The country of Chile is located in western South America. The conditions vary with the mountains,
deserts, and beaches.

Climate

The climate is one condition that may vary within different regions. The country extends a long
distance from north to south. There is a lack of rainfall to the north. there the air is able to hold
much of the moisture.
Middle Chile has hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters. The temperatures aren't often
extreme. The warmest month, January, averages 63.7 degrees Ferenheit. The coolest months, June and
July, Average 53.3 F.
More to the south the rain increases, and the length of the summerdry season shortens. Rainfall
totals more than 200 inches per year in some places.

The land

Chile has the longest seacoast in the world. It stretches more than 2,600 miles from north to
south. The country is about nine times longer than it is wide. It is only about 227 miles east to west
at its widest point. Chile has a small piece of antarctica and some Pacific islands including Easter
Island.
The total area of Chile is 292,258 square miles. About 70% of the land is mountainous because of
the mountain chain , the Andes, that runs through it. The countries that border Chile are Peru, Bolivia,
and Argentina.
The capital and largest city in Chile is Santiago, with a populatoin of 4,421,900 people. The
highest elevation is Mount Ojos del Sabado. The lowest is at sea level.

Vegetation (Flora)

The vegetation also varies with region. In the far north along the coast there is seasonal
desert plant life. In the desert interior there is almost no growth though. To the east a bit, on the
Andean slopes, are scatterings of cacti and desert shrubs.
In central Chile the plant life varies with latitude and altitude. In the lowlands blackberry
thickets and scrub vegetation are most common. Along the coast grow species of palm trees. The
vegetation gets heavier toward the south.
The south was originally covered by tree growth, but much has been cleared. The remaining
include myrtle, beeches, and a variety of evergreens.
If you would go south even more all deciduous trees become evergreens. These evergreens stretch
from the islands to the tree line on the west Andean slopes. The forest thins toward the farthest south
and becomes a grassy area for grazing sheep.

Wildlife (Fauna)

Wildlife is another group that will differ with region. In the north Andes exist guanaco, llama,
alpaca, vicuna, Andean wolf, puma, and wildcat. The southernforests are homes for the Darwin fox, the
pudu, which is a small deer, and several kinds of marsupials.
Some birds here include the dove, duck, and perdiz, which looks like a partridge. The giant
condor, Chile's national bird, is sometimes seen in the Andes, while the vulture of Tierra del Fuego
preys upon the sheep of the far southern region of Chile.
There aren't many freshwater fishes native to Chile, but lake trout, introduced from North America, can
reach up to 30 inches or more. There are many saltwater fishes off the coast though.

People

The major language of Chile is Spanish. The major religion is Roman Catholiccism. The
population (1992 estimate) is 13,582,945 people. The population density is 463 people per square mile.
Only 5 percent of Chile's people are pure Indians. Pure Spanish decent totals close to 25%. 66
percent are mestizo, a mixture of Spanish and Indian.
By 1980 about 80% of Chile's population lived in cities. Chile contains many rapidly growing
cities. Some of those cities are Santiago, Valparaiso, Antofagasta, Valdivia, and Puerto Montt.
Valparaiso is located near the mouth of the Aconcagua River. Santiago is located southeast of
Valparaiso. Antofagasta is located in northern Chile. Valdivia is located in southern Chile with Puerto
Montt just south of that.

Natural Resources

Chile has a lot of iron, coal, iron ore, gold, silver, manganese, sulfur, petroleum, nitrates,
and copper. Chile possesses the worlds largest copper reserves. Next to copper, iron ore is Chile's
most valuable resource and employs about 5,000 workers. The Atacama Desert contains the largest nitrate
areas in the world. Most of the country's coal production islocated in middle Chile. In 1945 oil and
gas were discovered in southern Chile-Tierra del Fuego.

Education

More than 90 percent of Chile's people can read and write. Chile's university sytem has long
been known as one of the best in Latin America. More than 100,000 students are registered, and there
are about 15,000 faculty members in 15 universities.

Government

Chile's government form is republic. The president is