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Snapshot of Chile – Spanish is the national language of Chile, though other indigenous languages such as Mapudungun, Aymara, and Quechua are also present. Chilean spanish is unique in the way it drops the final syllables and “s” sounds from words. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest religion in Chile, accounting for about 60% of the population. The LDS church claims about 3% of the population, though many are inactive. Several other Protestant churches are also present, and about 18% of the population is irreligious. Modern Chilean culture primarily mixes Spanish and indigenous influences, though the south also has some influence from German immigrants. A wide range of music is popular in Chile, including rock, hip hop, and traditional folk music. Soccer is Chile’s most popular sport, though basketball and tennis are also somewhat popular and rodeos are popular events, especially in rural areas. Skiing is also practiced in some southern areas of the country. Chile is a large consumer of meat and bread, and rice and pasta are common side dishes. Empanadas and hot dogs are popular fast food items. Other popular dishes in Chile include asado (a type of barbecue, in southern Chile often made with lamb meat) and cazuela (a beef, potato, and pumpkin stew).
Mormons constitute about 3.3 percent of the population in Chile. Inactivity rate in Santiago is high (many people who are baptized don’t go to church).
Combination of traditional Spanish cuisine, Chilean native culture and local ingredients with influences from Germany, France and Italy.
Missionary either walk, take taxis or “collectivo,” which is a car that runs a bus route.
Most of Santiago is pretty safe with an exceptions of a few dangerous neighborhoods.
Chile has more than 20 holidays, about half of them are Christian holidays. Chileans love to celebrate them and organize big fiestas. Family in Chile occupies a central role; extended families are very close and get together often.
For greeting, men usually shake hands, women sometimes pat each other on the right forearm or shoulder. Direct eye contact is important.
Chilean Spanish has distinctive pronunciation, vocabulary and slang usage from standard Spanish.
Chile’s mail works well, if somewhat slow. The regular postage from Chile to North America is about 400 pesos (about 0.8 dollars) for a letter. A letter from the U.S. to Chile costs about $1.05 sent as a first class mail international letter. To send a package to Chile that weighs about one pound will cost from $13 to $18.
Misión Chile Santiago Norte
Sucursal Correo Patronato
Region Metropolitana (Santiago)
What items were hard to get or not available?
“Cottage cheese, duct tape, seasonings.” – Sam Turner
What did you eat the most of?
“I ate a lot of spaghetti, and rice and beans.” – Sam Turner
What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Corn cake.” – Sam Turner
What was most surprising about the culture
“What surprised me about Chilean culture was that they were ok with a slightly lower standard of living.” – Sam Turner
What advice would you give to someone going to this Mission?
“Someone going to my mission should know that they need to have as much fun as work. Chilean people are not serious at all, and they won’t get you if you are all business.” – Sam Turner
What do you wish you had known before you served?
“I wish I knew that you don’t have to be perfect on your mission.” – Sam Turner