination and general subjugation to
the Chilean state. As many Mapuche
organizations point out, the Pueblo Mapuche or Mapuche Nation has its own
flag, its own heroes and its own date of
independence on January 6 (commemorating the 1641 signing of the Treaty of
Quillin with Spain, which agreed the
border between the two nations at the
river Bío Bío).
Not all Mapuche individuals feel this
way, of course, and many do feel Chilean
and join in with the celebrations. Mapuches frequently celebrate alongside
the huincas, the Mapudungun name for
the non-Mapuche, on September 18 as a
way of building bridges between the two
cultures and keeping alive ancient arts of
dance and music.
In Temuco back in September 2005,
Emilio Lonkon told Teletrece News,
“Of course we [the Mapuches of local
Metrenco community] feel Chilean and
we want to join in [with the festivities].”
“It’s beautiful how the Mapuche and
huinca cultures unite. We are all patriots of the same nation,” said Gerardo
Huenul, the Machi (spiritual healer) of
another local community, the Trumpluo
Chico, to a group of reporters.
The State
Las fiestas patrias inevitably raise
questions about the role of the state as
well as of identity, ethnicity and what it
means to be Chilean. While the country’s traditions are celebrated more than
almost anything else on September 18,
these identities and the role of the state
are celebrated by different members of
society in different ways.
A 2009 UN report entitled “Interpreting Chilean Reality through National Statistics” argued that one of the
main purposes of the newly created national census in the 1830s was to convince every person of their own desire to
become Chilean with no distinction of
race or ethnicity. Las fiestas patrias were
an inevitable part of this. Throughout
the 20-century census questions were
phrased around nationality instead of
ethnicity in order to strengthen the
newly born nation-state and “as a way to
homogenize the population.”
Not until 1992 were three different
categories included for people who identified themselves as indigenous, then ex-
The albeit unscientific study undertaken to gauge this subject found that the overall
sentiment was not really of pride in being Chilean or in Chile’s military past, but rather a
celebration of a country’s traditions
Join Jimmy Jam for some reggae music every Saturday 2pm on www.ilovechile.cl/radio
11
SEPTEMBER 2011 / ECONOMICS
Photo: Archive ILC
Colorful
typical toys
are sell on the
streets.
“It’s beautiful how the
Mapuche and huinca
cultures unite. We are
all patriots of the same
nation,” said Gerardo
Huenul.
tended to eight categories in 2002.
Whether indigenous, European,
mestizo or immigrant, celebrations of
Independence Day in Chile is nothing
unique. Where perhaps it does differ to
a certain degree is that this sentiment is
enshrined in law. On September 18 and
19, as well as May 21, which commemorates the naval Battle of Iquique in 1879,
every public building in the country risks
being fined up to $40,000 pesos if it does
not fly the national flag in a prominent
place.
During the bicentenary celebrations
of last year, the government extended
this law beyond the traditional period to
include the flying of the flag on all public buildings during the entire month of
September. So whether you feel the desire to fly the flag or not, in some cases
there is literally no choice.
The Economics
September 18 clearly means different
things to different people. Whether it’s
national pride, tradition, happiness, indifference or even discontent, all remain
difficult to accurately convey. Luckily
there is one area that is slightly easier to
get a tangible grasp on, and that’s its economic impact.
Due to the large consumption of
meat and wine during las fiestas patrias,
it would be logical to conclude that sales
in carne y vino rise accordingly during
the month of September; and you’d be
right to think so.
Statistics from the National Chamber of Commerce (CNC) show that every year since 1999, September has been
the second biggest selling month of the
year for meat, after December. The only
anomaly is the September of 2008 when
meat sales were outdone not only in December but also in March, May, August
and October.
Wine is nearly as omnipresent as
meat in September. Figures from the
National Institute of Statistics show an
above average annual sale of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike) every
September since 2002. Again, figures are
outstripped only by those of December.
However, the supermarket sector as
a whole does not benefit significantly
from las fiestas patrias, according to the
restaurant sales continually dip in September as compared to July and August, and
then pick up considerably again in October and November, peaking in December.
In fact, overall nationwide sales statistics from the National Institute of
Statistics show that since 2002, only the
Septembers of 2005, 2009 and 2010 saw
an above average figure of overall sales,
across all sectors. Likewise, overall manufacturing across the country in September has been below the average every year
from 2002 to 2010.
This leads to the conclusion that September and its fiestas patrias are less of
a boon and more of a hindrance to the
Chilean economy. Statistically speaking,
the months of March and August are
usually better in terms of overall sales, and
those of October, November and December are the best of all.
So while official figures and statistics
prove that the sale of meat and drinks,
and to a lesser extent tobacco, rises in September, undoubtedly as a consequence of
las fiestas patrias, general merriment as
measured by spending patterns is not as
prevalent as we may think. Compared to
the other big holiday of the year, Christmas, economically speaking las fiestas patrias don’t come anywhere close.
However, happiness and enjoyment
cannot be truly gauged by official statistics, and September provides most Chileans and people living in Chile the opportunity to spend time with their family
and friends, enjoy some traditional food
and music and have a day or two off work.
Difficult to accurately quantify, yes, but
not too bad at all. • ILC
latest official statistics. Figures from the
CNC for September 2009 show that supermarkets across Chile witnessed a fall
in overall sales of 5 percent from August
to September. On the other hand, December saw a rise in equivalent sales of
30 percent.
While supermarkets usually profit
from las fiestas patrias (2009 was somewhat out of the ordinary), department
stores and shops selling clothes, furniture
and electrical goods see a fall in sales during the month of September. CNC statistics for the metropolis region dating
back to 1990 show that September was
the 4 or 5 worst months for sales for these
stores between 1990 and 1997, and from
1998 to 2009 it was the 3 worst performing month every single year.
While people spend their money on
meat and drink during September, figures
from the restaurant industry show that
they do so in order to enjoy the results
from the comfort of their own homes.
More statistics from the CNC show that
Photo: Presidencia
Fiestas Patrias is a celebration of a Chile’s traditions.
Join Steve to find out what is ‘hot’ in Chile right now, every Wednesday 6pm on www.ilovechile.cl/radio
Photo: Courtesy Programa Origenes
12
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE / SEPTEMBER 2011
Chile Supreme
Court Rules in Favor
of Indigenous Rights
By Laura Seelau & Ryan Seelau
Photo: Courtesy Programa Origenes
I
ndigenous consultation occupies a dominant place
in debates about indigenous rights in Chile. This
has been especially true since March, when the current government initiated a national consultation process with indigenous peoples. Consultation is a major
issue today—at times almost eclipsing long-standing
debates over land rights—because of International Labor Organization Convention No. 169 (ILO 169) and
its recognition of the right of indigenous peoples to be
consulted before the state adopts measures which might
affect them. Last month, Chile’s Supreme Court issued
an important decision related to indigenous consultation in a case that involved the Atacameño Community
of Toconao and the Antofagasta Regional Environmental Commission (COREMA-Antofagasta).
To understand the case’s significance, it is helpful
to understand a little bit about ILO Convention 169.
ILO 169 is an international treaty dealing specifically
with the rights of indigenous peoples that was drafted
in 1989. In 2008, the convention became an official part
of Chilean law and because it is an international human rights treaty, it actually has a higher legal status
than most other Chilean laws. In other words, the text
of ILO 169 will trump other laws that conflict with it.
ILO 169 touches on many issues, but one of its major achievements is recognizing rights that create opportunities for indigenous peoples to be involved in all
decisions that affect their lives. Together, these rights are
part of a bigger goal that ILO 169 attempts to achieve:
reversing hundreds of years of governments subjecting
indigenous peoples to policies created by outsiders with
the goal of assimilation and that often were not to their
benefit.
Thus, when Chile ratified Convention 169 in 2008,
it took a huge step towards improving the situation of
indigenous rights within its borders. But implementing
indigenous rights, particularly the right to consultation,
has been a struggle. Important questions about what
consultation means, including what government actions
will trigger it—that is, when does a government decision or action “affect indigenous peoples”—have been
Mamiña y Ollagüe are two communities that keep the
QUECHA culture in the north of Chile alive.
Photo: Courtesy Programa Origenes
Aymara’s women in the north of Chile.
Together, these rights are
part of a bigger goal that ILO
169 attempts to achieve:
reversing hundreds of years
of governments subjecting
indigenous peoples to policies
created by outsiders with the
goal of assimilation and that
often were not to their benefit.
More that 500,000
mapuche chileans
preserve their
original tongue:
Mapudungu.
difficult to answer. And that is why the recent Supreme
Court decision was an important one.
The case was one in which the Atacameño Community of Toconao, a community of approximately
800 people near San Pedro de Atacama, challenged
COREMA’s approval of an Actualización Plan Regulador (Updated Regulatory Plan) for the San Pedro
de Atacama borough because the affected Indigenous
peoples had not been consulted. Planes Reguladores are
essentially land-use and planning documents that local
governments throughout Chile develop periodically to
define which geographic areas are open to which types
of economic development activities and other uses. In
this case, the geographic area in question coincides with
the ancestral homeland of the Atacameño people, and
that means that under ILO 169 the right to consultation is particularly strong.
While the Supreme Court’s approach to consultation cases has not been particularly favorable for indigenous peoples in the past, in this case it was. In a
unanimous decision by the third chamber of the Supreme Court, the Atacameño Community of Toconao
prevailed. Citing both Chilean and international law related to indigenous rights, the Supreme Court accepted
the community’s arguments and ordered consultation
with indigenous communities to take place. The court
stated that ILO 169 did apply to the decision to approve the new Plan. As such, the court rejected the plan
(since it was passed illegally) and ordered COREMAAntofagasta to consult with all the indigenous communities affected before approving any new documents.
The Supreme Court’s decision could have strong
implications for indigenous communities throughout
Chile. Planning documents, like the one in this case, are
routinely developed and used in local governments of
every region. And so, this case opens the door for the
approximately one million indigenous people within the
country to participate more in the planning decisions
that will affect their lives and cultures. Thus, while it remains to be seen what the exact results of the decision
will be or the impact it will have in other regions, for the
moment, it appears that Chile’s court has taken a major
step towards making Indigenous rights a reality. • ILC
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13
SEPTEMBER 2011 / Feature
Photo: Courtesy Centro Cultural y Deportivo Peñalolén
La Cueca
A Timeless
Chilean Tradition
La Cueca tells the timeless story of a man in pursuit of a woman.
By Katie Bolin
T
he Independence Day celebration of September 18 means the
popular resurgence of the traditional Chilean song and dance called la
cueca.
Emerging in Chile around 1824,
la cueca is the only dance to have endured the many tumultuous years of
colonization to the present. As to where
the dance came from and its puzzling
origins, one can only guess at the influences. It’s believed to have evolved
from Spanish, Arab and African cultures. Seen as an important part of the
national history and culture of Chile, la
cueca was instated into law as the official national dance of Chile on September 18, 1979.
La cueca tells the timeless story of
a man in pursuit of a woman. Much
more than that, la cueca is viewed as a
glimpse into the everyday life of Chilean people. Cueca music and dance
have strong footholds across all facets
of Chilean society, from low cuecas
generally reserved for ordinary citizens
to high cuecas among the upper class.
What’s more surprising is that much
of the Chilean youth spanning all sorts
of sub-cultures know how to dance la
cueca, indicating that the cueca tradition is not just an obligatory national
symbol, but that it is continually passed
on through the generations.
The lyrics of cueca music don’t follow one general theme of pursuit, as
the story of the dance would lead one
to believe. Instead, the subject matter
is carved out of experiences taken from
daily life, ranging from ceremonious
celebrations and mourning to tales of
revolution and relationships:
Para qué me dijiste
Why did you tell me
que me querías
that you loved me
que sólo con la muerte
when only with death
me olvidarías.
you would forget me
Nicomedes Guzmán.
La sangre y la esperanza (1934)
These tales are normally sung, spoken, yelled or a mixture of them all
over a guitar, accordion, guitarrón and
percussion while people dance la cueca. The dance is described as a rooster
and hen type of dance, meaning that
the man plays the role of the courting
rooster and the woman takes on the role
of the shy hen.
The dance begins as the man,
dressed in a poncho, boots and hat,
first approaches the woman, dressed in
a traditional flowered dress and apron.
He offers her his arm as a proposal to
join him on the dance floor. When she
accepts, they briefly promenade around
the room until they come to face each
other. With traditional white handkerchiefs symbolizing feathers in hand, the
dance commences. The man and woman begin to dance together yet separately. The fact that they never touch
throughout the dance is overpowered
by the movements of their bodies and
strong connection through coy glances
and facial expressions. The first steps
of the dance are hesitant and short.
Both move their handkerchiefs with a
certain flow and ease as they continuously dance in half moons. The man
begins his pursuit of the woman, while
the woman begins her evasion of the
man. Stepping in half circles around
each other, the man closes in and begins to wrap his handkerchief around
the woman, all the while continually
refraining from touching her. He pulls
her closer to his side as she begins to
show a little interest. The woman approaches the man teasingly as she ever
so slightly lifts the left side of her skirt
and waves the white handkerchief in
her right hand. She once again evades
the man by fleeing, and the dance be-
gins again: man pursues woman, woman evades man. However, each time
they begin the dance again, the steps
involved become more and more complex. The dance finally ends with the
man’s arm around the woman and his
knee on the ground.
As it is such an integral part of
Chilean culture and tradition, be sure
to catch a glimpse of la cueca over the
September 18 Independence Day celebrations. No matter where you find
yourself over the national holiday, you
will not be far from witnessing the
nearly two-century-old music and
dance tradition. • ILC
News and information about Chile in ‘Chile Sauce’, Monday to Thursday from 10am on www.ilovechile.cl
14
PEPE’S CHILE / SEPTEMBER 2011
Patriotic Parties
By Pepe Rawlinson
Photo: Cocinarte - Anabella
T
he fiestas patrias (literally “patriotic parties”) are a time for
all Chileans to gather together
and celebrate their country, culture and
independence. September 18 is the focal point for celebrating everything
that is Chilean. In fact, the entire week
around this date turns into one big party
throughout the entire country.
Chileans celebrate their independence on the 18 of September, the date
in 1810 when they started down their
road to independence from Spain. Although they would have to fight for
eight more years to earn their total
freedom, Chile celebrates that day in
September with great fanfare. (Chile officially proclaimed independence from
Spain on February 12, 1818.)
The 18, or el dieciocho, as it is commonly called, is celebrated with a week
full of fiestas patrias. These celebrations
include parades, dances, drinking, eating
traditional foods, enjoying music and
flying flags. Chilean flags hang from
houses, stores, across streets and in every public place. You’ll know the 18 is
approaching because you’ll start to see
A classic: “Pebre”
and “Empanadas”
more and more flags everywhere.
Much of the fiestas patrias celebrations occur in ramadas, temporary, open
buildings with thatched roofs traditionally made from tree branches. Ramadas
feature a dance floor, music and tables.
Fondas, or refreshment stands,
offer a wide variety of Chilean
foods including empanadas,
anticuchos (shish kabobs),
chicha (an alcoholic drink) and
more. The ramadas and fondas
are decorated with Chilean flags
everywhere: table covers, streamers, banners, etc. These areas typically fill up with people during
the evenings of the week of
September 18 and are an annual tradition. Look for fondas
in your area. They are often found in
open, outdoor areas and take on the look
and feel of a fairgrounds or carnival.
The fiestas patrias also offer frequent
dance competitions. The national dance,
the cueca, is the most popular. Even if
there isn’t a competition, Chileans love
to dance and you’ll hear traditional cueca
music and see people dancing at many
fiestas patrias events.
September is also a great month to
catch a traditional Chilean rodeo. These
rodeos, held in their medialuna or halfmoon arenas, are common across the
country and showcase the traditional
Chilean huaso (cowboy). A typical event
at the rodeo has a pair of mounted men
trying to pin a cow or calf against the
wall of the arena with great precision.
September 19 is also a national
holiday. This Armed Forces Day, and
includes military and naval parades and
events celebrating Chile’s military victories. If you like parades, this day is for
you. A typical parade will include students marching, bands, Chilean huasos
on horseback, carabineros (police) and
military units. These large military parades are an impressive look at Chile’s
armed forces.
One of the great Chilean traditions
during the fiestas patrias and summer
months is the Chilean barbecue, called
an asado. The asado is more than just
cooking outside; it is a social event and
a key part of Chilean culture.
Part of the social experience is having the grill master tend to the grill
while drinking and talking with friends
and family. You won’t find gas grills at a
typical asado. The preferred method of
grilling is over coals or a wood fire.
So what would you eat at a Chilean
barbeque? You’ll enjoy: skewers—the
typical anticucho, or shish kabobs, with
beef pieces intermixed with sausage,
vegetables or other meats cooked
on a skewer; chorizo (spicy pork
sausage); choripan (chorizo
inside marraqueta bread);
chicken and steaks. These
main meat dishes
are often accompanied by Chilean
salad (with tomato, onion and
cilantro) and bread. During the fiestas
patrias, you’ll almost always experience
the trifecta of Chilean food: the anticucho, an empanada de pino (beef ), and
chicha.
The atmosphere is contagious. Even
if you are a foreigner in Chile, you can’t
help but be swept up in the Chilean spirit. Viva Chile! • ILC
Joe “Pepe” Rawlinson is the author of “The Gringo’s Culture Guide to Chile” and shares regular
insights into Chilean culture and travel on his blog: pepeschile.com
Follow feature column ‘My Two Cents’, opinions about Chile every week on www.ilovechile.cl
15
SEPTEMBER 2011 / LITTLE THINKERS
Welcome to Our Big
Little Thinkers Pages
The World’s Most Powerful Bit
of Equipment – Your Brain: Part Two
L
ast month I wrote about how we don’t
have just one brain, we have three—the
reptilian brain that evolved first, our
mammal brain that came along next (if
you can count millions of years as “coming along”) and finally our neo-cortex, the thinking cap that separates humans from dolphins, cats
and estate agents.
What I want to share with you this month is not
how the brain evolves, but how your brain evolves.
How we move from what we are born with to what
we end up with and how the power of your brain
is very much down to what you do with it.
But let’s start by thinking about telephones.
In the early days of phones, very few people
had them, which meant very few people were
connected to very few people. If two people had
a phone there were only two possible phone calls
that could be made: a to b and b to a. If three people had a phone they could call two people each,
but the number of potential phone call has risen
to six: a to b, b to a, a to c, c to a, b to c, c to b. This
is called an exponential increase. So, imagine now
with millions of people connected to telephone
lines what the number of potential phone calls is.
It’s a very big number indeed.
So it is with our brain cells, the building blocks
that make up our brain. Each one, like a telephone,
is capable of receiving and sending messages. It
has one route in for receiving, but hundreds of
thousands of routes out; connections to other
brain cells in order to send little pulses of electricity out and around our brain; pulses of electricity
that help us catch a ball, write an essay or think
about French fries.
With the vast number of brain cells we have—
thousands of millions—the exponential effect
means that, according to one estimate, there are
more connections in a single human brain than
there are atoms in the visible universe. Or, as one
writer put it, we all have “hundreds of trillions of
thinkable thoughts.”
Although some people have claimed we use only
ten percent of this capacity for thinking, this isn’t
actually true (and no one quite knows where the
neuro-myth came from). It is also untrue that our
talents are infinite. There is a limit to what we are
capable of doing but no-one knows where it is.
We use a lot of our brain a lot of the time. The key
here, though, is the extent to which we tap into our
brain’s capacity to grow connections, what’s called
plasticity. We make new connections by doing, feeling or thinking new thoughts. Every time we create new connections, like adding a new telephone
to the grid, we increase exponentially our ability to
do, feel and think even more. We literally grow our
brains.
So, my advice for a brain work-out to grow your
brain is to once a week watch a TV documentary
you wouldn’t normally watch (doesn’t matter if you
don’t understand it all), once a week flick through
a non-fiction book to learn some things you didn’t
know before (doesn’t matter if you don’t understand it all), once a week taste something you’ve never tasted before, hear
something you’ve never heard before,
see something and smell something
you’ve never seen or smelled before.
Stretch that brain in new ways and
it will never go back to its former
size (unless you stop learning
in which case you are faced
with what is called neural
pruning, but that’s for another day…)
So, enjoy this month’s
Little Thinkers and think
new thoughts, create new
connections and work out
that brain ‘til it hurts!
Best wishes Thinkers
Ian
Guide to Parents
and Teachers:
Teaching children what to think is not
enough these days. Knowledge has been
democratized and everyone has access to
it all of the time if they really want it. The
next great step is not just teaching children what to think but how to think. This
is what these Little Thinkers pages are all
about, allowing you the opportunity to
work with your children not to find out
what they know but what they think. And
the two are very different things.
Ian Gilbert
and Independent
Thinking
The man behind Little Thinkers and Independent
Thinking is Ian Gilbert, an educational innovator,
entrepreneur and award-winning author who has
worked for two decades helping schools bring
the best out of young people through improved
thinking, learning, motivation, creativity. He has
recently moved to Chile to introduce his work
across South America. For more information
please visit www.independentthinking.com or
e-mail us on [email protected]
Pull-Out
Follow the life of countryside ‘Life in the Sexta’ on www.ilovechile.cl
16
LITTLE THINKERS / SEPTEMBER 2011
Very Little Thinkers (8 years and under)
The Very odd one out
Which one is the odd one out (in your opinion)?
a.
b.
c.
A seal
A large wooly hat
A bee
Thunks ™
The answer is simple – it’s either yes or no…
a.
What color would a Zebra be if you took its stripes off?
b.
Does lined paper weigh more than blank paper?
c.
Is a computer clever?
Connexions
Highly creative people see the way everything is linked. See if
you can spot the links between the following (and remember,
there are no right answers):
a.
a.
b.
An iPod
A rainbow
A hot air balloon
Which would win?
Which means what?
This time there are right answers as you match the word
with its meaning:
a.
b.
c.
1.
2.
3.
Button
Fishy
Wonderful
Little disk for doing up clothes
Amazing
Suspicious
Oodles of Doodles
Turn these five triangles into five different types of birds:
Superhero or supervillain?
In a fight, which of the following pairs would come out on top
and why?
If you mixed the following together
would they be a superhero or
supervillain and what would their
special powers be?
What happens next?
a.
b.
c.
b.
c.
d.
An bull and a bulldozer
A seagull and a sea lion
A cueca dancer and a ballerina
Christopher Columbus
A bus driver
A school principal
Finish this short story with what you think would happen next:
Once upon a time there lived a very happy man who lived in a
very happy house and who had a very happy…
Medium-Sized Little Thinkers (8-12 years)
Have a go at all of the tasks in the Very Little Thinkers column but also here are some especially for you:
Mind the Gap
One-Minute Story
Here is a paragraph with some words missing for you to fill in. There
are no right answers, but the sentence has to make sense:
Now using these same items from the list make up a story that incl
all.
Thunks ™
Instead of us asking you a question, how about I give you some ans
let you tell me what the questions would be:
You know, the funny thing about__________ is the way the _____________
gets in the way of the ___________ every time you _______________. It really
hurts!
Here are some Thunks just for you. The answer is yes or no, but
getting to the answer isn’t as straightforward:
a.
b.
c.
If I lose my memory am I the same person?
If I acquire your memory who am I then?
If we borrow every single book from a library is it still a
library?
Twisted Wikis
Here are three biographies from Wikipedia that we’ve muddled up.
You have to work out which three celebrities we are talking about
here and also which “fact” we have simply made up:
Born in Chillán in 1778, this man was sent to Lima at the age of 15
and then later finished his studies in London (where there is a bust
commemorating the fact beside the Thames). According to Isabella
Allende’s book about this person’s exploits in helping to establish
Chile, empanadas were brought from Spain by this person and there
was a famous incident where a number of prisoners heads were cut
off and thrown at the advancing enemies who fled in terror. However,
later in life he was captured by the English and finally died, in
suspicious circumstances on the island of Saint Helena in the Atlantic
Ocean.
What comes next?
What is the missing fourth item in this random list and why?
a.
b.
c.
d.
A steering wheel
A rat
A champagne glass
?
If this is the answer what’s the question?
Q: ?
A: On top of the mountain
Q: ?
A: Three, but not in the summer
Q: ?
A: 38
Text Speak
What could the following entirely made-up-on-the-spot acronyms
a.
b.
c.
RTYU
HHFH3
TMH
Creative commons
What do the following random objects have in common?
a.
b.
c.
A watch
A shoe
The richest man in the world
8-Way Thinking
8-Way Thinking gets you to look at the world through eight differen
words, sights, sounds, people, feelings, actions, numbers and natur
8-Way Think where you come up with a question about the topic fo
of the eight angles on the following topics:
a.
b.
c.
Coca Cola
Horses
September 18
Find out about environmental issues & wildlife in Chile: every Tuesday by Carolina Lesseigneur on www.ilovechile.cl
17
SEPTEMBER 2011 / LITTLE THINKERS
Big Little Thinkers (12 -100 years)
You can do all the exercises I set for the Very Little Thinkers and for the Medium-Sized Little
Thinkers, and here are some just to stretch your older brains:
Thunks™
Yes or no, what do you think? Might even be yes and no…!
a.
a.
a.
Is it ever okay to cheat?
If I wrote a piece of music down but never played it, is it
music?
If I met you a year ago in a building that has now been
knocked down, could we ever meet in the same spot again?
Order, order!
Put the following in order of importance—no rights or wrongs
remember:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
Tables
Spiders
Wars
Sweet corn
Classrooms
Lighthouses
Twisted Historical Wikis
I’ve muddled up the online histories of three countries. Try
and untangle them and identify the one “fact” that I’ve just
made up:
The motto for this South American country is “Unity is
strength,” and there are an estimated 37 different languages
spoken within its borders. It was discovered by Marco Polo,
who was amazed at the country’s enormous power, great
wealth, complex social structure and the fact that cats were
thought of as gods. In fact, this country is home to one of the
world’s most famous statues, which has the body of a lion
and the face of a fish.
ludes them
swers and
Which means what?
This time there are right answers as you match these more
complicated words with their meanings:
Quick
Thinking
Sometimes you have to think both
creatively and quickly. See how quickly you
can do the following (and then try and beat
your friends and family):
1.
2.
stand for?
nt angles—
re. Do an
or each one
3.
4.
5.
Name four things with more than four
legs.
Identity what they all have in
common (apart from having more
than four legs).
Put them in order of importance.
Come up with four jobs that each
thing with more than four legs could
do.
Identify what film roles each of the
things with more than four legs could
take.
Remember, you can do the same exercise
again by simply changing the item in step
one…
a.
b.
c.
1.
2.
3.
Stodgy
Podgy
Chubby
Rather fat
Rather fat
Rather fatty
Which almost means what?
Match up the nearest synonym (that is to say a word that effectively
means the same as another word) for the following list. Again,
watch out for the trick.
a.
b.
c.
1.
2.
3.
Smashing
Terrible
Knock out
Great
Great
Awful
You can all give your brains a rest now and go back to Facebook! E-mail me at [email protected] if
you have any questions or want to share your answers with me. I may print my favorite answers in next month’s
Little Thinkers pages.
For more Thunks check out my “Little Book of Thunks” or go to www.thunks.co.uk
where you can add your own.
Follow ‘Pepe’s Chile’, insightful advise to life in Chile, every Monday at www.ilovechile.cl
18
LITTLE THINKERS / SEPTEMBER 2011
Saucepans, Google and
Teachers: A Question of
Quality in Education
By Ian Gilbert
A
t 10 p.m. one night we were disturbed by
the sound of a girl walking past our apartment loudly banging a spoon on a saucepan. Except that she wasn’t simply banging a spoon on a saucepan. She was demanding a
free, better education system using a style of demonstration, the cacerolazo, that hasn’t been seen on
the streets of Santiago since the vote to oust Pinochet and restore democracy.
When it comes to free education, I will leave the
politicians and the economists to sort that one out.
However, when it comes to the quality of education,
I can offer some pointers. And money has very little
to do with it.
A recent BBC online article mentioned private
schools that are alleged to deliver the ”best schooling in Latin America”. While a few do, and some
may, there are those that don’t. They take the parents’ money—and quite a bit of it, even by Latin
American standards—and then offer a meager fare
of chalk and talk lessons and a complete absence
of accountability when faced with the accusation:
“But my children aren’t learning anything.”
The teacher’s job has changed since it first surfaced centuries ago. These days the teacher is no
longer the sole receptacle of all wisdom. Knowledge is out there. It is everywhere. It is cheap. It
is ubiquitous. It has, in short, been democratized.
A child with an iPhone can be riding the Santiago
Metro and still have access to the sum of all human
knowledge as well as keep track of Justin Bieber on
Twitter.
However, society needs to take one more leap
for the democratization of knowledge to become
the liberating revolution that it has the potential to
be. Google doesn’t offer you knowledge, it simply
presents you with information—some, none or all
of which may be true. It is only when you start to assimilate this information for yourself that it starts
to become knowledge. And this is where teachers,
good teachers, come in.
A doctor’s job isn’t to give you medicine, but to
help you get better. In the same way, the function
of a teacher, and that for which they should be accountable regardless of the type of school they are
in, is not to teach children, but to help them learn.
When it comes to free education,
I will leave the politicians and the
economists to sort that one out.
However, when it comes to the
quality of education, I can offer
some pointers. And money has very
little to do with it.
It was this lack of professional accountability on
behalf of both of the teachers and the principal that
was the reason I just took my two girls, aged 12 and
16, out of what the BBC would have us believe was
a ”good” school in Santiago, not just because they
weren’t learning anything, but because they were
starting to actively dislike learning.
We had approached their school on a number of occasions to ask for support for them but at every turn
we were met by the same response: “You need to get
them a tutor.” What we realized was that the money we
were paying wasn’t for our children to learn anything,
but for the teachers to go through the motions of
teaching, the same motions they went through—
chalk and talk, writing words for the students to
copy, slideshows and handouts, tests, grades and
more tests—every year without question. If our
girls weren’t learning as a result of their teaching,
was my girls’ fault, and I, as a caring father, should
pay out even more to put the problem right. They
were even happy enough to give me the name of a
suitable tutor (one of whom was the daughter of
the math teacher as I later discovered).
When we started asking around, it seems that
all of the students at the so-called ”good” private
schools have personal tutors. What’s more, as the
dreaded PSU entrance exam approaches, they all
seem to go to one of the many ”preuniversitario”
schools that will drill students late into the night
in math, science and language necessary to do
well on this low-order thinking, multiple choice
exam.
According to UNESCO, who takes an active role
in Latin America when it comes to identifying
what makes education systems better, quality of
education revolves around five main focuses: the
learners, where they learn, how and what they
learn and ensuring that they do learn what they
need to learn and, if they are not learning, that
the school does something about it. The fact that
teachers aren’t mentioned doesn’t mean that they
are not important, far from it. It means their job,
the job for which they should be held accountable,
is to get the other elements right.
The democratization of knowledge means
that learners—and their parents—have a choice.
Rather than continue paying a school to do damage to a child’s love of learning, they can just turn
their back on the school and walk away. I put my
girls to work using online tools like Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org) where over 2400
YouTube video clips help them learn a range of
subjects in their own time. And for free. They
learned more in one day this way than they had
all term at that school.
Why do I need a teacher when I’ve got Google?
If the quality of that professional is unsatisfactory then I don’t need that teacher at all. But if
that teacher is a good one, that is a very different
thing altogether.
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19
SEPTEMBER 2011 / THE Entrepreneur Hunter
Colegio Colonial de Pirque
The School
that Love Built
›› Amidst the current student protests, at least one school is trying to show Chile’s education
system in a more positive light. That school is Colegio Colonial de Pirque.
Photos: Courtesy CCP
By Shonika Proctor
C
olegio Colonial de Pirque was founded by a
group of parents who wanted their kids to
have access to a better quality of education,
which at that time only existed in Santiago,
more than a one-hour commute each way. They formed
a cooperative and each of the parents became stakeholders in the first private school in Pirque. They pioneered a
new model of education –that from both a teaching and
learning perspective broke away from the rigid structures
of many Chilean schools at that time. While the school
opened with only 45 students, today, nearly 20 years later,
over 250 students ages 2 to 18 are now enrolled. Mónica
Vásquez, the Childhood Education Coordinator and one
of the original founding members, has proudly watched
generations pass through the school. Now her own
grandchild is one of the students.
Edmundo Sovino, a socially inspired entrepreneur
from Puebla, Chile, helped to found the school and is
the current owner. Knowing him as an accomplished
businessman, the founding parents sold him their shares
throughout the years, as the school failed to become a
profitable entity. But for Sovino, the school was never
about making money, but rather ensuring that all children
are given a loving environment in which to excel. Sovino
often takes a hands-on approach to running the school
and can often be found on the school grounds working
on projects alongside students and staff.
A large part of Colonial’s success is due to its advanced programs and modern facilities. Recently, the
school was recognized as one of the top five schools in
the nation for its technology program. Its sports training
facilities are some of the best in the area. The skating rink
is home to the hockey team during the week, and mothers and daughters participate in artistic skating on Saturdays. Colonial also has a volleyball court, basketball court
and soccer field, complete with coaches with professional
sports backgrounds. Their soccer coach, Raúl Gomez, for
example, was a former Cobreloa player.
But the school’s pride and joy is its green environment. Sovino’s daughter Mariela, who also teaches science
at Colonial, coordinates a lot of the programming along
with Katherinne Ramírez, who has been teaching at Colonial for 14 years. The school has an orchard, vegetable
garden, greenhouse and recycling areas. Trash is discarded
in two-liter plastic bottles and once the bottles are filled
they are used to build eco bricks for their garden. Vegetable scraps and eggshells are turned into compost. Ramírez
said that the kids at Colonial love the hands-on, projects.
The garden shows the legacy and involvement of the children in many different areas – art, technology, kinesthetic,
science and entrepreneurialship. Students have built vegetable troughs and a hand-painted scarecrow. An automatic watering system, designed and built by the school’s
robotics team, ensures the plants are watered on schedule.
Recently, they created a partnership with CONAF, the
Forestry Department of Chile, which will allow experts
to offer talks and workshops for students and the community in order to build and support sustainable green
environments.
Currently, the school is working to become more internationalized. In 2010, 56 percent of the students in
Colonial tested at an advanced level of English among
their international peers. They recently completed a 15day international exchange program and hosted Colegio
Barretos from Brazil. In June 2011, they implemented
The robotics
team building
the future.
The hockey team learning from
discipline and team work.
English exposure classes for teachers and directors to
practice English and better foster their students’ growth
in becoming globally competent and adaptive leaders
in the 21st century. In August 2011, they were the first
school in Chile to be selected for the Global Partners
Junior program based out of the New York City Government. Global Partners Junior is an award-winning
student exchange program that fosters global awareness and develops practical technology skills for youth
ages 9-12. Students communicate online about topics
relevant to all cultures using an original curriculum,
media projects, video greetings and research about their
communities. Each school year the program selects 25
foreign cities from thousands of applications around the
world.
While Colegio Colonial de Pirque may be collaborating with the world, their roots are in Pirque, Chile,
firmly planted and welcoming everyone who wants to
help tend and grow their garden. www.ccp.cl • ILC
Kids working
hands on in the
Colonial garden.
Edmundo
Sovino working
in the garden.
Building their
English level
everyday.
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20
Interview / SEPTEMBER 2011
Condorito:
Symbol of the Chilean Spirit
By Harper Bridgers
“P
op, I’ve come to complain about the bad life
I lead because of you,” Condorito said to his
maker in a 1963 conversation between the author and his faithful aves protagonist. With wide eyes and
an accusatory finger, the Andean condor confronts Pepo
like a disgruntled employee would do after reaching his
limit. Although Condorito reserves much fewer workers’ rights as a cartoon character, he nonetheless attempts
to demand some changes from “the Man.” Brandishing
a cigarette in one hand and his pen in the other, Pepo,
pseudonym for author and illustrator René Ríos Boettiger, quickly begins squashing the revolt.
“What?! You can’t complain. The life I give you is not
bad. It’s your destiny. (It is I who commands the ship...)”
For over 24 years, Pepo guided Condorito’s existence
through all his faults, follies and ultimately his Chilean
entity. Although his adventures began as the embodiment
of this long, thin country’s society, oft reflecting its rural roots in the face of mid-20-century urbanization, the
internationalized cartoon strip has grown to capture a
continent, leaving a large, sandal-shaped footprint in the
Chile’s fertile valley.
Now its reach is global, although it began hyper-local.
Condorito’s world mirrored the real world nestled between the Andes and the Pacific. That was Pepo’s initial
plan, after all, to portray Chile in a light that more accurately personified a country that he felt was perverted by
fellow illustrator Walt Disney in the 1943 movie “Saludos
Amigos.” Pepo was left dissatisfied with “Pedrito,” the little, incompetent Chilean airplane, who almost ruined his
first mission to fetch mail from Mendoza, Argentina. This
misrepresentation inspired him to create a rival cartoon,
one that Chile could be proud of.
Straight off Chile’s national coat of arms, the condor
was Pepo’s answer to Disney, and over the past 60 years
it has arguably become the most famous cartoon to ever
come from Latin American ink—a high climb for someone who made his debut on a street curb nearly dying of
hunger. No background was ever given as to explain his
dire predicament. Blame could be logically placed given
the evidence at the scene, “by Pepo.” Each edition still carries his signature, paying homage to its founding father,
yet as far as Condorito’s real parents go, little to nothing
is known.
“You’ve never told me who my mother is,” Condorito
said to Pepo during their one-on-one. “I have the impression that she might not exist.”
Even Condorito’s consciousness doesn’t date back to
pre-1949, as if he suddenly found himself on that curb,
penniless and smoking a cigarette—a typical scenario
during the early days. In an attempt to rob a passer-by
at knifepoint in order to feed himself, he, in turn, gets
robbed of everything he has—his clothes—at gunpoint.
After nearly freezing in the cold, Condorito only had a
pot of hot water to console his misery.
“Your mother? She is right here with us,” Pepo said to
Condorito. “It’s this little tool (showing his pen).”
Pepo’s pen piloted his adventures along with his physical appearance. In his early days, he takes on a more birdlike look with a long beak, short legs and big feet. With
the passing of the years, he grew taller, his beak shortened
and all of his features appeared rounder, in what seemed
to be an attempt to make him more human. The audience
identified more intimately with his human likeness over
his condor likeness, and with his traditional campesino
garb—a Chilean cowboy hat, which also resembles a condor’s comb, a red shirt, patched pants and sandals—Pepo
drew up the blueprint with which Latin Americans identify today.
“I think Condorito belongs to the unconscious part of
Latin Americans,” said Ricardo Amunátegui, the Director
of Digital Animation at La Universidad de Artes, Ciencias y Comunicación. “He’s like Homer Simpson in the
U.S. market, but he’s 60 years old, he’s been around, he’s
always been a good friend and he’s always been very funny
and spontaneous.”
Pepo always applied a simple, light humor to the
comic strip. Never dark, never crass, he kept it clean and
modest while relying on double entendres to spark laughs,
typical in Chilean comedy. At the end of many of the
comics, the pun almost always accompanied one of the
characters fainting in disbelief of the stupidity, foolishness
or dim-wittedness exhibited by another, most often Condorito, along with the onomatopoeia “PLOP!”
The absurd antics remained, yet as the years passed,
Condorito’s environment begin to shift from situations of
desperation, a lower-class model, to situations of middleclass comforts. All the while he still finds himself in the
same moronic situations. From the first vignette that appeared in a 1949 issue of Okey magazine, to its current
presence in three languages and 13 countries, including
the United States, Condorito has now shed many of his
Chilean idiosyncrasies. After Pepo sold the rights to Sergio Mujica following the 1973 coup d’etat, the comic strip
underwent a lifestyle makeover, a type of neutralization
that left it naked of its prior sharpness. Condorito began
losing its edge.
“Now he doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke,” said
Amunátegui. “From ‘73 on, [Mujica] takes it to Spain and
starts analyzing the vocabularies of all of the Latin American countries. Then he shrinks down the words in order
Straight off Chile’s national coat
of arms, the condor was Pepo’s
answer to Disney, and over the past
60 years it has arguably become
the most famous cartoon to ever
come from Latin American ink
for the humor to be understood all over the region. This
makes it a little bit less funny for the Chilean society, but
it makes it funny for kids all over the Americas. Chile is
such a small market it didn’t really matter. From my point
of view, it’s one of the cartoons that has lost its identity.”
“Your complaints are unfair,” Pepo said to Condorito.
“There are others who have less than you. I have given
you a small but cozy house. Other than that, you don’t
pay me rent. (Nor will he ever pay it...)”
Situated in the humble, semi-rural Pelotillehue,
Condorito’s town was not unlike those of Chile’s central
zone at the time, which gradually became bigger cities.
It hosted fútbol matches with rival-town Cumpeo, held
hotly contested elections and accommodated a whole
slew of friends.
There’s Ungenio, a white-haired dope with a gigantic
nose and teeth, who is always a dear friend to all. Then
there’s Don Chuma, a stand-up gentleman and a great
friend who always bails Condorito out of tough situations. There’s Washington, his pet dog, Coné, his lookalike nephew, and Matías, his smart parrot friend, just to
name a few.
“Also I have given you a beautiful girlfriend, anyone
would want her for themselves,” Pepo explained to Condorito.
Yayita, whose dimensions make Barbie appear realistic, remains Condorito’s faithful soul mate, yet she always
seems to possess a knack for flirtation, spawning several
rival men in the mix.
“In the world, everyone has enemies,” Pepo said to
Condorito. “Even the great geniuses had their critics,
disbelievers and ingrates. Why wouldn’t you have to have
yours?
“You will not be a genius, but you represent people
passing through humanity. (This guy thinks geniuses walk
in sandals...) At the very best you are passing into posterity.”
Condorito’s final page has not yet been written in
history. His story continues to influence generation after
generation. Those who read the comic strip as kids give
their children the same joy of discovering humor while
practicing their native language.
The Session with Mike Hee, underground club music, every Thursday 10pm on www.ilovechile.cl/radio
21
SEPTEMBER 2011 / Interview
“I think the biggest legacy of Pepo is the education,” said Amunátegui, whose team for 15 years has
been working with the challenge of digitally animating
a character that has never been meant to appear on a
screen. “Condorito has been a natural teacher for lots of
kids in South America. It’s much easier to read a comic
than to read a book, and it’s cheaper to find. Being a
natural educator, we wanted to use his ability to get into
kids’ hearts in order to bring education. That’s the main
legacy I feel I get from Pepo—how to turn something
that is entertainment... [into] education as you learn to
read. And if he taught you how to read, why can’t he
teach how to write or draw?”
For over a year Amunátegui has headed up an effort to bring Condorito the classroom, an idea that he
first tested in one of the most difficult atmospheres
for learning: jail. He taught minors how to draw and
animate on computers, and some made Condorito airplanes that they then sold. With the course now tested,
they are applying the methodology for free in some
low-income schools in Santiago.
“We would like to prove that education is very selfdependent,” said Amunátegui. “If you want to learn,
you learn more. You don’t need to rely on school. You
rely on your parents and some on school, but you also
have to rely on yourself. That’s why we believe online
education is a means of being more equal for society.
The people who have money can pay for it, but for the
ones that don’t, they might as well receive it for free. We
are teachers at the end of the day. We love the character,
and we want to move it forward.”
Condorito’s influence has come full circle. He was
born in Chile, flew internationally and now has returned
for a new innovative page. He already made his mark in
Chilean history, but with the help of Amunátegui and
his crew, the famous condor is making a comeback in a
meaningful way, avoiding any slip into posterity in the
near future.
“Me into posterity, with this dog’s life?” said Condorito.
“There you go complaining again, you ingrate,” said
Pepo. “I’ve given you relationships, good friends and a
buddy like none other. You’ve traveled throughout the
world. I’ve given you good jobs. I’ve given you importance through your jokes and adventures. You have the
affection of the old and young. In the end, you are a
very important figure...”
Condorito looked at Pepo with a face that screamed,
“What’s the big idea?”
“The ingrate is you,” he said. “Thanks to me, you
are popular. Now I understand what you were telling
me about ingrates and disbelievers. (If it wasn’t for me,
what would you throw in your pot?)”
“I see you are understanding the world,” said Pepo.
“Yeah, that’s OK, I understand the world in my
own way, but tell me one thing,” said Condorito, “if I
hadn’t been such a good actor, WHAT WERE YOU
LIVING ON BEFORE I WAS BORN?”
Butt of the pun, Pepo fainted with his feet in the air,
ink flying off his pen... “PLOP!” • ILC
Cinema listings in English every Thursday on www.ilovechile.cl
22
Interview / SEPTEMBER 2011
Follow feature column ‘My Two Cents’, opinions about Chile every week on www.ilovechile.cl
23
SEPTEMBER 2011 / TRAVEL
›› La Yein Fonda
Created in 1997 by Álvaro Henríquez, lead singer of Chilean
rock band Los Tres, the Yein (pronounced “Jane”) fonda
is best known for its musical performances. This year’s
artists include Los Tres, Illapu, La Sonora de Tommy Rey,
Buddy Richard, Maria Esther Zamora, Pepe Fuentes and
more. Check it out during the day for a more family-friendly
environment with traditional cueca dancers and typical
Chilean foods, but have the babysitter pick the kids up for
once and be ready to party until 5 a.m.
When: September 16-18
Where: Parque Quinta Normal
Cost: 1-6 p.m. $ 3,000; kids are free
8 p.m. - 5 a.m. $12,000 presale; $ 15,000 day of the event
www.facebook.com/pages/LA-YEIN-FONDA
›› Fonda Oficial de Maipú
For those of you in Maipú, gather the family and enjoy
performances by Willy Sabor, Sonora Palacios Jr., Grupo
Cumbia Twins, Doble de Américo, Nueva Ola Chilena, Ballet
Fantasia Folcklorica Chilena and several Chilean folklore
groups at the official fonda of Maipú.
When: September 16-18
Where: Complejo Deportivo Don Oscar; Avenida Pajaritos
4155, Paradero 13
fondaoficialdemaipu.cl
›› Parque O’Higgins
Probably Santiago’s most popular, the fonda located in
Parque O’Higgins is home to the “official fonda,” named this
year to be “La Grandiosa Bertita,” where President Piñera
and governor of Santiago Pablo Zalaquett will announce
the inauguration of the Independence Day celebrations.
However, the chicha and terremotos are known to flow a
little more heavily here, thus creating an environment that
isn’t always appropriate for children.
When: September 16-19 until 10 p.m.
Where: Parque O’Higgins
Cost: Entrance to the park is free, but each tent has its own
price to enter (usually no more than $ 3,000)
›› La Fiesta Chilena
With annual coupons sent out to residents of Ñuñoa and
already low prices, La Fiesta Chilena in the Estadio Nacional
is one of the most affordable fondas. But don’t let the low
prices fool you, this celebration is full of rodeos, games and
foods worth much more than their price tag.
When: September 15-18
Where: Estadio Nacional
2011 Guide to
Santiago’s Fondas
By Kelsey Bennett
As the 18 approaches, grocery stores fill with shoppers looking to fill up on chicha, vino and, of course, an endless
array of meat; Chilean flags emerge on every storefront, bridge beam and street vendor’s blanket and the smog
that usually pollutes Santiago becomes a haze of patriotism. People of all ages unite to celebrate Chile’s birthday
in fondas across the country, but the wide variety of these carnival-like celebrations in Santiago alone can have
you wondering which is right for you. Find your glass slipper of Chilean fondas here.
Cost: Adults $ 2,000; senior citizens and kids $ 1,000;
Combo 1 adult plus 1 child $2,500
www.nunoa.cl
›› Fonda Guachaca
For an authentic Chilean experience, look no further than
the Estación Mapocho for the fonda guachaca—guachaca
meaning quintessentially Chilean. Watch the Reyes
Guachacas flaunt their “Chilean-ness” and witness one of
the original “guachaca kings,” Dióscoro Rojas transform
into “The Guachelor” and hand out roses to “Miss Chicha
Fresca 2011.” Afterward, sample some of the winning pebre
made by the champion of Chile’s first-ever guachaca pebre
contest held on September 6 in the Vega Central. Stick
around until 8 p.m. to listen to some cueca music brought to
you by Los Santiaguinos and Los Corrigüelas.
When: September 16-18
Where: Estación Mapocho
Cost: (for the musical show beginning at 8 p.m.) $5,000
pre-sale; $ 6,000 at the door
www.guachacas.cl
›› Semana de la Chilenidad
Why celebrate for just a few days when you can wish Chile
a happy birthday all week long? Parque Hurtado has been
home to “the week of Chilean-ness” for 16 years, and this
year is no exception. La Semana de la Chilenidad truly has
something for everyone with rodeos, horseback riding, live
concerts, kite flying and, of course, the food and drinks that
make the 18 worth celebrating.
When: September 9-19
Where: Parque Hurtado
Cost: Adults $ 4,000; senior citizens and kids $ 1,500;
Parking $ 3,000
www.semanadelachilenidad.cl
›› Fonda Vegana
If you’d rather celebrate the 18 without consuming an
enormous amount of meat, head on over to the fonda
vegana, made especially for the huaso vegetariano
(vegetarian cowboy), and enjoy the 100 percent vegetarian
empanadas, choripanes, hamburgers, completos,
anticuchos, French fries and more. While you savor your
guilt-free meal, check out the live music, participate in
contests and relax with family.
When: September 18-19, 12-9 p.m.
Where: Condell 566, Providencia, Metro Parque
Bustamante
Cost: $ 2,000; kids under 12 $ 800
huasovegetariano.blogspot.com
›› La Fiesta Dieciochera
La Fiesta Dieciochera is a kid-friendly environment that
parents can enjoy alongside their kids. Meander through the
artisan market or watch the children’s cueca dance contest
while your kids have a ball exploring the various carnival
games and inflatable trampolines.
When: September 15-19; 11 a.m-12 a.m.
Where: Parque Inés de Suárez, between Francisco Bilbao
and Antonio Varas
Cost: Adults $ 2,700; senior citizens and kids $ 1,200
www.providencia.cl
24
HISTORY / SEPTEMBER 2011
Battles, Babies
and the Fight for
Chilean Independence
By Ben Angel
Photos: National Archive - DIBAM
B
ritish-born George Edwards, a 7-year veteran privateer and ship’s surgeon, hid in an old
container at the Hacienda Pañuelas, home
of Artillery Captain Don Diego Ossandon, 6 kilometers from La Serena. Edwards was aware that the
Spanish homeowner knew exactly where he was and
that the Spanish authorities would soon learn the
same. But it was his shipmates, who had condemned
him as a deserter, whom he feared.
Love at first sight drove him to this curled-up
position. Edwards was awestruck by Isabel, Ossandon’s 20-year-old daughter. Marriage to her, and
a tranquil life on a coastal farm far away from the
conflicts in 1804 Europe, seduced him from his privateering adventures and into this hiding place. The
morning the Spanish Army regained the hacienda,
the young deserter was rousted from his hiding place
and taken in chains by ship to Callao in present Peru.
Edwards spent a year in prison before the Ossandon
family could offer refuge.
In 1805, Edwards-Brown, later known as Jorge
Edwards Brown (renamed in accordance with Spanish naming customs; Brown was his mother’s maiden
name), returned to Hacienda Pañuelas and married
Isabel, the woman who drew him to La Serena in
1807. He would never see his birthplace near London’s Finsbury Square again.
The Scorpion Affair
When the winter of 1807 turned to spring, Edwards-Brown completed his wartime defection by
joining La Serena’s cavalry regiment. Joaquin Domingo Felipe Benicio Edwards Ossandon, a future
Chilean politician, was born the following winter.
On the Friday following his first son’s baptism,
Captain Tristan Bunker sailed the British whaling
frigate “Scorpion” into the Bay of Tongoy. Bunker
took an interest in Edwards-Brown’s defection having served as his first captain. Bunker’s arrival was
probably nerve-wracking for the young cavalryman,
at least until fisherman Pedro Antonio Castillo arrived with a note that asked if there was any news
that could be to his former captain’s advantage.
Edwards-Brown must have been relieved that
the British captain hadn’t sent men ashore to capture
and prosecute him, and perhaps he felt some warmth
for his former shipmate; he responded to Bunker
with an unsigned warning in English describing
a plot to capture a foreign smuggler’s ship, using a
trade opportunity as bait. This should have alarmed
the privateer, who was in fact smuggling goods to
Chile. Nonetheless, on September 11, Bunker sailed
from Coquimbo southward to a secret rendezvous
brokered the year before by a U.S.-born medical
doctor living in Quillota.
The journey ended in the very trap that Edwards-Brown described. On September 25, Bunker
exchanged English trading cloth for Chilean copper
ingots with Francisco Carreraand Pedro Sanchez.
After the ingots were safely in the ship’s hold, Carrera and Sanchez invited Bunker and his officers to a
banquet at the nearby Hacienda Topocalma. During
the banquet, a police squad broke in and shot the
English visitors dead, and by morning, Bunker’s frigate
was sailing northward to Valparaiso under Carrera and
Sanchez’s command.
The incident attracted attention and Governor
Francisco Antonio Garcia Carrasco reported the incident to Spain in December. The Supreme Central
Junta, the Bourbon successor-government fighting the
Bonapartes, responded with a royal decree in August
1809 calling for a full investigation into the matter.
Once the decree came back to Chile, Carrasco’s
finger pointed in every direction, including against
Edwards-Brown and fisherman Castillo. The governor
personally oversaw both arrests and served as EdwardsBrown’s judge, quickly finding him guilty of crimes
against the state for warning Bunker of the trap set for
him. The Englishman was imprisoned in Santiago, a
considerable distance from his again-pregnant wife.
Meanwhile, outside the prison walls, the investigation finally implicated Governor Carrasco himself, and
his opportunistic secretary Juan Martinez de Rozas,
the two who most profited from the criminal act. The
Scorpion Affair turned many of Carrasco’s supporters
against the Royalist cause and for independence.
In Santiago at the start
of the Revolution
Edwards-Brown was released after five months
incarceration in March 1810. However, the Englishman’s movements were restricted to Santiago, where
he watched the transformation of colonial Chile into
something resembling an independent state.
Sadly, this restriction meant that Edwards Brown
missed the birth of his daughter, Teresa Gregoria Edwards Ossandon, the future wife of sailor and miner
Pablo Hinckley Delano Ferguson, on June 1.
On September 18, the Conde de la Conquista
called leading Chileans to a meeting in Santiago; the
chant, “We want a junta” dominated the hall. Finally,
the Conde stood up, placed the ceremonial governor’s
Discover bands, restaurants and the best empanadas in Chile on www.ilovechile.cl
baton on the table and said, “Here is the baton, take
it and rule.” These words mark the birth of Chile.
Life in the New Republic
In La Serena, Isabel gave birth to her third
child, the future Valparaiso politician, Juan Bautista
Edwards Ossandon. Late in July, a British warship
docked at. A few days later on July 26, a carriage
pulled into Santiago carrying the ship’s most important passenger, Jose Miguel Carrera, the scion of a
most important colonial Chilean family. In response
to news about a new junta controlling his homeland,
he returned home to protect his family’s interests,
which seemed to closely coincide with Chilean independence.
On September 4 Carrera and his two brothers,
both Santiago-based army commanders, deposed
the junta in a coup d’état. On November 15, Carrera carried out a second coup that elevated him to
Supreme Director of independent Chile.
Edwards-Brown was in La Serena during this
period in 1812 as Isabel again became pregnant.
Also in 1812, the new country’s first newspaper, Aurora de Chile, was published in February; De Rozas
was defeated in congressional elections in July and
an attack on Juan Jose Carrera caused Juan Miguel
Carrera to step down as Supreme Director, all before the end of Isabel’s pregnancy. She gave birth to
Jose Santiago Edwards Ossandon, future newspaper
founder, on September 4.
The War of the Patria Vieja
The Royalist threat to the Chilean Republic came
at the end of the summer, 1813. Brigadier Antonio
Pareja marched into Concepción on March 29, while
three days later, the Chilean army organized at Talca
under newly promoted Brigadier Jose Miguel Carrera. Among the men who formed commands to fight
for the Republican cause was politician Bernardo
O’Higgins. Edwards-Brown, whose wife was again
pregnant, soon served under this Irish-Chilean.
Carrera sent O’Higgins to Linares to intercept
the Royalist army vanguard under Melchor Carvajal,
and on April 6, O’Higgins seized the city’s Plaza de
Armas in Chile’s first victory against Spain. Other
Republican commanders were not as successful, and
Patria Vieja Army Shield.
25
SEPTEMBER 2011 / HISTORY
Santiago 1800’s.
in August, Chillán fell after a few weeks siege by
Pareja’s successor, Juan Francisco Sanchez. The loss
drove the government from Talca on October 15.
Two days after the Chilean government fled to
Santiago, Carrera made one last attempt to restore
his reputation and retake Chillán in a two-pronged
attack against Sanchez. However, spies told Sanchez
about the plan, and the Royalist commander ambushed Carrera’s army that Sunday at the Battle of
El Roble. Most of Carrera’s soldiers followed their
leader into the Itata River in order to escape what
appeared to be certain defeat. However, O’Higgins
formed a perimeter around the Republican cannons
and inflicted heavy losses on the attacking Royalists.
Edwards-Brown was among the 200 men under the
Irish-Chilean leader who refused to allow Sanchez
to carry the day.
On November 2, O’Higgins replaced Carrera as
Republican Army commander. Before the year’s end,
Edwards-Brown returned home to find his second
great victory that year, after the Battle of El Roble,
the birth of yet another daughter, Maria del Carmen
Edwards Ossandon, Scotsman David Ross’ future
wife.
After several battles between the armies of
O’Higgins and the Viceroy of Peru, with losses on
both sides, month-long negotiations produced the
Treaty of Lircay. Edwards-Brown likely went home
on furlough, as by July, when the Viceroy of Peru
sent yet another expedition southward and Carrera
again deposed an existing government in Santiago
in a third coup d’état, his wife was again pregnant.
He was back in the field on August 28, when the Supreme Director defeated his rival at the Battle of Las
Tres Acequias near San Bernardo on the Maipu River. The day after, both armies were informed about
a new threat, the Talavera Regiment and Brigadier
Mariano Osorio arriving at Talcahuano.
O’Higgins held off the Royalists for nearly a
month as he built up defenses around Rancagua.
However, O’Higgins was in a desperate situation
with few options. With only his 200 best men, including Edwards-Brown, he broke through enemy
lines.
The Reconquista
Just after the disaster at Rancagua, O’Higgins,
Carrera and their followers fled to Mendoza. The
Talavera Regiment under Osorio pursued the Re-
publican army, occupying Santiago on October 5.
The first month under Royalist Governor Osorio,
200 revolutionary leaders in Santiago were captured,
put in chains and marched to Valparaiso where they
were shipped to the remote Juan Fernandez Islands.
Captain Vicente San Bruno took over security in the
capital.
Edwards Brown was likely still in La Serena when
his next son was born on April 2. Jose Agustin de Dios
Edwards Ossandon would someday become a noteworthy banker and railroad promoter in the Chilean
republic.
When O’Higgins crossed the mountains with San
Martin’s Army of Liberation a year later, EdwardsBrown was alongside his commander.
Chacabuco, the Liberation
of Chile
Jose Maria Edwards Ossandon was born January 19, 1817. This son died in his early 20s. Ten days
after this birth, the Army of Liberation left General
Jose de San Martin’s headquarters at El Plumerillo,
Argentina, marching over the Uspallata Pass. A third
of the soldiers would die trying to get over the top of
the 4,000-meter high, unguarded gateway into Chile.
On February 1, San Martin arrived at Los Andes and
waited for his rearguard’s arrival before moving further
into Chile
A week later, a war council was held by Royalist
Governor Marco del Pont to discuss measures to be
taken, and the decision was made to hold out at the
Hacienda Chacabuco, not far from where San Martin
was gathering his newly arrived men. As troops from
Santiago dug in at the hacienda under Brigadier Rafael Maroto, San Martin drew up his plan of attack.
At the battle’s start on February 12, the division
under O’Higgins was deployed on the left side of a
pincer attack. Maroto’s surprise advance of nearly all
his men put Edwards-Brown and the other 1,500
men under O’Higgins under grave threat. After
hours of defense, O’Higgins ordered a Napoleonicstyle bayonet charge against the Talavera Battalion.
The same charge, when tried a second time, succeeded
in routing the Royalists, and over the next half-hour,
Maroto’s men completely fled the field. A total of 500
of his men lay dead on the battlefield, 600 were held
prisoner and only 130 made it back to Santiago. The
rest simply went missing.
Following the Battle of Chacabuco, EdwardsBrown went home to La Serena. By November, his
wife was pregnant, but for the last time. He took an
active role in collecting funds to support the Viceroy
of Peru’s overthrow, removing the last big threat to
the Chilean state. O’Higgins, after emerging from
the post-Chacabuco fighting near Concepción, took
notice of this selfless act by a former subordinate and
as Supreme Director of Chile, he called the English
exile to the capital.
On July 21, the Chilean leader personally presented to Edwards-Brown papers making him a
Chilean citizen, citing his service to the Republican
cause. Two days later, Isabel also rewarded the new
Chilean with his eighth and youngest child, Jacoba
Edwards Ossandon, future wife of Boston native
Thomas “Benito” Farleton Smith.
Edwards Brown’s devotion to building the new
country of Chile did not diminish after he gained citizenship. He represented several constituencies in the
Provincial Assembly of Coquimbo, and held office in
the Congress of Plenipotentiaries. His daughters married men who found their own way to build the new
country, alongside his sons, who went into banking,
mining, politics and journalism. One of his grandsons,
Augustin Edwards MacClure, not only founded the
Santiago edition of “El Mercurio,” after purchasing
the already-existing Valparaiso edition, but also was
the president of the General Assembly of the League
of Nations in 1922-23. Another grandchild served an
international role in the French Resistance in World
War II, bringing great credit to her country of birth,
the same country that her one-time privateer grandfather helped build--Chile. • ILC
Cinema listings in English every Thursday on www.ilovechile.cl
26
HEALTH / SEPTEMBER 2011
Spring Detox – One day
a week for One month
By Marcelle Dubruel
Example: Weekly Detox day
D
etoxing is not about starving yourself, counting calories, obsessing about the fat content
of what you are eating or constantly getting
on the scales to check whether the five kilograms you
are trying to lose disappeared overnight. Detoxing is
about maintaining good balance in your body by eating healthily and enjoying nutritious meals that support your system. Spring is the perfect time of the year
to embark on a cleaning–from-the-inside-out regime.
Following a detoxification program means: 1) limiting or eliminating toxins, which the liver otherwise
has to detoxify and 2) choosing foods which will both
support the detoxification process and help the digestive system to eliminate waste efficiently. A slow,
sluggish, overloaded digestive system results in chyme
(partially-digested food) sitting around in the small
and large intestine for longer than it should. This can
result in toxins and partially digested food particles
being re-absorbed rather than eliminated.
One simple way to give your digestive system a
break and your body a chance to catch up with detoxification is to set aside one day a week as a detox day.
Eat light meals the day before you start your detox.
On your detox day, drink plenty of water, vegetable
juices and herbal teas. Eat vegetable soups and salads,
including some foods from the list that follows. Avoid
caffeine, alcohol, dairy, wheat, processed foods with
flavorings and colorants and sugar. • ILC
VENTA DE ENTRADAS SIN CARGO POR SERVICIO LOS DÍAS MIÉRCOLES DE 10 A.M. A 12 P.M. EN LAS OFICINAS DE PUNTOTICKET. ROSARIO NORTE 555, OF. 1104, LAS CONDES.
Marcelle Dubruel is graduated from the College of
Naturopathic and Complementary Medicine in London.
Visit www.rootstovitality.com
Remember to eat lightly the day before
Breakfast:Mug of hot water with slice of lemon or lime.
Fruit salad – large bowl chopped up kiwi, strawberries and mango
Snack:Glass of water
1 apple and a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
Lunch:Glass of water
Carrot and red lentil soup or
Salad: Sliced avocado, large handful of baby spinach leaves, watercress and grated carrot. Drizzle with olive oil, juice of ½
orange and sesame seeds.
Walk around the park for some fresh air and light exercise.
Snack:Mug of hot water with slice of lemon or lime/glass of water/herb tea
1 pear and a tablespoon of almonds
Dinner:Glass of water
Roasted fennel and garlic, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, served on a bed of brown rice. Dressing: Mix capful of avocado oil,
capful of apple cider vinegar and juice of ½ lime. Sprinkle of herb/Himalayan salt. Drizzle dressing over rice and vegetables. Add a
sprinkle of sunflower seeds.
Fennel/peppermint/chamomile tea. Fennel tea has a sweet licorice flavor and is a delicious after dinner tea.
Sleep:Have an early night to ensure plenty of rest.
Note: There are many popular detoxification programs to choose from, but it is important to check with your doctor before changing your diet. The above detox day would not be
appropriate if you have blood sugar balance problems. In this case add some protein to the main meals. Add 1 tub of natural yoghurt to the breakfast fruit salad, a potion of tuna to
the lunch salad and steamed fish or grilled chicken to your evening meal.
The following table will give you more ideas for good foods to
consider when creating you own detox day meals. Have fun. Be Healthy!
12 Detox foods
APPLES
Rich in pectin, soluble
fiber, good for healthy
bowel movements.
FENNEL
Helps stimulate the body’s
natural detoxifying organs,
including the liver. Supports
digestive system. Rich in
potassium which helps rebalance
body’s fluid levels.
CARROTS
Rich in antioxidants,
alpha-carotene,
beta-carotene, boost
immunity.
PUMPKIN SEEDS
Contain omega 3
and
omega 6 oils, “go
od”
fats, promote he
althy
skin.
MANGO
Rich in beta-carotene
and vitamin C, good
sources of vitamin E,
potassium and fiber.
GARLIC
Rich in allicin, an antioxidant
with many health benefits.
Antiviral and antibacterial
actions. Can bind toxins and
promote their elimination.
STRAWBERRIES
Rich in vitamin C
and ellagic acid,
antioxidants which
help fight free radical
s
and have powerful
anticancer effects.
WED|OCT 19
TH
*
%
10
OFF
AVOCADOS
Rich in antioxidants,
Vitamin E and alphacarotene, good for
arteries. Rich in omega
6 fats. ”Good” fats
promote healthy skin.
BEANS & LENTILS
Rich in plant
compounds, sterols
and soluble fiber. Help
lower cholesterol and
support elimination.
WATERCRESS
Rich in chlorophyll,
which helps make
healthy blood cells
and boosts levels of
detoxifying enzymes
found in the liver.
CRUCIFEROUS VEG
Broccoli, cauliflower,
cabbage, Brussels
sprouts and spinach are
powerful detoxifiers.
Contain glucosinolates
which fight cancer.
KIWI FRUIT
Rich in vitamin
C, an antioxidant
that helps against
potentially harm
ful
free radicals.
27
SEPTEMBER 2011 / SOCIAL RESPONSABILITY
By Pablo Retamal
I
Photo: ILC Archive
Why The
Dieciocho is
TheGo
Highs
and Lows Time
Green
COURTESY PHOTO
S
of Chile’s Tourism Industry
English AA in Chile
Get the latest news headlines everyday on www.ilovechile.cl
n e w s
n the midst of burning-coal-fueled
BBQ’s, fat-dripping-steaks, countless
empanada munching and red wine
flowing celebrations—how on Earth can
anyone think of sustainability and climate change around the fiestas patrias?
It’s a time for being patriotic, stamping your feet and screaming Viva Chile!
Where does green come into the picture?
“It doesn’t Pablo!” will scream a lot of
my fellow Chilenos. Blinded by custom
and resistant to change, they will tell me
9
the dieciocho (eighteenth) must remain
the dieciocho. But that’s exactly it, guys!
Don’t you see that Tiki-tiki-tee time is a
unique opportunity to gather momentum
and encourage the much needed paraBy Al Ramirez
digm shift society needs to avoid disastrous climate change? After all, what can ummer’s almost here and the season How have the events, which have try not to exclude any information that
be more patriotic than safeguarding the has already begun to take shape for occurred throughout this year, affected can benefit our country and its regions.”
- Rodrigo Gonzalez, General Manager of
well-being of future generations, than those in the tourism industry. High your company?
“ChileXclusive Travel & Incoming”
preventing climatic vulnerability, than season begins in mid-December
seeking climatic justice, than making the and ends around mid-March. On the earthquake:
Studies show that over the last five
What area do you think needs
country’s economy resilient to a petrol
years, tourism in Chile has been growing an “... It was in our agenda to provide services more improvement in toursim (tour
crisis, than protecting Chile’s biodiveraverage of 7% to 9% per year with visitors for an international construction congress, companies, restaurants, hotels, shops,
close to three-hundred million which was going to take place in Santiago musums, etc.)?
sity? Opting to make a statement in spending
favor
of a more sustainable lifestyle duringdollars
the per month. However, there have this past September, being the MOP
been certain events that have shaken and (Public Works Ministry) our main sponsor. “All of them. But, specifically, I think
18 can’t be easier!
stirred the industry such as the February For obvious reasons, the money they had commissions should be regulated because
Being green is not just responsibilities
27th earthquake and the decrease in cruise destined for the congress had to be used sometimes it gets out of hand. I am not
and a positive attitude—it’s also the coolest
ships that will arrive this year, which went immediately after the earthquake in order against commissions for those who take
thing since online shopping. Companies
from approximately forty-five per year to to aid the affected regions in the south people to restaurants, hotels, shops, etc.,
the uncertain twenty-eight to thirty that of Chile.” - Cristian Martinez, General this is how it’s done pretty much all around
are looking for a green story to tell. These
are scheduled to dock this season.
Manager of Pacifico Andino Expeditions, the world, but I think 10% is more than
days they will stoop down as low as “green
One favorable point is the media coverage Urban & Adventure Tours Chile
enough. This can only be regulated through
washing” their brands to demonstrate ecoan extensive market study and some serious
credentials. Just think of all these carbon
On the US dollar exchange rate:
effort from the government.” - Jose Luis
neutral companies. Many have bought the
Rojas, General Manager of Serviline Pacific
“Any kind of important event in Chile Viña del Mar, Radio Taxi Service.
carbon neutral bragging rights through
will affect my business directly. Lately it
carbon credits. Carbon credits produced
has been the instability in the American
because some coal-based power plant in
currency (I charge in US dollars), which
India reduced by 10 percent its energy conmeans that we have to charge more. We
sumption? Really? Is that the best you can
are now less competitive in the South
American market when it comes to
do? Honestly, I rather go back to good old
tourism because Chile is one of the most
planting trees!
expensive countries for tourists. That
If you are planning your own celebraobviously means that they tend to stay
tions this 18, don’t forget to ask potential
less time here.” - Hector Medina, owner of
vendors about their ideas regarding susAs the years go by, the people who work
“Hector’s Private & Flexible Tour Service”
in tourism expect to receive a wider
tainability. If they know it’s important to
their business, they’ll think creativelyChile
too; obtained for the rescue of the thirty- What must a company do in order to scale of visitors, but it seems clear that
the earthquake, the unstable currency,
put the pressure on them! Hopefully,three
they miners, which has put our country grow in such a seasonal line of work?
on the map as a nation that has overcome
the decrease in cruises and the rescue
will think, “More people are demanding
several tragedies and is ready for whatever “First of all, giving quality service in every of the thirty-three miners have changed
me to go green!”
vicissitudes may occur in the future.
aspect, which includes working honestly the impression foreingers have of Chile.
and respectfully towards our passengers. Having a ministry of tourism seems to be
Yes you, the responsible consumer!
In order to get a better perspective of In the end, the concept of seasonal work an essential issue, and little by little we will
You’re in charge of making this trend
what is happening in this “rollercoaster” isn’t something that affects all of Chile; likely see changes that will allow for Chile to
happen! So remember, when it comes
to
industry, I interviewed a few people who there are many places here that are visited advance on an international level, which can
celebrating in style, going green is thedepend
new There
150 thousand
tonsthe
of garbage
during
theisfiestas
patrias.only be of help to those who rely on tourism
on thisare
seasonal
income for
all year produced
round, so the
answer
to mention
black.
success of their business.
these places within your programs and for their livelihood.
According to a 2009 statistic from Vi- deliver lasting prosperity for its citizens. thought is that solving the problem will worse; we’re sacrificing our money, and
trina Ambiental, there are 150 thousand The low-carbon economy is therefore in- require sacrifice. As though our wasteful- sacrificing what is big and permanent,
tons of garbage produced during the fiestas trinsically related to the green economy by ness of energy and money is not sacrifice. to prolong what is small, temporary and
patrias by fondas across Chile. Plastic bot- constituting one of the principal building As though war built around oil is not harmful. We’re sacrificing animals, peace,
tles, glass, paper, cartons, aluminum cans blocks needed to erect more modern and sacrifice. As though losing polar bears, and children to retain wastefulness while
and leftover foods are abundant. Last year, resilient economies in the future. A return ice-dependent penguins, coral reefs and enriching those who disdain us.”
the Ministry of Environment set a good to pre-crisis business-as-usual would be thousands of other living companions is
So there you have it. Being patriotic
example by starting a recycling pilot pro- unwise. We know that would lead to un- not sacrifice. As though withered cropland this year starts with you doing what is
Industrial
Heating
and Steam
gram to make Parque O’Higgins’ fondas bearable human costs and constraints on is not a sacrifice,
or letting
the fresh
water Systems
best for this country. You’re not ChilResidential
Heating
eco-friendly. Ninety tons of garbage were economic growth, quality of life and overall of cities dry up as glacier-fed rivers shrink. ean? Doesn’t matter, show Chileans how
Highseawater
efficiencyinundation
Pellet andand
Solid Wood
Stoves
re-used and prevented from ending up in world prosperity. New development path- As though risking
it should
be done: activate Code Green!
landfills. The decaying process in land- ways must protect the economy by put- the displacement
of
hundreds
of
millions
Drink
organic wine, recycle your garbage,
Solar Systems
fills contributes to global warming since ting in place green growth strategies that of coastal people
not aAvenue
sacrifice—and
Vicuña is
Mackenna
#801, Los Angeles, Chileheck, dance the cueca with a green handPhone: don’t
(56-43) 318246
• Cell Phone
Sales: (59-9)
methane (CH4) is produced. This gas is tackle water scarcity, resource bottlenecks, reckless risk. But
tell me
to own
a 99996547
kerchief if you must! Whatever it takes to
Temucothat
City: Av.
Pedro debe
Valdivia
0135, Phone make
(56-45) 646009
21 times more powerful than an equivalent air and water pollution, climate change and more efficientincar;
would
a sacripeople notice you are being a true
Palazzetti: Av. Las Condes 8283, Santiago, Phone (56-2) 2204189
CO2 unit.
biodiversity loss. However, it seems that fice! We thinkShowroom
we don’t
want to sacrifice, Chilean (or conscientious Gringo) by beSo why all the fuss? What’s green got although Chile needs protection in all of but sacrifice is exactly what we’re doing ing green. Gordon Gecko’s Wall Street said
to do with being patriotic? In 2011, as these areas, we passively go about our lives by perpetuating problems that only get it best “GREEDN IS GOOD.” • ILC
the world economy is unevenly coming and attempt a business-as-usual approach
out of the worst crisis most humans alive to solving the problem.
have ever known, the global economic reSociety needs to act quickly if we are
covery presents an ideal opportunity for to benefit from the opportunities energy
countries to shift towards green and low security, clean cities and natural capitalism
carbon growth. Considering the imme- will bring. In order to achieve this, Chile
diate threat presented by climate change, must activate what I will call Code Green.
the green economy is not a luxury, but a Why? Because as a society we have crossed
21-century imperative. With the global a line where it is no longer a mere matter
market for low-carbon goods forecast to of sustainability vs. development. It is a
grow by 4 percent a year up to 2015, this matter of morality. Dysfunctional values
is a major export and employment oppor- married to catastrophic leadership has led
tunity; one that will not just offer an alter- us to the place you go when you are made
[email protected]
native development channel for Chile, but to believe the solution is a sacrifice! My
also provide options for the future.
good friend Carl Safina said it best:
www.englishaainChile.cl
If Chile adapts quickly to a carbon“Of all the psychopathology in the cliconstrained world, it will be better able to mate issue, the most counter-productive
28
TRAVEL / SEPTEMBER 2011
Secrets of the Andes
By Pamela Villablanca
September recommendations:
T
We, too, are celebrating Chile’s Independence
and that means BBQ. We invite you to discover
the variety cabernet sauvignon, a classic
match. Choose wines from this grape from the
different valleys mentioned above and tell us
what you think. If you are a vegetarian, we
recommend you to stay with young wines.
They will express the variety itself and will
allow you to enhance the flavor and smells of
your veggies and spices. You’ll like the price,
too, usually no more than $ 4,000.
he most impressive image for the traveler visiting Chile for the first time is to wake up in
the airplane and look at the sun rising beyond
the Andes Mountain Range. It appears like a sleeping giant with its highest elevation Mount Aconcagua
with almost 7,000 meters above sea level. It is in this
region where the most famous wine areas in Chile are
located. In the following lines we will check them all
from north to south and discover what the Andes are
hiding in its soils and what the rivers are nourishing.
All of us living in Chile are spoilt to see and taste
these wonders.
One of the beauties in Chile is the diversity of geography and climate. Not only from north to south,
wandering from desert to ice fields, but also from
the east to the west, discovering the territory from
the mountains through the valleys on our way to the
Pacific Ocean and beyond to the beautiful Robinson
Crusoe and Easter Islands.
Elqui valley has seen a great transition from its
origins to these days, La Serena was one of the first
cities established by the Spaniards. Until recently, we
saw nothing but the replacement of the original vines
into grapes for pisco, the typical stilled alcohol. A few
years ago a few families decided to give the valley a
new purpose and planted vitisvinifera.
Limari Valley surprises everyone with its recently
implemented archeological route. There are just a few
wineries and an amazing vineyard leading biodynamic
farming in Chile. When driving towards Santiago,
there is a jewel for those enjoying nature: the reservation Fray Jorge. To visit wineries here, it is wise to have
a map and a few recommendations regarding routes
to take.
Aconcagua is probably the most impressive landscape along with a combination of the oldest wineries and leading ultra premium wines. The valley is the
house for one of the highest peaks in South America
and an amazing drive through the mountains to cross
to the neighbor country, Argentina. We find elegant,
ripe, deep red wines.
Santiago is located in Maipo Valley. Here is
where we breathe history while experiencing
the highest concentration of population in the
country. There are two rivers irrigating the area,
which was the main reason for the settlement
of the Spanish colony. A fertile valley in its
beginning, Maipo has pushed vineyards and
wineries to its limits through its population
growth. Two of the ultra premium wines from
Chile come from the denominations Puente
Alto.
It was tradition in colonial times to build the
mission at a distance that a horse could do in a day.
We can find beautiful examples of these missions in
the Cachapoal Valley. The influence of French winemaking is clear as we approach the Andes and go a
bit higher in elevation. If what we are looking for is a
comfortable bike through vineyards, this is a beautiful
route to discover.
Considered by many to be the heart of the wine
area in Chile, Colchagua Valley enjoys international
recognition as one of the world’s best wine regions. It
is impossible not to mention the Apalta area, as it enjoys remarkable conditions for the production of two
of the highest award-winning wines. One of these
wines was in the top 100 in the world two years ago.
We breathe both tradition and state-of-the-art techniques when we wander through.
Casablanca & San Antonio are Chile´s newest
discoveries. Near to the Pacific Ocean, they are explorations in red wines from cool climates, and definitely have positioned Chile as an outstanding, worldclass producer of elegant and characteristic sauvignon
blancs and pinot noirs. It’s a delight to find red wines
here, and definitely a must-do if you are looking for
flowery expressions in flavors. • ILC
Pamela is the International Director at Andes Wines.
Chilean by birth, she was grafted to the wine business
in California for several years. Certified by the Court
of Master Sommeliers and Society of Wine Educators,
she is now back in Chile ready to guide ILC´s readers
through the wine countries of South America.
Almost well-read, a very Chilean take on nightlife and culture, every Tuesday on www.ilovechile.cl
29
SEPTEMBER 2011 / TRAVEL AND WINE
What is
“Chicha”
Anyway?
The majority of chicha that you will be offered over the
September 18th holiday is chicha de uva, made with grapes.
By Colin Bennett
A
trip to a lively fonda for Chile’s
independence day festival on and
around September 18th will not
leave you hungry. You’re sure to get a dose
of Chile’s nationalistic pride along with a
whole lot of BBQ goodies.
Most of it will look familiar, either to
your experience here in Chile or beyond:
grilled sausages, or choripan, empanadas,
cold beer. It could be the 4th of July in
Middle America when it comes to the
grill.
But what about that chicha—that
potent-looking fermented drink being
offered in every stand? It’s something
that Chileans love to drink for their national day, but you’ll rarely see it on the
dinner table. What is it anyway?
First off, although it feels uniquely
Chilean for the 18th, like empanadas,
chicha is a drink consumed since before
the conquistadores crossed the Americas.
In Central America, it’s largely distilled
using corn. In other countries farther
south, chicha refers to more of a nonalcoholic juice using rice in Venezuela or
a dark purple corn in Peru.
In Chile, chicha is produced using
fruit. In the south of the country they
make a mean chicha de manzana, which
is basically a hard apple cider. However,
the majority of chicha that you will be
offered over the September 18th holiday
is chicha de uva, made with grapes. It’s
notably sweeter than chicha de manzana;
grapes are a sweeter fruit.
Sugar content is an important element to the drink since it is what ferments and gives it the alcoholic punch
that seems to go so well with national
pride. According to Mario Rivas, owner
of Pipas de Einstein, Chileans have slowly opted for sweeter chicha in Santiago,
and it has evolved from a strong, tough
drink in his grandfather’s day to liquor
normally consumed (and selected) by the
women of the household.
Mario sells two kinds of raw chicha, a
white variety that uses the Muscat grape,
and a red variety that uses the Pais grape.
They are harvested ripe, and are therefore
sweet, then get mushed together and left
to ferment. At first, it’s basically juice.
But by the time September hits, bubbles
start to form on the rims of the bottles
and the chicha is ready. In fact, it can
reach an alcohol grade of 11 percent, according to Rivas.
If you want to be really rustic and a
true Chilean cowboy or huaso, you can
drink it from a bull’s horn. It also must be
said that like with any sweet liquor, this
stuff can leave you with a brutal hangover.
If you want to try chicha outside the
holiday weekend, we recommend you
head here:
Pipas de Einstein
They are the main distributor of chicha and pipeño (a cruder, artisanal wine) in
Santiago. Tried a terremoto in La Piojera? The pipeño, the base of the drink, is
supplied by this manufacturer. It’s a unique spot with its own country style. And you
can buy it by the liter. Salud! Av. Einstein 1202, 734 3317
Colin Bennett is an editor, writer and guide with foodyChile.com, a blog and tourism website that
offers food tips and tours in and around Santiago. Visit www.foodychile.com for more info.
Discover bands, restaurants and the best empanadas in Chile on www.ilovechile.cl
30
TRAVEL / SEPTEMBER 2011
Celebrating New Year’s
at the sea
Abundant
Women are
Empowered Women
ver 20 tons of explosives are currently
being shipped from Barcelona, Spain,
to the San Antonio port in Chile. They
were ordered by Mario Igual, the man
in charge of one of the most extensive
One of my mentors and good friend Kim Kiyosaki
By Mamiko Ito
fireworks in the world. “New Years
is anatentrepreneur, investor, multimillionaire and wife
the sea
will illuminate
21 kilometres
of Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad.
grew
up 2011”
in a small
town in Japan
with a tradi-of Chile’s
coast for
a 25 minute
long
spectacle
of light.
tional
Japanese
family. My
dad
worked for
the I found these startling statistics about women in her
same company for 42 years and my mum was a book, Rich Woman.
The fireworks
aregrowing
a tradition
housewife.
When I was
up, mysince
mum 1952
always and are
accompanied
by
a
party
that
shuts
• 47 percent of women over the age of fifty are single
told me to find a man with a good education down
and a streets
and
draws
over
1
million
visitors
to
the
ports• and
50 percent of marriages end in divorce
good job, so that he could take care of me financially.
beaches each December 31st. While the show is
Following her advice, I spent almost all my 20s look- • In the first year after a divorce, a woman’s standard
similar every year, some novelties straight from the
of living drops an average of 73 percent
ing for a Mr. Right. I worked for a well-paying job in
labs of Igual Pyrotechnics will surprise spectators
Microsoft in Singapore for 11 years. I worked hard • Of the elderly living in poverty, 3 out of 4 are womin the first minutes of 2011. Initiated from 17 ships
en—and 80 percent of them were not poor when
and lying
playedat
hard.
anchor in the bays of Valparaiso, Viña del
their husbands were alive
But
when
I
hit
30,
my
boyfriend
at
that
time
told
Mar and Concón, 30.000 explosions will light up the
• Nearly 7 out of 10 women will at some time live in
me that
he
was
not
ready
to
get
married
or
have
chilsky. The best views are rumoured to be from the
dren.promenades
I was heartbroken
and I felt asYugoslavo,
if the clockBarón
was or poverty
of Gervasoni,
21
ticking.
Many
of
my
friends
were
getting
married
and
de Mayo.
my parents were putting pressure on me. In addition, I
was The
working
hours a day,
leading
a project
and
city fifteen
of Valparaiso
alone
spent
USD $200.000
on
working
with
very
tough
Japanese
men.
last year’s red, white and blue fireworks theme. On
One
I came
my apartment
this day
last when
day of
2010,back
thetocity’s
bars and afnightclubs
ter awill
longopen
day of
work,while
I literally
had a breakdown.
early,
the main
square willIbe filled
was with
exhausted.
I was until
lonelysunrise.
and miserable.
feltbeascovered
if
live music
ExpectIto
in
confetti
andover
embraces
clock hits
00:01, but
I had
no control
my life.when
I was the
not married,
had
the celebrations
reallyfor
start
three
days
advance of
no children
and no passion
work.
I was
sickinand
big moment,
carnival
tiredthe
of working
so hard,with
beinga instreet
the same
place and
do- parade
made
upthings
of actors,
dancers,
painters,
musicians and
ing the
same
year after
year and
not fulfilling
of course
thousands
from
all Iover the
my dream.
I cried
out loud. Itof
wasChileans
the moment
when
country.
hit the
lowest point of my life. I said to myself, “That’s
enough! I’m not going to continue living like this. I’m
If youtowant
tosomeone
go by or
car,
make sure
to get there
not going
wait for
something
to change
before
noon.
After
that,
traffic
jams
are
likely
to spoil
my life. I’m going to take charge of my life!”
the
fun.
A
better
idea
is
to
take
the
bus,
but
Fast forward my story to two years later, and I’m in reserve
your seat well in advance. The same goes for hotels
Chile building the fastest growing personal developand apartments, which might already be booked
ment company in Latin America with my husband.
out despite of the elevated prices. Either way, the
My life took me to a level that I’d never imagined, and
Valparaiso fireworks at the sea are an experience
all itnot
took
just one decision
that IYear!
was going to
towas
be missed.
Happy New
take charge of my life.
I
on
By Carolina Sipos
Can you believe that? The numbers are based on
statistics in the US, but the same trend is happening
in many parts of the world, including Chile, Japan
and Singapore. We are living in a different world
from what our mums and grandmothers used to live
in, and neither marriage nor a job is secure any longer. More than ever, women have to be financially
educated and independent.
Many women are yet to be prepared for this new
reality, and it’s not their fault and not our mum’s
fault. And I’m not saying that all women should go
out to work and abandon household chores. Women
have a very important role in the family and empowering women has so much effect on our society.
Women touch many people’s lives. We make many
decisions for our families and households. We influence the health and well being of the family and our
children’s education. When women are supported
and empowered, the whole society benefits.
“The next giant economic growth wave won’t
come from the internet or China or India but from
empowering women” – The Economist Magazine
It’s time for women to realize their potential
power and step up for themselves and the people
around them.
Mamiko coaches women around the world to
help turn their passions and talents into a profitable business. Her simple and proven strategies help
many women & men make more money, create a
lifestyle that they want, and live a life based on passion and purpose. • ILC
wh at ´ s
O
27
Mamiko Ito is a Global Entrepreneur, Success
Coach and Business Mentor for Women. Visit
her at www.abundantwomen.com
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