sovereign state in South America

Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island in Oceania.

Flag of Chile
Chile's location in South America


  • As I say, we have all seen photographs of the stone figures, the moai; the pictures show single statues and groups of three or four, but I discovered that there are hundreds: the island [Easter Island] is strewn with them.
  • For a start, who were they, these long-dead hewers of stone? Did they come from Polynesia on the west, or South America on the east? Or both? No one knows. And when? The experts offer dates from the 7th century to the 16th, a more than ample leeway. No one knows. But the further we go into the mystery, the darker becomes our ignorance. What were the statues? Were they gods to be worshipped? Or tutelary deities? Or a strange form of lares et penates? Or monuments to their ancestors? Or stylized portraits of historic figures? Or art? No one knows. And when they were finally standing on their massive pedestals, what rituals, what ceremonies, what offerings did the islanders provide? No one knows. Boards, inscribed with an ideographic script, have been found, and there are beautiful and elaborate petroglyphs strewn about the island; scholars have pored over them for decades, trying to decipher the signs and thus learn the language. What did those people want to say to us? No one knows.
    • Ibid.
  • By right or might.
    • National motto
  • How pure, Chile, is your blue sky
And how pure the breezes that blow across you
And your countryside embroidered with flowers
Is a wonderful copy of Eden
How majestic are the snow-covered mountains
That were given to you by God as protection
And the sea that tranquilly bathes your shores
Promises future splendor for you.
  • Himno Nacional (Wikisource, 5th verse in official anthem.)

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