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Croats of Chile

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Title: Croats of Chile  
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Subject: Croatian Canadian, Croatian Australian, Croatian diaspora, Croatian American, Cristián Arriagada
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Croats of Chile

Croatia Croat-Chilean Chile
Total population
120.000 - 140.000[1]
Chilean Spanish, Croatian
Christianity, mainly Roman Catholic
others, Secular
Related ethnic groups
Croatian diaspora, Croats

Chileno-Croats (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃiˈleno kɾoˈata]; Hrvati: čileanski Hrvati; English: Croatian Chilean) are an important ethnic group in Chile; they are citizens of Chile who were either born in Europe or are Chileans of Croatian descent deriving their Croatian ethnicity from one or both parents. Chile has the sixth largest communities of ethnic Croats outside Southeast Europe.[2] They are one of the main examples of successful assimilation of an originally non-Spanish-speaking European ethnic group into Chilean society. Many successful entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and prominent politicians holding the highest offices in the country have been of Croatian descent.


The oppression of the Croatian people and the denial of an internationally recognised nation was the principal factor leading them to embark on a constant migration to Chile. At first they were recognised and officially registered as former citizens of the countries or empires from which they had fled. For example, until 1915 they were recognised as Austrians, and since then to 1990 as Yugoslavians. Since 1990, and in accordance to the establishment of the new internationally recognised Republic of Croatia, Chilean Croats have reasserted their cultural and ethnic identity.[3]

The Croatian community first established itself in two provinces situated in the extreme ends of Chile: Antofagasta, in the Atacama desert of the north and Punta Arenas in the Patagonian region in the south. The arrival of Croats in Chile began in 1864 and the migration grew steadily until 1956. In the early part of this 1864-1956 era more Croats settled in Argentina than in Chile.

Some estimates puts that there are up to 120,000 Chileans of Croatian descent.

Dalmatian-Croatian in Chile

The first issue of the publication Sloboda was published in March 1902, in Antofagasta. It was the first newspaper of the Croatian immigrants in Latin America. The Croatian immigrants in Chile conducted extensive journalistic work since 1902, which includes more than 50 newspapers, publications and newsletters.

The Dalmatian coast, with its thousands of islands of white rock covered with vineyards, pine forests and olive trees, is similar to the geographical conditions of Chile. Most families have a relative or descendant in Chile. Chile's name, unlike other parts of the world where it is almost unknown, is loved and admired by many Dalmatians as a second home.[4]

Croatians in Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas is the most prominent settlement on the Strait of Magellan and the capital of the Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region, Chile. It has a population of over 146,000 inhabitants (2008). The city has its roots among the population origin of the European colonists (Spanish and Croatians) that populated the area in the mid-nineteenth century. There are also descendants of people from other countries (i.e. German, English, Italian, Swiss and others).

Croatian immigration in Punta Arenas was a crucial development in the region of Magellan Region and the city in particular. Currently, it is possible to see this influence in the names of shops and many buildings.

See also


External links

  • Diaspora Croata

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