This afternoon I glanced at HLN for a moment. Mike Galanos and Richelle Carey were doing their typical rundown of the news and the subject turned to the Chilean miners. Out of the blue, Richelle Carey utters something about whether or not the miners knew what was going on. Mike stepped in to inform her that they're educated dudes, but Richelle seemed sincerely convinced that Chile was a third-world country. I was aghast (and so was my mum after I told her a few minutes ago) since I know full well that Chile is far from an illiterate backwoods. Some of my faithful readers even hail from this mountainous country to my south.
Instead of calling Ms. Carey an ignorant potzevateh and unleashing a tear of NSFW insults about how she's an example of typical North American ignorance, I'll tell you (and her, presuming she can read anything without someone yelling it into her earpiece) a few awesome things about Chile.
Chile is a very literate nation. Nicknamed the Nation of Poets, Chile has produced Nobel prizewinners in literature and Isabel Allende, the world's most widely-read Spanish language author. Jose Donoso, Roberto Bolano, and Pablo Neruda are a few of the many celebrated writers to come from the nation. Fluency in Spanish and English are compulsory elements of schools and many Chileans can read and write in 3 or more languages. Over 96% of adult Chileans are able to read and write.
Chile is prosperous. It is a founding member of the United Nations and a member of the OECD. Chile has the highest per capita income south of the U.S. border. Chile has low inflation, free trade agreements with many countries (including Canada) , and an economy stable enough to handle earthquakes and the global downturn with few problems.
Chile has freedoms that are the envy of most nations. The majority of the country is Catholic, but religious minorities don't feel the sting. Why? Because Chile has an official separation of church and state. With it's citizens constitutionally protected against religious discrimination, citizens and visitors alike are free to worship or not as they please. They are one of the few countries to have ratified the Indigenous and Tribal People's Convention and honour the rights of their tribal people to observe traditions as well as water and other concerns. Chile is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world, with nationals considering their country far more important than any colour or creed.
Chile is more than just soccer. While futbol is a massive event drawing huge crowds, Chile also boasts a history of having some of the world's finest tennis players. Chile is the reigning World Polo champion and has medaled in Equestrian at the Olympics. Basketball and Cricket are popular with men and women alike as well as Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing. Most Chileans watch or play some type of sport, from boxing to rugby to mountain biking. Sweet.
And now that you know a bit about this barbaric, third world *sarc* country, I'll show you a few more reasons why I love Chile, and mainly its delicious wines.