Santiago de Chile

volunteer in Chile Santiago de Chile internship at a local ngo

Volunteer in Chile | Internships at a local NGO in Santiago de Chile

Brief description

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship
  • International volunteers work at a known South American’s NGO (TECHO) in its central office in Santiago de Chile.
  • TECHO is a youth led non-profit organization present in Latin America & the Caribbean. Through the collaborative work of families living in extreme poverty with youth volunteers, TECHO seeks to overcome poverty in slums. Today, TECHO is present in nineteen South and Central American countries, including the central office located in Santiago de Chile, and mobilises over 530,000 volunteers to battle against extreme poverty which affects more than eighty-million people in this region of the world.
  • TECHO pursues three strategic objectives:
    • The promotion of community development in slums, through a process of community strengthening that promotes representative and validated leadership, and drives the organization and participation of thousands of families living in slums to generate solutions to their own problems.
    • Fostering social awareness and action, with special emphasis on generating critical and determined volunteers working with the families living in slums while involving different social entities.
    • Political advocacy that promotes necessary structural changes to ensure that poverty does not continue reproducing, and that it begins to decrease rapidly.
  • Volunteers can work in a variety of departments in the organization; these areas are international communication, international marketing, international finance, international cooperation or in the area of volunteering and training. The department of volunteer & training works on amelioration of the volunteer’s overall experience; how they can receive optimal orientation and be of most effective assistance in their specific field.
  • For volunteers that are looking to do an internship, the NGO provides an opportunity to work in a medium-sized NGO and to work hand in hand with the NGO in its fight against poverty.
  • Minimum commitment of 10 weeks depending on the role.
  • Depending on the role you will you will require different types of qualifications.

Apply

Santiago de Chile program info

 Accommodation

  • The NGO does not provide accommodation, but helps volunteers find a place to stay throughout their time as a volunteer. These are generally shared flats. During the first days, most volunteers stay with another employee or volunteer of the NGO until they move into another apartment. The NGO receives support from a large number of international employees / volunteers that help newcomers with what they need in order to get themselves installed.

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-accommodationFood

  • From Monday to Friday at 1 pm the NGO offers lunch to volunteers and employees at its central office in Santiago de Chile. The menu also includes vegetarian options.
  • The food consists mainly of rice, vegetables, meats and other staple foods common to Chilean cuisine.

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-food

What to see & do

Santiago de Chile

Founded in 1541, Santiago de Chile is a modern city surrounded by mountains and, being Chile’s capital and largest city (with over 5 million inhabitants), it has a lot to offer.

  • Mercado Central: Its “Mercado Central” (central market) was declared a historical monument in 1984. It employs up to 800 people that work in everything from liquor stores, herb stores, bakeries, fish restaurants, cheese shops, grocery stores and handicraft shops. Above all, it offers a huge variety of seafood dishes.
  • La Vega Central: Another extremely popular market (and the biggest one in Chile) is the fruit and vegetable market “La Vega Central. The market accounts for about 4% of all Santiago’s commercial transactions regarding fruit and vegetable.
  • “Quinta Normal”: If you like museums you will definitely like the “Quinta Normal” district, where you can, in fact, spend more than just one day. Inside a park that finds itself within this district, you can visit the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Science and Technology and the Railway Museum. It is also the part of the city where you will find the Moneda Palace (where the Chilean president resides) and the Planetarium; a beautiful construction which gives you an amazing insight into our Universe.

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-the-city

Valparaiso

Founded in 1536, Valpo (as Chileans call it) is a city located 116km or One and a half hours by bus from Santiago de Chile. Valparaiso was a very important port in the 19th century, being a stopover for ships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, crossing the Straits of Magellan. The historic quarter was declared a UNESCO world Heritage Site. Valparaiso is a great place for eating seafood, so when you are here try the crabs, mussels, octopus or ceviche. Valparaiso is a student city so you can expect to find a good nightlife.

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-valparaiso

Viña del Mar

Founded in 1878, Viña del Mar is located on the coast, about 120km from Santiago de Chile. There is a subway (Metro Valparaiso) that connects Valparaiso to Viña del Mar via a 30 minute metro ride. Viña del Mar is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Chileans and Argentines since the beginning of the implementation of democracy in 1990. Viña has very long and cold water beaches (remember it’s the Pacific Ocean, meaning it can get very cold).

Viña is also host to the most important music festival in the country; The Viña del Mar International Song Festival. The festival invites international stars such as Ricky Martin, Tom Jones, Elton John and Shakira, amongst others.

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-vina-del-mar

Schedule

  • On average volunteers work approximately 40 hours per week, from 9 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday.
  • Those applying to internships can work either part-time or full-time. This point can be discussed (and adapted) once there.

Location

  • The NGO central office, where the volunteers work, is located about 40 minutes from the center of the city by bus.
  • Santiago de Chile is a medium sized city but is very well connected. The city of Santiago has a very efficient subway that connects the city through its 5 lines with more than a hundred stops.
  • The city is divided in more than 30 quarters. When it comes to looking for an apartment we recommend you check out the following sectors: Santiago Centro, Providencia, Bellavista, Ñuñoa, Las Condes, Vitacura and La Reina.

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-map-of-the-city

Prerequisites

  • Minimum commitment of 10 weeks. Depending on the role, the minimum required commitment can be longer.
  • Advanced level of Spanish. English or French can be an advantage on specified roles requiring international cooperation.
  • Minimum 18 years old, show creativity & initiative, as well as effective time management skills.
  • Volunteers must either have successfully completed, or be studying the following degrees: Communication, Marketing, Graphic Design, International Business, Journalism, Architecture, Engineering, or Sociology.

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-ngo

What’s offered?

  • One meal per day at the central office of the NGO.
  • 1 to 2-Day(s) orientation
  • Presentation of aims and structure of the local NGO.
  • Practical information and arrangements.
  • Help for finding a shared apartment.
  • On-going support and supervision during the program.
  • 1 day Final Evaluation.

What’s NOT included?

  • Air fares.
  • Travel/Medical insurance.
  • Accomodation & food.
  • Breakfast & dinner.
  • Vaccinations.
  • Police Check form.
  • Visas.
  • (INTVS and at times our partners advise on all of the above, and all are generally obligatory, but INTVS does not cover these costs).

This program does not have a program fee. The NGO offers volunteers lunch during the day. The table below shows a small budget for a month’s stay in Santiago de Chile. This cost can vary depending on your life style. The NGO will help you to find a shared flat for your first days and also for the rest of your placement.

Cost of life in Santiago de Chile (Small budget for one month) Cost (US$)
Rent for a room in a shared flat  US$ 320
Transportation (2 buses / subway every day from Mon-Sun)  US$ 67
Food (breakfast and dinner)  US$ 264
Total  US$ 651

Please click here to convert the prices to your local currency.

  • INTVS charges its own fee of 185€, regardless of the time that a volunteer stays abroad. This fee covers;
  • Volunteer support prior to, during and after the volunteer experience (in English, French & Spanish)
  • All necessary preparatory information including;
    • Visas
    • Vaccinations
    • Travel/Medical Insurance
    • Police Check form
    • The program (the site, schedule, role…)
    • Local contacts & important numbers

And also…

  • History, demographics & local norms
  • What to bring
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • And much more.
  • It also covers work and travel costs that INTVS staff incur to check up on and document the programs on a regular basis.
  • The payments to the local organizations and INTVS are completely separate. We do NOT charge them a commission and 100% of the program cost goes to them.

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-a-volunteer

“I feel that professionally I learned things that could be of use to me in the future, especially with regards to development aid; an area that interests me a lot. On a personal level I have met committed people, and have worked on projects on which we have no idea how people live in such circumstances, so my experience was quite emotional, as I rediscovered the reality of Latin America…I felt that the local organization was very well coordinated, and has projects on which the volunteer can really work and achieve results. This makes you feel that you’re working for a clear objective, and that’s fantastic!”

Karen (Mexico)

Demographics

  • Population: 18 million (2015)
  • Currency: Peso (CLP)
  • Capital City: Santiago de Chile
  • Land area: 291,930 square miles (about the size of Turkey or Zambia)
  • People living below poverty line: 2,3 million (2012 estimate)
  • Language: Official: Spanish

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-map

Culture

  • Chilean culture is a combination of Andean cultures, influenced by highland traditions from the north, as well as the Mapuche culture from the South. European influences began in the 19th century, and were, above all of British, German and French antecedents.
  • German immigrants had a clear influence on Southern Chile, bringing their Bavariana cuisine. Their influence on architecture is also notably visible in towns such as Puerto Mont, Frutilla, Osorno, Valdivia and others.
  • The creole culture is also evident in Chile and can be beheld at the “Pampilla” festivities and its typically creole pastries.

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-art

Music and dance

  • Chilean music has a variety of styles, such as the ‘cueca’ national folklore, ‘el guitarerreo’ (a type of monotone and repeated guitar playing), ‘la tonada’ (a type of modern, rural, slow Chilean folk music) and ‘paya’, which, in my humble opinion, sounds a bit like a slow rap accompanied by simple guitar strumming. Each geographical area has a different musical style.
  • Spanish influence is evident in Chile’s music and dance, with the popular, melodic “cueca” being the most popular. This musical style has some indigenous influences as well.

Literature

  • Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945, for her (very emotional) poetry that inspired millions. Her writing style, her topics of choice (love, nature, travel, motherly love and the Latin American folklore) as well as humanitarian spirit (donating book sales profits to an orphanage during the civil war in Spain) resulted in her international recognition. Her portrait can be admired on the 5,000 Chilean pesos note.
  • Chile was also home to one of the planet’s most famous poets; Pablo Neruda, who also received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971 for his surreal, historical and politically inclined poetry. Pablo Neruda travelled the world with different diplomatic roles and was also a supporter of the communist political party, which led to his exile from Chile on a number of occasions.

History

  • It is estimated that Chile had its first settlers as far back as 12,000 BC. These first settlers were hunter/gatherers and also planted crops.
  • The Incas extended their empire to the north of the country, but the Mapuche (a group of inedigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile) successfully resisted every attempt by the Incas to take that territory.
  • The Incas finally conquered northern Chile in the 15th century but were themselves conquered by the Spanish in 1533.
  • 1520: Ferdinand Magallan discovered the famous “Strait of Magellan”; a passage that sliced through the Southern part of the South American continent.
  • 1540: Pedro de Valdivia, a pupil of Francisco Pizarro, one of the Spanish conquistadores arrived to Chile and founded the city of Santiago in 1541.
  • 1553: A massive rebellion of the Mapuche (1598 and 1655) led to the assassination of Valdivia, as well as the destruction of several colonial settlements.
  • 1683: Slavery is abolished, as a reaction to the Mapuche rebellion. The relationship between the Mapuche and the colonial settlers however, remained fragile for the following 120 years.
  • 1808: Napoleon proclaimed his brother Joseph as king of Spain, precipitating the independence of the Spanish colonies. The first national board is formed on September 18, 1810. Chile declared its independence, initiating a lengthy war. Eventually, Chile defeated Spain and Bernardo O’Higgins became the first official Chilean leader.
  • 1818: Jose de San Martin, the Argentine war hero during the war for independence in Argentina and its neighboring countries, leads an army, overthrowing the Spaniards. As a consequence, Chile became formally independent from Spain on February 12th
  • 1879: The Chilean Army seizes the Bolivian port of Antofagasta, declaring the lands to be Chilean. The tense situation leads to a war against Bolivia, who has the support of its ally Peru. In the end, Chile defeats Bolivia, taking valuable ports and territories, which held some of the largest nitrate and copper mines in the world.
  • 1920: The emerging middle and working class vote reformist Arturo Alessandri as president, whose plans were thwarted by Congress. The very same year, Marxism begins to take power over the country.
  • 1920 – 1930: Following a coup led by General Luis Altamirano, Chile goes through about a decade of instability.
  • 1932 – 1952: In 1932, constitutional stability is restored and a strong political party (“The Radical”) representing the emerging middle class comes to power. This political party goes on to become a key force in a government that would last for the next 20 years.
  • 1964: Eduardo Frei Montalva began a period of major reforms, using the slogan “Revolution in Liberty”. Montalva proposed social and economic reforms, particularly regarding education, construction of houses and land reform. At the end of his term, Montalva fails to achieve his ambitious goals.
  • 1970: Salvador Allende, from the Socialist party, is elected as president, converting Chile into the first country to vote for communism. As a response to Allende’s socialist program, economic crisis ensues, as a result of the disappearance of international and capital investment, and the withdrawal of bank deposits.
  • 1973-1990: A second military coup occurs, with the bombing of the presidential palace. Allende commits suicide under unclear circumstances and General Pinochet takes power. He immediately suspends the constitution, imposes censorship, bans other political parties and dissolves congress.
  • Pinochet introduces a military dictatorship, in which thousands of people are arrested, tortured, assassinated, exiled or imprisoned, while many others simply disappear. During the dictatorship, the economy improves, in which unemployment and inflation decrease. From 1980 onwards however, Chile enters into a recession, from which it would not recover until the end of the decade.
  • 1990: Chileans vote against the dictatorship and Patricio Aylwin is elected president of Chile. Throughout the following years, Chile embarks on a swift economic recovery, which has been generally maintained until today.
  • 2006: Michelle Bachelet Jeria is elected as the first female president of Chile. Bachelet, member of the Socialist Party, defeats Sebastian Pinera, who in 2010 is elected as the first right-wing president in 20 years.
  • 2014: Michelle Bachelet is re-elected with 62% of the vote, hence becoming the first person since 1932 to win a presidential nomination in competitive elections for the second term in Chile.

Taltal

Volunteer-in-Chile-Taltal-Teaching-English-The-City

Volunteer in Chile| Teaching English Program in Taltal

Brief description

volunteer-in-chile-taltal-english-teaching-english
  • International volunteers teach English at the school in the beautiful and hidden city of Taltal. The NGO has as a vision to build a bilingual city with 15,000 people, providing free English courses to anyone that wants to learn. Teaching is provided not just to children, but also to their parents and other adults.
  • International volunteers are key for this vision, and for this particular program, there is always a need for people that love to teach kids and adults, perform a variety of activities, like to work as part of a teacher team and enjoy sports and outside activities (the NGO makes a huge effort to arrange free classes of kayak, surf, basketball, mountain biking and more for the volunteers).
  • The NGO may ask for international certificates such as such as KET, PET, FCE, YLE, CAE, CPE, IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC.
  • This program requires a minimum commitment of one month.

Apply

Taltal program info

 Accommodation

  • Volunteers stay in a new hostel or a pension located in the city of Taltal. Both are very close to the school. As Taltal is a small city, the basics (supermarkets, pharmacies, grocery stores…) are all within 10 minutes’ walking distance. The Hostel has 3 shared rooms and 2 private rooms.
  • The hostel has a television, wifi internet, a fridge, air conditioning, cooking equipment, a common area and a rooftop. Volunteers sleep on bunkbeds and are provided with sheets, pillows, blankets and towels. Bathrooms (with a toilet and shower) are shared (all have hot and cold water).

Volunteer-in-Chile-Taltal-Teaching-English-Volunteer-House

 Food

  • Breakfast is included and provided by the NGO. There is always bread, jam, coffee and tea, as well as some fruit. Volunteers sometimes buy some extras like cereal from a local supermarket.
  • Special dinner: For volunteers that give night classes, a voucher for a free dinner in one of the best restaurants in Taltal is provided.

Volunteer-in-Chile-Taltal-Teaching-English-Food

 

Cost CLP (Pesos) US$
Average Price for meal in inexpensive restaurant $ 5,000 US$ 7,5
Average Price meal. mid-range restaurant for 2 p $ 20,000 US$ 30.2
Water $ 500 US$ 0.76
Domestic beer (0.5 L) $ 1,500 US$ 2.27

 

 

What to see & do

Taltal

  • Taltal is a beautiful city, located in the northern region of Chile. It has a population of just 15,000 people, which will make you feel as if you’re part of a large family. Your first stops should be the houses that are registered in the ´Inventory of Cultural Heritage Properties’; the Augusto Capdeville Museum (1885), the railroad houses (1886), the Alhambra Theatre (1921), Plaza Hotel (1898) and the Protestant church (1896). The beach is approximately 10 minutes´ walking from the city center. Walking another 10 minutes, you will arrive at a white sand beach. Taltal has about 300 days of sun, so a beach is a great option! With mountains on one side and the beach on the other, the city is a hidden pearl.

Atacama Desert

  • Over 1.000 km (600 miles) long, and covering an area of approximately 105,000 km2, the Atacama is large, but above all dry. In fact, it is the driest desert in the world. Some parts haven’t seen rain for over 400 years. San Pedro de Atacama at 2,450 meters altitude, is where the desert starts and is located at the foot of the Andes. Furthermore, it is the start point for excursion into the desert. In the city, you will find restaurants, hostels, tourism companies and an official tourism agency. Mountain biking and driving 4 wheels drives through the desert are the most common activities. The local NGO is also there to help you find the best tourism deals. If you enjoy mountain biking, you can also go for a one day trip in the vicinity of Taltal.

Volunteer-in-Chile-Taltal-Teaching-English-Atacama

Antofagasta

  • In order to arrive to Taltal, you will probably pass by the city of Antofagasta, “the new Dubai” as people from Chile refer to it. Due to the mining industry, the city is quite wealthy and has a booming real estate market. It is a great place to stay for a couple of days, in order to enjoy its beach and historical city center.

Volunteer-in-Chile-Taltal-Teaching-English-Antofagasta

Santiago de Chile

  • Founded in 1541 Santiago de Chile is a modern city arrow mountains and it will be your first stop coming from your country. Staying some days in this city is worthy and we even recommend staying for a week to have some time for short trips to Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, San Antonio or Mendoza in Argentina.

Volunteer-in-Chile-Taltal-Teaching-English-Santiago-de-Chile

South of Chile

  • The south of Chile and Argentina are probably the most visited parts of both countries. Amongst its beautiful landscapes you will find lakes, rivers, beaches, mountains, national parks and walking/biking routes. If you have the possibility of renting a car, you will be amazed by many of the forests and coastal areas. Places you shouldn’t miss are Frutillar, Puerto Mont, Osorno, Chaitén, Puerto Cisnes and the Torres del Paines National Park (2,783 km from Santiago de Chile).

Volunteer-in-Chile-Taltal-Teaching-English-Frutillar

Schedule

  • Working hours vary depending on the level of the classes. The English school has classes in the morning, afternoon and evening. On average volunteers work about four hours a day.
  • The classes start in March, with a two week pause in July, and ends in December, when the summer holidays begin. Nevertheless, during the summer the school is open for some weeks for a summer camp.

Location

  • Taltal is a small city when considering square mileage, but big on the hospitality scale of its inhabitants. The city has over 15,000 inhabitants, and amongst its attractions are its white sand beaches, sea lions and penguins.
  • The school is located at about 10 minutes´ walking distance from the volunteer accommodation and pretty much everything within the city is at walking distance.

Volunteer-in-Chile-Taltal-Teaching-English-The-Map

Prerequisites

  • This program requires a minimum commitment of one month.
  • Native or bilingual level of English (The NGO may ask for international certificates such as KET, PET, FCE, YLE, CAE, CPE, IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC…)
  • A minimum of an intermediate level of Spanish.
  • Minimum 18 years old, show creativity & initiative, confidence in the classroom & effective time management skills.

What’s offered?

  • Pickup from the bus terminal.
  • Accommodation (breakfast and lodging) at the local NGO dormitory.
  • 1 to 2-Day Orientation
  • Presentation of aims and structure of the local NGO.
  • Practical information and arrangements.
  • Sightseeing and exposure tour in Taltal.
  • Sport classes (possibilities are kayak, surfing, basketball, mountain biking and more…)
  • Visit to host Placement(s) primarily with a program director.
  • On-going support and supervision during the program.
  • Weekly meetings to plan the classes.
  • 1-day Final Evaluation with the awarding of a certificate.

What’s NOT included?

  • Air fares.
  • Travel/Medical insurance.
  • Vaccinations.
  • Police Check form.
  • Visas.
  • (INTVS and at times our partners advise on all of the above, and all are generally obligatory, but INTVS does not cover these costs).

This program does not have a program fee. The NGO provides free accommodation and breakfast for those that commit to the volunteer program for at least 1 month.


INTVS charges its own fee of 185€
, regardless of the time that a volunteer stays abroad. This fee covers;

  • Volunteer support prior to, during and after the volunteer experience (in English, French & Spanish)
  • All necessary preparatory information including;
    • Visas
    • Vaccinations
    • Travel/Medical Insurance
    • Police Check form
    • The program (the site, schedule, role…)
    • Local contacts & important numbers

And also…

  • History, demographics & local norms
  • What to bring
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • And much more.
  • It also covers work and travel costs that INTVS staff incur to check up on and document the programs on a regular basis.
  • The payments to the local organizations and INTVS are completely separate. We do NOT charge them a commission and 100% of the program cost goes to them.

Demographics

  • Population: 18 million (2015)
  • Currency: Peso (CLP)
  • Capital City: Santiago de Chile
  • Land area: 291,930 square miles (about the size of Turkey or Zambia)
  • People living below poverty line: 2,3 million (2012 estimate)
  • Language: Official: Spanish

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-map

Culture

  • Chilean culture is a combination of Andean cultures, influenced by highland traditions from the north, as well as the Mapuche culture from the South. European influences began in the 19th century, and were, above all of British, German and French antecedents.
  • German immigrants had a clear influence on Southern Chile, bringing their Bavariana cuisine. Their influence on architecture is also notably visible in towns such as Puerto Mont, Frutilla, Osorno, Valdivia and others.
  • The creole culture is also evident in Chile and can be beheld at the “Pampilla” festivities and its typically creole pastries.

volunteer-in-chile-santiago-de-chile-internship-art

Music and dance

  • Chilean music has a variety of styles, such as the ‘cueca’ national folklore, ‘el guitarerreo’ (a type of monotone and repeated guitar playing), ‘la tonada’ (a type of modern, rural, slow Chilean folk music) and ‘paya’, which, in my humble opinion, sounds a bit like a slow rap accompanied by simple guitar strumming. Each geographical area has a different musical style.
  • Spanish influence is evident in Chile’s music and dance, with the popular, melodic “cueca” being the most popular. This musical style has some indigenous influences as well.

Literature

  • Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945, for her (very emotional) poetry that inspired millions. Her writing style, her topics of choice (love, nature, travel, motherly love and the Latin American folklore) as well as humanitarian spirit (donating book sales profits to an orphanage during the civil war in Spain) resulted in her international recognition. Her portrait can be admired on the 5,000 Chilean pesos note.
  • Chile was also home to one of the planet’s most famous poets; Pablo Neruda, who also received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971 for his surreal, historical and politically inclined poetry. Pablo Neruda travelled the world with different diplomatic roles and was also a supporter of the communist political party, which led to his exile from Chile on a number of occasions.

History

  • It is estimated that Chile had its first settlers as far back as 12,000 BC. These first settlers were hunter/gatherers and also planted crops.
  • The Incas extended their empire to the north of the country, but the Mapuche (a group of inedigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile) were successfully resisted every attempt by the Incas to take that territory.
  • The Incas finally conquered northern Chile in the 15th century but were themselves conquered by the Spanish in 1533.
  • 1520: Ferdinand Magallan discovered the famous “Strait of Magellan”; a passage that sliced through the Southern part of the South American continent.
  • 1540: Pedro de Valdivia, a pupil of Francisco Pizarro, one of the Spanish conquistadores arrived to Chile and founded the city of Santiago in 1541.
  • 1553: A massive rebellion of the Mapuche (1598 and 1655) led to the assassination of Valdivia, as well as the destruction of several colonial settlements.
  • 1683: Slavery is abolished, as a reaction to the Mapuche rebellion. The relationship between the Mapuche and the colonial settlers however, remained fragile for the following 120 years.
  • 1808: Napoleon proclaimed his brother Joseph as king of Spain, precipitating the independence of the Spanish colonies. The first national board is formed on September 18, 1810. Chile declared its independence, initiating a lengthy war. Eventually, Chile defeated Spain and Bernardo O’Higgins became the first official Chilean leader.
  • 1818: Jose de San Martin, the Argentine war hero during the war for independence in Argentina and its neighboring countries, leads an army, overthrowing the Spaniards. As a consequence, Chile became formally independent from Spain on February 12th
  • 1879: The Chilean Army seizes the Bolivian port of Antofagasta, declaring the lands to be Chilean. The tense situation leads to a war against Bolivia, who has the support of its ally Peru. In the end, Chile defeats Bolivia, taking valuable ports and territories, which held some of the largest nitrate and copper mines in the world.
  • 1920: The emerging middle and working class vote reformist Arturo Alessandri as president, whose plans were thwarted by Congress. The very same year, Marxism begins to take power over the country.
  • 1920 – 1930: Following a coup led by General Luis Altamirano, Chile goes through about a decade of instability.
  • 1932 – 1952: In 1932, constitutional stability is restored and a strong political party (“The Radical”) representing the emerging middle class comes to power. This political party goes on to become a key force in a government that would last for the next 20 years.
  • 1964: Eduardo Frei Montalva began a period of major reforms, using the slogan “Revolution in Liberty”. Montalva proposed social and economic reforms, particularly regarding education, construction of houses and land reform. At the end of his term, Montalva fails to achieve his ambitious goals.
  • 1970: Salvador Allende, from the Socialist party, is elected as president, converting Chile into the first country to vote for communism. As a response to Allende’s socialist program, economic crisis ensues, as a result of the disappearance of international and capital investment, and the withdrawal of bank deposits.
  • 1973-1990: A second military coup occurs, with the bombing of the presidential palace. Allende commits suicide under unclear circumstances and General Pinochet takes power. He immediately suspends the constitution, imposes censorship, bans other political parties and dissolves congress.
  • Pinochet introduces a military dictatorship, in which thousands of people are arrested, tortured, assassinated, exiled or imprisoned, while many others simply disappear. During the dictatorship, the economy improves, in which unemployment and inflation decrease. From 1980 onwards however, Chile enters into a recession, from which it would not recover until the end of the decade.
  • 1990: Chileans vote against the dictatorship and Patricio Aylwin is elected president of Chile. Throughout the following years, Chile embarks on a swift economic recovery, which has been generally maintained until today.
  • 2006: Michelle Bachelet Jeria is elected as the first female president of Chile. Bachelet, member of the Socialist Party, defeats Sebastian Pinera, who in 2010 is elected as the first right-wing president in 20 years.
  • 2014: Michelle Bachelet is re-elected with 62% of the vote, hence becoming the first person since 1932 to win a presidential nomination in competitive elections for the second term in Chile.