Naturally Beautiful

From mountains to beaches or deserts to glaciers, Chile offers a lot to explore.  There are some of the most beautiful places on Earth right here.

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How are people connected to the environment?

Your environment influences many aspects of your life.  People are connected to the environment and geography in many different ways.  For example, the mode of transportation used here called the Funicular that goes up and down hills was constructed due to the geography of the land.

Transportation is just one of many ways the environment may influence your life.  Environmental concerns may be an issue due to your physical geography.  The food you eat is often influenced by where you live.  Fish is usually less expensive and more plentiful when living next to the ocean.  The type of job you have is often influenced by where you live. The clothes you wear or the activities you do for fun can be influenced by the environment.  In what other ways do you think the environment where you live are connected to your life?

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What makes this environment special or different? 

Chile has so many different environments it is hard to name just one, but one of the most remarkable aspects of Chile that I have to mention is Easter Island.  People come from all over the world to see the gigantic statues, or moai, carved out of stone on this Island.  Easter Island, as its name implies, is not connected to Chile. It is an island territory of Chile, located in the South Pacific Ocean.

On the continent, in the country of Chile, there are gigantic glaciers that you can visit in the south.  The lakes and forest to hike through are breathtaking.  Gazing at the stars from the desert in northern Chile is unforgettable.  Chile also has the world’s driest desert, the Atacama Desert.  The Andes Mountain Range runs through Chile that includes over 600 volcanoes!  Viña del Mar is one of many cities located on the beach of the Pacific Ocean, which runs along the west coast of Chile.

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 What parts of this environment help people to live here?

The statues on Easter Island or the amazing glaciers all help the people to live in Chile by boosting the economy through tourism.  The beautiful and diverse landscape makes Chile a popular place for tourist to visit.  The tourism industry provides jobs throughout the entire country and Easter Island.   The desert with its lack of clouds and pollution make it one of the best places in the world to observe the stars.  This has brought astronomers from all over the world.  International observatories have been built with some of the most powerful cutting edge telescopes in the whole world.

What challenges do people face living in this environment?

Some of the more dramatic environmental challenges in Chile are the earthquakes and tsunamis.  I have even felt an earthquake since I have been here!  It was just a small trembler, but being from Oklahoma, I am not use to earthquakes.  There are some environmental challenges caused by man as well, such as air pollution. This is a problem that is happening all over the world and each of one of us must do something about.  Deforestation is another major environmental concern in Chile caused by humans.  Damming and water pollution are also current issues in Chile.  Mining and the damaging effect to the environment have been in the news here recently. The news reports have caused the progress of one large mine to be halted.

Other challenges people face while living here that I have noticed is the people seem to live in a centralized area.  The mountains of course are neither going to be densely populated, nor the desert or colder southern region.  This means there are a lot of people living in the central region of the country.  This can lead to overpopulation in some areas and higher unemployment rates with increased poverty.

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How have people been adapting to this environment?

People have adapted to the increase in population with decreasing job availability by commuting to other cities for higher paying jobs.  For example in Viña del Mar, many people will commute an hour each way to Santiago and back every day to receive higher wages or simply for employment.  Chile also utilizes its natural resources to bring opportunities with tourism, trade, mines or observatories to its regions.

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