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DAVID ARCHULETA

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David Archuleta and the People of Chile

Posted by bebereader on Saturday, April 27, 2013

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Since Elder Archuleta began serving a mission in Chile, I’ve been curious about the Chilean culture. I have already researched Chilean music, dance, foods and Chilean holidays. Now I’m curious about statistical information of Chile and what it’s like to live with the Chileans and their habits and customs. How does one go about finding this unless one travels to Chile?

Statistical information was easy enough to find; it came straight from Chilean websites and census data. For the real nitty gritty information, I searched through travelogues and blogs of foreign exchange students until I hit the jackpot! People actually keep records of their travel experiences. The quotes on various topics that I extracted from the blogs are in boxes.  Bloggers’ names have been omitted. Muchas gracias to those who unknowingly contributed.

Population: 17.27 million (2011) World Bank.  The population of Chile is expected to reach about 20.2 million by 2050.

The majority of the Chilean population live in the capital city of Santiago.

credit: syntagmafilm

Chile is one of the largest exporters of salmon. Chile also exports other fish, fruits, wine, chemicals, paper and copper.  Over 1/3 of the world’s copper production is produced in Chile.

Chile has one of the longest recorded dry spells in the Atacama Desert where it did not rain for 40 years.

Chile is a founding member of United Nations as well as of the Union of South American Nations.

Catholics make up 63% of the population. Protestants or Evangelical 15%.
Jehovah’s Witnesses comprise 1%. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 0.9%. Jews make up 0.4%. Atheists are 8.3%. Muslims 0.1% (From Census data 2011)

The Chilean Peso is the national currency of Chile and has been in circulation since 1975. One Chilean Peso is divided into 100 centavos.
One US dollar was worth 517 pesos in December 2011. (Imagine having to get used to using different money.)

The national sport of Chile is the Chilean Rodeo and is mainly practiced in rural areas. The most popular sport in Chile is what they call futbol but we call soccer.  The country stops when there is a soccer match and when they win, they go to Plaza Italia to celebrate. Chile has participated in the Olympics since its inauguration and has won 13 medals with tennis bringing in the most.

The literacy rate of Chile is 96.5%. The government provides free and compulsory education to citizens up to the age of eighteen. Chile has a large, well-educated middle class. Education is emphasized as a means to a better life, and the majority of young people earn a high school diploma.

The official language is Spanish; the one used is Chileno which is a mix of slang taken from old sayings and some American-Chilenisms like “Cachai“, which means do you understand or do you get it, coming from the American word “catch”.

On Language
“The Spanish is the worst!! I don´t want to speak like a Chilean but after being here for over a year everything I say ends in “kchay” and I can´t say “sí” or “no” – it´s “sip” o “nopo”.

credit: englishopensdoors

Chileans are a friendly bunch of people! The common greeting among friends and relatives is the abrazo, which is a hug and a handshake, sometimes with a kiss on the right cheek for women. It is repeated when saying goodbye. When conversing, Chileans tend to stand much closer to one another than in North Americas do. The common greetings are “¿Qui’ubo?” (What’s up?), “¿Como esta?“ (How are you?), “Gusto de verte“ (Nice to see you).

credit: jorge stepankowsky

In Chile, the custom is to give a child the last names of both the father and the mother, although the father’s name is the official one. The paternal surname comes first, followed by the maternal surname. (Example: David James Archuleta Mayorga)  Children are addressed either by using both names or by using only the father’s name. Wives keep their maiden names in addition to their husbands’ and they are also known by both names, although they sometimes prefer to use only their husbands’ name.

Avocados (“palta”) are plentiful in Chile and are added to any kind of burger, sandwich or hot dog. The very popular “Italiano” hot dog has ketchup or chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise and avocado on it.

On Italiano Hot Dogs
“And then there’s the combination of 3 ingredients, such as tomato, avocado, mayonnaise simply abbreviated as “italiano,” due to the 3 colors of the Italian flag (red, green and white). Once you know that, you can ask for any kind of sandwich and add “italiano” without any further explanation.”

credit Japi O

On Bread
“How much bread do Chileans eat? Two buns in the morning, one in lunch time, two or more at “Once” (pronounced own- say)…yeah that is a lot of bread. The toppings for bread: the regular stuff: butter, pate, scrambled eggs, jam, avocado…WHAT? yes, avocado, they eat it smashed with salt and oil. Bread with avocado is a 80′s classic and one of my favorites.”

“Chile has many kinds of bread, and the most common are “frica” (like a hamburger bun, but better), “molde” (typical slice), “marraqueta” (a crusty roll made with French bread dough, “hallulla” and “pan amasado” (both made with lard). Once I was eating one of these delights in Dominó (restaurant) when a guy from another Spanish-speaking country came in. When he finally decided from among beef, chicken, pork, tomato, avocado, bell pepper, mayonnaise, etc., the waiter asked:

“Fricamoldemarraqueta?”

“Huh?” asked the bewildered foreigner.

“FRI- CA- MOL- DE- MA- RRA- QUE- TA,” repeated the waiter, trying to be clearer.

By that time I was already well initiated in the ways of bread and was able to explain, “There are 3 types of bread, you need to choose one.” How was he supposed to choose when he had never even heard of a marraqueta or frica? But in the end, he loved the sandwich.”

On Onces
“Onces—or tea is a Chilean gastronomic institution. Inspired by the British tea, people gather in the early evening (mostly on weekends these days) to “ruin their dinner” (yikes, I’m channeling my mother!) for a carb fest of sandwiches (ham, cheese, and avocado are customary) and/or toast and jam, cookies, cake, and even ice cream (surprisingly often in reverse order). Oh, and the cup of tea is placed in front of you with the plate of food behind it, so that all the crumbs fall into the cup. Don’t try and change it around. It’s no use.”

On Coffee
“Most Chileans tend to drink instant coffee at home (Nescafé, sometimes referred to by purists as “no-es-café” – it is not coffee). When they go out, they drink “café café” (coffee-coffee) to explain that this is not regular coffee (which would be Nescafé) but rather REAL coffee. And it will probably come in a very small (demitasse) cup and often includes a small glass of soda water and a couple of little butter cookies on the side. If you go to a coffee shop they’ll ask if you want “express” (espresso), cortado (café con leche), or capucchino…”

credit: tintoweno

On Shopping
“Security rules in Chile can make shopping complicated. In small stores, shoppers must ask for what they want instead of taking it off the shelves themselves. Then they are given a paper with a description of the product. They take the paper to the cash register to pay for the item and go to another part of the store to pick up the item.”

On Things that upset Chileans
“Not wearing shoes at home.”
“Wandering around with wet hair upsets Chileans because they believe it causes you to catch a cold.”
“Saying that you don’t like sandwiches. Chileans love sandwiches, or “sánguches” in the local vernacular. They eat them for breakfast, onces (tea), snacks, and late-night noshing.”

On Dogs
“Chileans seem to have another kind of relationship with animals. It’s a live-and-let-live laissez faire attitude that endows domestic animals with the same apparent right to share public space as birds, squirrels (which, by the way, don’t exist in Chile), and, of course, humans.”

“Chilean dogs are often free to come and go as they please, and as a result, really don’t seem to care much about what anyone else is doing, and vice versa. Dogs are an extremely common sight on busy city streets and parks. Even the Plaza de la Constitución, in front of La Moneda, the presidential palace, is full of dogs—some with collars (i.e. owners), some without—that spend the entire day playing in the park and rarely seem to notice the hordes of tourists or uniformed officers or speech-making dignitaries or marching protesters or snuggling couples who want to share their space. Cats and dogs often wander in and out of casual restaurants. They are rather good-natured and healthy looking pooches, deep-snoozin’ on busy downtown street corners as pedestrians just step over or around them.”

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“Leash laws—if they exist, I’ve never been able to tell— are not enforced. Dogs are allowed to “go out and play,” snooze when they’re tired, and come home when they get hungry. The streets are full of dogs just hanging out, having a good time, and generally not bothering anyone…By the way… the stereotypical dog’s name in Chile? Not Rover, or Spot, or Fido (have you ever really known one of those?)… The quintessential Chilean dog’s name is Bobby! (pronounced BO-bee)”

Chileans are passionate and fun loving people. I wonder if Elder Archuleta has picked up any Chilean customs or affectations. If I ever get the opportunity to visit South America, my first stop would be Chile. Of course my Spanish would be rusty but after reading so much about the country there is now a familiarity that exists for me, if only virtually. And I can’t shake the thought of seeing David, strolling down the street in Santiago, eating an Italiano hotdog. :)

Posted in Chile, David Archuleta, The Voice, Travelogue | Tagged: , , , , , | 90 Comments »

Sightseeing Through Chile For Elder Archuleta

Posted by bebereader on Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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There are wondrous places in Chile that Elder Archuleta most probably will not get to see while busy on his mission. Perhaps he will make a trip back there one day in the future to visit more of this beautiful country that he will have spent two years of his life.

Chile is a country of extreme contrasts from volcanoes of the Andes Mountains to ancient rainforests and from the Atacama Desert in the north to massive glaciers in the south. In between these areas are waterfalls, beaches, lakes, rivers, forests and islands.  If you visit the north, south, east and west of Chile in one day you have the possibility of experiencing all four seasons. With these unusual changes in temperature and weather, Chile attracts thousands of tourists each year. If you’ve ever wondered how long Chile is, it’s approximately the length from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean or from the west coast to the east coast of the U.S. And at it’s widest point, it stretches for only 112 miles.

Come with me to do some virtual sightseeing through Chile to find places that David may want to visit should he decide to return. Aside from the tourist attractions which look awesome, by the way, there are some not as famous places that David may find appealing, too.

The penguins of Punta de Arenas

Punta Arenas in Magdalena Island, a popular tourist attraction in Chile has one of the largest penguin breeding sites. The island was named a national nature reserve because many years ago, commercial fishing in this area caused the penguin population to decline. But through a ban on commercial fishing, penguins were protected and penguin populations have increased.

Every fall, penguins leave the safety of the ocean, their natural habitat, and march for twenty days to a place called “Oamack”. That’s where they choose their mates, procreate, protect and feed their offspring and after a while they return to the sea. Later, their babies go to the ocean, where they stay for four years, and when they reach their adult life, they follow the same pattern of their parents. →   These creatures are a sight to behold!

Easter Island and the Moais, the giant volcanic rock statues

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Easter Island, a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean between Chile and Tahiti and now a national park was isolated for centuries from the outside world. Stumbled upon by Dutch settlers on Easter in 1772, the majority of the population are original inhabitants, Rapanui people, who developed their own distinctive culture best known by the moai, huge statues with elongated faces carved out of volcanic ash thousands of years ago. How and why the moai were built is a mystery. Each one weighs over 20 tons and is about 70 feet tall.  There are hundreds of them on the island, some in rows, others laying broken on the ground. Some say Easter Island is the most enchanting place in the world place to watch the sunset. There are other activities to do on Easter Island, like going to the beach, taking a tour of the volcanic craters, diving and surfing.

Cerro San Cristóbal

Cerro San Cristobel, Chile

Cerro San Cristóbal is a hill in Santiago, the capitol of Chile, with a beautiful view overlooking the city and, on a clear day, the Andes Mountains. At the top of the hill is a 72 foot statue of the Virgin Mary that can be reached by cable car or a long hike. I doubt that Elder Archuleta has had a chance to hike or take a ride on a cable car to see the view in Santiago. Cerro San Cristóbal has Santiago’s largest public park with a botanical garden and zoo.

World’s Largest Swimming Pool

You don’t have to be a swimmer to be curious about this, the world’s largest man-made outdoor pool at a resort in Algarrobo, a small town on Chile‘s central coast. The pool is the size of  20 Olympic-sized swimming pools! It’s filled with 66 million gallons of crystal clear seawater that it gets from the ocean and it’s warmth from the sun. It was listed officially as the largest (3/5 of a mile) and the deepest (115 feet) swimming pool in the Guinness Book of World Records in December of 2006.  Why build a pool right near the ocean? Simple. The water in the nearby coast is cold and dangerous. Swimming is prohibited.

Credit: theamazingnewsdotcom

The 6000 foot granite walls of Torres del Paine National Park
The 6000ft granite walls of Torres del Paine

Torres Del Paine is a national park located in the south of Chile, The park‘s main attraction are the three giant granite peaks that were carved out by glaciers. The peaks rise 8200 feet above ground. The park has dramatic landscapes, lakes, mountains, glaciers, valleys and forests with exotic birds roaming the area. It’s also popular for hiking and rock climbing. Because of it’s beauty, this park is referred to as “heaven on earth”.

Valle Nevado in the Andes Mountains

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Does David ski or snowboard? I don’t know but the most popular skiing resort in South America is in Chile and draws skiers from all over the world, equipped with bilingual experts, not that David would need one. A helicopter drops skiers from the top of the mountain for a ride down the hill.

Valle de la Luna

Valle de la Luna

Valle de la Luna is located in the Atacama Desert, some parts of which have not received rain in 200 or more years. This scene is the result of centuries of wind and floods on sand and stone. The large sand dunes and stone formations mimic the surface of the moon, and gave the area it’s name which translated means “Valley of the Moon”.

The Viña del Mar International Song Festival

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I think David would enjoy this song festival held annually during February since 1960 in Viña del Mar, Chile. It is considered the most important musical event in South America. It competes in two categories, pop music and folk songs, interspersed with performances by artists from all over the world.

Villarica Volcano

The active Volcán Villarica, just outside of Pucón

This snow-capped volcano looks harmless but it is active. When there’s no seismic activity in the crater, visitors can make their way up to the top either by hiking or on a guided tour. For a close look into the bubbling volcano, helicopters fly overhead regularly.  It takes 4 to 6 hours to get up and then down this volcano. The way down is a combination of sledding and walking.

The glaciers of Tierra Del Fuego

Perito Moreno

The Tierra Del Fuego or “Land of Fire” got it’s name from Ferdinand Magellan who spotted fires burning along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in 1520. Tierra Del Fuego is an archipelago (an expanse of water with many scattered islands) near Antarctica, comprised by channels and lakes, the ocean, forests and the Andes Mountains. The climate is windy with much rainfall and cold but warmer than one would assume.  In winter, the average temperature 28 Fahrenheit. In summer, it rarely rises far beyond 50 Fahrenheit.

The House of Eleven Women

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Angelica found this and passed it along to me.  Casa 11 Mujeres is a house on top of a cliff near Santiago built to fit a family with eleven daughters, from age four to twenty. Built on a 45 degree slope, the house is actually a vacation home that stands on a site sloping down with a view of Cachagua Beach on the Pacific Ocean. It has three levels and space for entertaining.

I’m sure Elder Archuleta has already learned about many of these places when talking to local Chileans and to people he’s met on his mission.  He’s probably learned of these and many more. The combination of historical places, cultural sites and natural wonders  make Chile a special place for relaxation, fun and learning. The beautiful beaches, ski resorts and mountain range add to the appeal. If he chooses to visit Chile again in the future, he is sure to have a memorable experience.

credit: Chiletravelchannel

Posted in Chile, David Archuleta, The Voice, Travelogue | Tagged: , , , | 122 Comments »

 
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