From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Vicki Rosenzweig (talk | contribs) at 15:43, 25 February 2002 (copyedit (minor changes for English usage)). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision.

The Republic of Chile, or La República de Chile, is a republic located on the southwestern coast of South America. The capital is Santiago. The national anthem is Himno Nacional.

The national flag is white, blue and red with one star. Blue represents the sky, white represents the snow of the mountains, and red the blood of patriots who fought for independence. The single star stresses the fact that Chile is an unitarian republic, not a federation:

File:Flag cl.gif

The national flower is the copihue, that lives in the woods in the southern part of Chile:

File:Flower copihue.gif

The shield-of-arms depicts the two national animals: the condor (a very large bird that lives in the mountains) and the huemul (an animal that lives in the woods). It also has the legend Por la razon o la fuerza, venceremos (By reason or strength, we will prevail):

File:Shield cl.gif

A Spanish colony until the 1810s, after gaining its independence, Chile has had a remarkably stable institutional life, with only a handful of interruptions, the longest and most recent being the government of Augusto Pinochet.

The population is mostly mestizo, with some of the original ethnic groups remaining in the south, on Easter Island, and in the mountains in the north. Other minor ethnic groups are the result of some more recent European immigration, mostly from Germany.

The climate varies widely from subtropical in the north, passing by the most arid desert in the world, the Atacama Desert, through a fertile valley in the center, to a cold and damp south, originally covered by forest. The Mediterranean quality of the central valley made it ideal for the cultivation of table fruits, which are one of Chile's main exports, and the production of wine, also a growing export.

The level of education is high, and Chileans are proud of having two winners of the Nobel Prize in literature: Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda.

From the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S. Department of State website. Not Wikified.