I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Sunday, May 20, 2018

About that cemetery

It really is worth the visit, if you happen to be in Punta Arenas anyway.

I've mentioned before that this trip to Chile made me aware of just how little I know about South American history and culture. For example, we think of it as Latin America, because most of South America is Spanish-speaking, just as most of North America is English-speaking. And though I knew that Argentina in particular had many immigrants from non-Spanish speaking countries, I was still struck by the names in this cemetery, where Familia Matheson-Villan is next to Familia Nicholls Sanfuentes and Familia Douglas-Tolentino.

Chile actually had fewer immigrants from non-Spanish speaking countries** because it was on the other side of the Andes and hard to reach, but Punta Arenas was a port. And as noted below, it's a long way from the rest of Chile.

**But the George Washington of Chilean history, the great Libertador, was named Bernardo O'Higgins. So at least one Irish immigrant made it over the mountains.

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