Official Name: Republic of Chile (Republica de Chile)
Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru
Area: 291,933 sq mi (756,102 sq km) - slightly less than twice the size of Montana
Population 17,508,260 (2015 estimate) - white 89%, mapuche 9%, other indigenous 2%
Average income (2008): $13,561
SANTIAGO (capital) 6.507 million;
Concepcion 816,000 (2015);
People from Chile are called Chileans
The official language is Spanish
The country is 67% Catholic, 16% Evangelical/Protestant, 5% other and 12% none
Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the Inca ruled northern Chile while the Mapuche inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Mapuche were brought under central government control.
Chile is in the advanced stages of demographic transition and is becoming an aging society - with fertility below replacement level, low mortality rates, and life expectancy on par with developed countries. Nevertheless, with its dependency ratio nearing its low point, Chile could benefit from its favorable age structure. It will need to keep its large working-age population productively employed, while preparing to provide for the needs of its growing proportion of elderly people, especially as women - the traditional caregivers - increasingly enter the workforce. Over the last two decades, Chile has made great strides in reducing its poverty rate, which is now lower than most Latin American countries. However, its severe income inequality ranks as the worst among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Unequal access to quality education perpetuates this uneven income distribution.
Timeframe unknown, Books for Pastors is discussing the possibility of working with Word of Life and SCORE International to hold multiple pastors’ conferences in Santiago and/or Valparaiso. There are many details to still be considered, and we invite you to join us as we pray about this important opportunity.