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Spanish in Chile

Learn Spanish in Chile

chile

Chile is the spine of South America, stretching along the western side of Argentina. It stretches for around 4300 kilometres, but it is never more than 250 kilometres wide and even then a lot of that width is taken up by the Andes mountains. Amongst these mountains are over 1300 volcanoes, some of which are still active today. The climate in Chile is varied to say the least. It is home to the world's driest desert, the Atacama (this desert holds the record for the longest dry spell ever recorded: 40 years), a mediterranean climate in the central plains and a damp, temperate one in the south. Chile is one of only two countries in South America that doesn't share a border with Brazil. Off the western coast of Chile is easter Island,a much visited spot famous for its monumental statues, called the moai. Easter Island is extremely remote, but has a population of over 5000 people.

Want to know more about Chile? Here are some facts about the skinniest country in South America:

  • Chile currently has a very stable economy. Over 1/3 of the world's copper is produced here and it is the second biggest exporter of salmon in the world. The largest trade links that it has are with the United States of America and China.
  • A majority of the Chilean population live in the country's capital, Santiago de Chile. It is located in the central Santiago Basin. The total area of the city is nearly 6000 square miles and it has a population of nearly 5.5 million people.
  • Whilst most people live in Santiago, Valparaiso, on the western side of Santiago, is an important seaport, cultural centre and the most prosperous area in Chile. The National Congress of Chile, the legislative branch of the government, has its home here.
  • Speaking of the government, Chile is a presidential representative democratic republic. The president is both the head of state and the head of the government. The present Constitution was approved in 1980.
  • Puerto Williams, in the southern tip of Chile, is the southernmost village in the entire world.
  • Viña Mar
  • Although many tourists flock to the bustling city of Santiago, an up and coming popular attraction for many is the coastal city, Viña del Mar, known as "The Garden City". It has long stretches of sandy beaches and hosts a large music festival every February where there is a televised song competition (best pop song and best folk song) and performances by international artists. The crowd at this festival is renowned as being a harsh critic. The will let the artist, be they internationally established or a competitor in one of the song competitions, know what they think and it is not uncommon for an artist to be booed off the stage!
  • Although some people like to believe Chile got its name from its form being similar to that of the traditional Mexican Chilli pepper, it is more likely that the name comes from "Chile" meaning "where the land ends" in the Mapuche language.

With such a wealth of different climates, scenery and surroundings, it should be no surprise that Chile is a hotspot for tourists, especially those wishing to learn the Spanish language. There are many Spanish schools offering courses that will allow you to take in the wonder of this varied country whilst enjoying it all the more by being able to converse with locals and stand on your own two feet confidently using the Spanish language.