Esperanza is a Spanish word that means hope. I heard this word for the first time when Ariel Ticona sent a message to his wife, Elizabeth Segovia, through a fiber optic video link from 2300 ft underneath, telling her to give their new born baby the name: Esperanza. Who is Ariel Ticona? He was one of the 33 miners who got trapped as the San Jose gold-copper mine they worked at caved in in Copiapo, Chile, on August 5, 2010. They endured sweltering conditions for a record 69 days before being rescued and brought back to the world on October 13 through an operation that was watched live on television by more than 1 billion people across the globe. You may have a little bit of Chile at your home in the form of electrical copper wires as Chile is the largest producer of copper in the world.
My first visit to Chile was in April 2007, to the capital city of Santiago, a business trip to scout for a distributor. Subsequently, I visited Santiago a few times. The maiden visit was challenging and thrilling. I was in Sao Paulo to attend a trade fair and did take a chance to visit the Chilean consulate in Sao Paulo to get visa. After so much discussion and persuasion, the consul agreed to stamp my passport with a tourist visa. I booked a one-way ticket to Santiago as I did not know how long it would take to finish my work, but at the Sao Paulo airport I was made to buy a return ticket prior to the check in. I landed in Santiago without a hotel booking around 7 p.m. The taxi driver was friendly and helpful; he took me to a few hotels, finally, to a nice hotel at Miraflores area, the city center. And this area turned out to be a lucky spot for me as my mission was accomplished thanks to this location.
Chile is called the Europe of South America as it is the most prosperous country in the continent. I was told that citizens of other Latin American countries come to Chile to make a living. One sore point between the Chileans and the rest of Latin America is that during the Falkland war, the entire South America stood behind Argentina, but Chile supported the United Kingdom. At Mira Flores, the most attractive tourist beacon is Santa Lucia Hill and Park. I remember sitting at Santa Lucia park around 8:30 p.m., but it was not dark yet – a typical South Chilean climate of more daytime accompanied with warm days and cold nights! Santa Lucia Hill, with an altitude of 690 meter and 65,300 square metre area, is the remnant of a volcanic eruption that happened around 15 million years back. The hilltop has a chapel where Sunday mass is held. It also has got remnants of fort and castles.
Santiago has all the trappings of an urban environ like well-paved and clean roads, good-networked transport system — including metro-trains — towering skylines, and so on.
Plaza de Adams is a popular park in Santiago, and even on a working day that I visited the park, it was bubbling with so many people and fun!
Museuo Colonial is another attraction that can not be missed out at Miraflores.
A video capturing the lively moments of a Monday evening of the Santiago city: