chile is, as this map shows a very long country, located west of the andes mountain chain, 4300 km long, from peru in the north to cape horn in the south, yet only about 300 km wide. in 1540 it became part of the spanish empire. the city santiago was founded in 1541, and soon was the capital. chile became an indepentent country in 1818. in several wars with peru, bolivia and argentina it grew to the north (taking bolivia's access to the ocean) and the south (reaching cape horn). its largest harbours are valparaiso and san antonia. the dominant language is spanish; regarding the religion, 3/4 are catholic. because of its far-off location, it did not become a slave region.
by the way, chile is also the 'owner' of rapa nui (ex eastern island), 4000 km to the west in the pacific ocean - see gallery "eastern island".
chile has 18 mio residents - a very small number, compared to argentina and brazil. yet of the "abc" powerhouse in south america, it is the wealthiest and most modern one.
i visited santiago de chile in 2005.