• Though Chile lives and breathes football, the national team has not had much luck against its mightier neighbour, Argentina. The first ever win over its rivals in 2008 was a cause for national jubilation.
• 17.2 million people live in Chile, consisting of a fairly homogenous mestizo population with a few indigenous groups: Mapuche in the Lake District (around 650,000), Aymara in the far north (around 54,000), Easter Island’s Rapa Nui (around 4300), Yámana (around 1800) and Kawéskar (around 2800) in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
• Chile’s motto is ‘Por la razón o la fuerza’ meaning ‘By right or by might’.
• One of the most developed countries in Latin America, Chile has the steadiest growth in the region and the lowest level of corruption in Latin America.
• In the longest recorded dry spell in Chile’s Atacama Desert, it didn’t rain for over 40 years.
• Chile only legalized divorce in 2004.
• Although notorious for the Pinochet’s infamous military dictatorship during the 1970s and 1980s, Chile otherwise has a long history of parliamentary democracy.
Everything you need to know before you set off.
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