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By Richard A Crooker

Concise, but choked with info, those elementary volumes are introductions to trendy countries of the area.

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Q 2/20/04 8:28 PM Page 40 40 Chile Bernardo O’Higgins, sometimes known as the George Washington of Chile, led rebels to victory in Chile’s War of Independence with Spain that lasted from 1810–1818. O’Higgins became dictator of Chile after the war, and strengthened the nation by forming a navy, improving cities, opening schools, and promoting trade and agriculture, before being sent into exile by his political rivals in 1823. q 2/20/04 8:28 PM Page 41 Chile Through Time lasted from 1810 to 1818.

In the arid north, Antofagasta is the largest city, with about 267,000 people. Also important are Arica and Iquique, both with about 200,000 people. There are no large cities in the northern desert interior. Temuco (259,000) is the largest city in southern Chile. The two major seaport centers in southern Chile are Puerto Montt (168,000) and Punta Arenas (131,000). Of the world’s cities, only Argentina’s Ushuaia lies farther south than Punta Arenas. MESTIZO MELTING POTS Chileans are primarily mestizos, the product of unions between the country’s indigenous peoples and various European colonizers.

In turn, this stability has led to the development of one of Latin America’s most successful democratic nations. q 2/20/04 8:28 PM Page 33 INDIGENOUS PEOPLES Several groups of indigenous peoples, or Indians, with differing customs and economies inhabited the region that is now Chile. In northern Chile, the Chango Indians occupied the coastal desert from Arica to the Choapa River. They were a nomadic people who depended on fishing from sealskin canoes for their main food supply. They also collected shellfish, hunted wild game, and gathered seeds, berries, and nuts on the marine terraces of the coast range.

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