Chile Santiago South Mission

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We are still collecting information on the Chile Santiago South Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at


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).


The Church

The Church is very strong in the Santiago Chile area, though inactivity rates are also quite high.  There are 8 stakes located within the mission boundaries, and many other Church facilities are located within the region.  A CES Institute and Bishop’s Storehouse are located within the mission area, while in other parts of the city there are several other CES Institutes and the Santiago Chile Temple.


Lunch is typically the largest meal of the day in Chile.  Chicken and rice dishes are very popular, though corn and beans are also commonly served as parts of meals.  Other popular dishes include pastel de choclo (a layered meat pie containing ground corn, beef, eggs, and other ingredients), and cazuela (a type of meat stew that also contains pumpkin and potato).  Chile also has many street vendors that sell a variety of foods, such as empanadas, Chilean hot dogs (like an American hot dog, but with a greater variety of toppings), and sopaipillas.

A completo (Chilean hot dog loaded with toppings). Photo cca2.0g by Paul Lowry at Wikimedia Commons.


Missionaries in the Chile Santiago South Mission get around either by walking or using public transportation.  The city of Santiago has an extensive public transportation system that includes buses, colectivos, taxis, a metro system, and commuter rail.  However, it’s a good idea to save your money and only use public transportation when you really need to, such as when traveling longer distances or when you are short on time.  The Transantiago transportation line uses prepaid fare cards instead of cash, so if you plan on using public transportation make sure you have money on your fare card!

A transantiago bus. Photo copyright/taken by Antoine at Wikimedia Commons.


As in any large city, there are certain neighborhoods that should be avoided, especially after dark.  Be aware of your surroundings and ask local members what areas you should avoid.

The area is also prone to earthquakes, with the most recent severe earthquake taking place in 2010.  Information on how to be prepared for earthquakes and what to do during an earthquake can be found at

Damage in Santiago after the 2010 earthquake. Photo cca-sa2.0g by Esteban Maldonado at Wikimedia Commons.


It is important to use good manners in your interactions with the Chilean people.  Being respectful and polite (such as using formal verb forms in conversation) will help you gain the hearts of those with whom you interact.  When introducing yourself to the head of the household, giving a firm handshake and maintaining eye contact are important.

The Chilean schedule is very different than that of the United States!  Many people stay home in the morning, making it a good time to find people to teach.  It is common practice to have a “siesta” after lunch (which is the main meal of the day), during which many people take naps and businesses shut down.

Local Lingo

It is common in Chilean spanish to drop the final syllable and “s” sounds from words.  It may take a little time to get used to this accent!

“bacán” – cool

“cachaí” – get it?

Additional Info

The Santiago area is home to a variety of interesting sites, including historical monuments, museums, and parks!  There is plenty to see and do in Chile’s amazing capital.


Chile’s mail works well, if somewhat slow. It costs about 400 pesos (80 cents) to mail a letter from Chile to North America while it costs about $1.05 to send a first-class international letter from the U.S. to Chile.  Packages are more expensive and take longer to arrive; it generally costs between $13 and $18 to send a one-pound package to Chile.

Flag of Chile Santiago South Mission


President David L. Cook

Casilla 544
San Bernardo
Region Metropolitana (Santiago)

About 2 million
Roman Catholic, Evangelical/Protestant, LDS, Irreligious
Summers are hot and dry, with high temperatures generally in the 80s or 90s Fahrenheit. Winters are cold and rainy, with temperatures often just above freezing.
Santiago, San Bernardo, La Pintana, El Bosque


Straight from the Chile Santiago South Mission:

*What items were hard to get or not available?
“peanut butter, chocolate chips”

*What did you eat the most of?
“Chicken and rice”

*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“sopa de mariscos”

*What was most surprising about the culture?
“The way the Chilean people said they were lazy.”

*What advice would you give to someone going to the Chile Santiago South Mission?
“love the people and believe in them, the gospel can change lives forever.”

*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“I wish I had understood how important the restoration is to the world.”

*Other comments?

**Did you serve in the Chile Santiago South Mission? If so we want to hear from you! Share your experiences here or by emailing us at**