Chile: Country of Poets

Sept. 18 is not precisely Independence Day for Chile, yet for the next couple of days, Chileans will be commemorating 205 years since the proclamation of the First Governing Body back in 1810. This marked the beginning of the Chile’s independence process. The official holiday is observed Sept. 18 and 19; however, the celebration itself can last up to a week. Parades, food, dancing, and rodeos are all typical features — as is taking advantage of days off to visit with family.

Many of the major Latin-American literature contributors are Chileans. From Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda — Nobel Prize winners — to Isabel Allende, José Donoso, Roberto Bolaño and many more, these writers have helped Chile live-up to its “country of poets” nickname.

Did you know…? Eighty percent of Chile’s territory is made up of mountains. Although located in Polynesia (in the middle of the Pacific Ocean), the Easter Islands are also under the control of Chile, and since 1995, they’ve been considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The traditional Chilean empanada is baked and filled with pino, a mixture of ground beef, onions, raisins, black olives, and boiled egg.

Note: Our thoughts and prayers are with Chile after of the 8.3 magnitude earthquake that struck them this past Wednesday.

This is the fourth in a series of articles spotlighting different countries in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. To see a complete list of previous entries, click here.