dreams from deep in the heart of Aysén
The hearts of travelers beat strongly
in Aysén with Patagonian dreams of
traveling no more and remaining. Remaining
in all the tons of ochre that change according
to whims of every evening or of the green
that attempts to superimpose itself on the
infinity of colors that explode in every corner
is Patagonian color, contrast and diversity,
where one can stand before the vast openness
of the Pampas, turn around and admire the
mountain range that dominates its surroundings.
The diversity of Aysén is impressive,
from Mount San Valentín at the geographic
center of the region one can travel for a
hundred kilometers in any direction visiting
sites of extraordinary beauty and each of
them unique, from the cold of the Northern
Ice Fields to a warm microclimate of what
is called Chile Chico (little Chile) where
it is possible to grow peaches in Patagonia.
One can sail through the emerald depths of
Lake General Carrera and visit the villages
on its shores, going ashore at Puerto Tranquilo,
head toward Explorers’ Bay and from
there sail to Laguna San Rafael to see the
icebergs that break away from their mother
glacier. From the lagoon one can return to
the interior, cross over several ice fields
until reaching the powerful Baker River, the
most voluminous river in Chile. From there
one can continue toward the south until arriving
to Caleta Tortel, capital of the water, the
green and the blue, with an imaginary domain
over thousands of islands that make up the
intricate puzzle of the Aysén coast.
If the contrast is still not sufficient, one
can leave behind the humid forests of the
coast and head to the dry pampas of Balmaceda
and follow the line of the border until arriving
to the disquieting Valley of the Moon in Ñirehuao.
From here one can return to the forests that
explode in their greenery between Puerto Aysén
and Coyhaique, with innumerable waterfalls
that tumble in an ecstatic abundance of Patagonian
there are 300 kilometers from north to south,
from Raúl Marín Balmaceda to
Candelario Mansilla, there is a complexity
of geography to Aysén that requires
at least two days to travel by car. The Southern
Highway is the mother road of Aysén,
branching out into small roads that give the
feeling that they do not lead anywhere because
there are no signs in inhabitation despite
the fences that subdivide the land. In another
category, there are trails that laboriously
attempt to join small settlements with the
highway and others more irregular known only
by the locals that can only be travelled on
foot or by horse and that do not appear on
Aysén an ancestral name?
The origin of the name Aysén is attributed
by some to the Huilliche word “achen”,
which means “to be destroyed”
or “to break up”, which is exactly
what one can see from the coast, where the
land, ice and mountains appear to be falling
toward the sea. Others attribute it to the
Tehuelche word “aiken” which means
place or encampment. However, there is no
evidence the Tehuelche people, who called
themselves the Aonikenk, ever reached the
coast and passed this word to the Chonos and
they in turn to the first European explorers
that sailed the waters of Aysén.
Tehuelches, a name given by the Mapuche that
means “rough men”, used to arrive
to Aysén from the Pampas in the summer,
reaching to the limits of the Andean range,
which prevented them from accessing the sea.
The Chono people moved along the coast in
their canoes and spending much of their lives
in them, as described by different explorers,
indicating that they had strong bodies but
weak legs as a result of passing their lives
in their canoes.
Chonos moved among the channels and fjords
without entering the interior of the region,
impeded by the thick vegetation, fierce rivers
and the Andean range that passes through the
middle of much of the territory and in parts
approaches the coast. From their lives as
gatherers and fishermen they left few vestiges
of their presence, except for conchales
like those on Gran Guateica Island or human
remains like those recently found near Puerto
Gala. Nevertheless, they had contact with
the first explorers, serving in some cases
as their guides or even, as in the case of
the English sailor, John Bryon, who survived
the shipwreck of the ship the Wager in 1741,
saving his life and helping him to reach Chiloé
centuries the Tehuelches, a hunting-gathering
people, followed trails from the pampas to
their hunting grounds in Aysén where
they stayed in pre-established encampments.
The Tehuelches left signs of their presence,
mainly in the form of wall paintings that
can still be seen in Laguna Verde, Cisne Medio,
Coyhaique Alto, Cerro Castillo, Chile Chico,
Cochrane and others. A common factor of these
sites is that they are located where the pampas
opens to interior of Aysén, and curiously
are the same routes that were later used by
settlers to establish themselves in the region.
Visitors who feel the call to explore Aysén
share the same feelings of the great, small
and anonymous explorers that passed through
original peoples arrived to Aysén at
least 9,000 years ago according to fossil
data found at Baño Nuevo, Ñirehuao,
which establishes it among the oldest on the
continent. A genetic study published in the
journal Nature in July 2012 describes three
major migratory currents that went from Asia
to the Americas via the Bering Strait. The
first of these, 15 thousand years ago, populated
the continent from Canada to the far south
of Chile, navigating along the coast of the
Pacific Ocean. The most important evidence
is spearheads from the Clovis culture in North
America, some 11,000 years old, and the remains
found at Monte Verde, Puerto Montt, dating
12,500 years ago.
List of archaeological sites in the Americas)
expanse of Aysén and its difficult
access made it seem a distant and inhospitable
land, but also made it a magnet for explorers
who ventured to the cold waters of its coast
seeking a way into the interior. The first
European to do so was Hernando de Magallanes
in 1520, giving it the name of Tierras de
Diciembre (December Lands). Later, the first
Spanish explorers gave the name Trapananda
to the region of Aysén, which in Old
Spanish suggested faraway and practically
the era of Spanish rule the region went unnoticed
between the strategic Magallenes Channel and
the Chiloé Island because the territory
lacked precious metals or large human settlements,
but rather it was populated by small tribes
of hunters and gatherers without well-defined
social organization or hierarchy. However,
the region had a strategic military value
because it was visited by expeditions of powers
that were enemies of Spain that might eventually
dispute its sovereignty. Curiously, the territory
had a mythic value for the authorities of
the epoch because it was maintained that one
of the innumerable channels in the region
led directly to the City of the Caesars, with
streets of gold and a fountain of eternal
youth and other marvels that outdid all else
that had been seen in the conquest of the
Americas. Several expeditions were organized
with the aim of finding this fabled city but
without sufficient human resources to make
a success of such undertakings.
1741 a castaway from the English warship Wagner
changed the perception of the Spanish of this
region. They realized the importance of the
territory, which could have been claimed by
other European powers. Thus, an expedition
was organized in 1744 by Alférez Mateo
Abraham Edward, who sought the castaway from
the English ship and the lost artillery. Abraham
not only found the artillery, but also explored
Laguna San Rafael, the Messier Channel, made
contact with the Chonos and gathered nautical
information. Later, the explorations of José
de Moraleda between 1786 and 1793 resulted
in the first maps of the coast of Aysén.
Writing in his log about the number of islands
he had seen, Moraleda stated that it was not
possible to make an exact approximation, in
which “a thousand seems a small number”.
explorers returned in December 1832 in the
brig-sloop, the Beagle, under the command
of Captain Robert FitzRoy, which entered Chilean
waters given that the country was then independent
from Spain. Accompanying the expedition was
the young naturalist Charles Darwin, whose
theory of evolution made the voyages of the
Beagle among the most famous in history.
Chilean independence in 1812, Aysén
returned to anonymity until 1870 when the
central government sent Captain Enrique Simpson
to explore the coast of Aysén with
the aim of finding a route into the interior
of the region. Simpson discovered the river
that today bears his name and that runs down
the middle of Coyhaique Valley. Aysén
was the last territory to official obtain
the presence of the State when, in 1928, the
Government of Chile established the Intendance
in Puerto Aysén and at the same time
recognized the communities of Balmaceda, Puerto
Ibáñez and Chile Chico.
There are many reasons why men and women sought
to make their lives in Aysén, populating
the region spontaneously without the intervention
of the central government.
the coast, the Guaiteca cypress was the first
economic resource that attracted interest
from outside the region. Among those interested
was the immigrant Felipe Westhoff who came
looking to export railway ties to Peru. Westhoff
founded Melinka in 1859, naming it after his
wife. The name seems to have been confused
with other ancestral names, but nevertheless
it is of Russian origin. In 1880, the businessman
Ciriaco Álvarez, originally from Chiloé,
established sawmills around what is now Puerto
Aysén to work with what was called
the green gold of the Guaitecas. The company
operated on a large scale with lumberjacks,
boats and a certain level of machinery. In
his poem Machu Picchu Neruda wrote “Tiempo
en el tiempo, el hombre, dónde estuvo?”
(Time upon time, and man, where was he?) .
We can only imagine where was the man who
cut and transported timber and lived and died
among these enormous forests. While their
lives belong to the anonymity of history,
they left behind a cultural heritage brought
from their place of origin, Chiloé.
from Chiloé (Chilotes) were the first
settlers to arrive to Aysén via the
natural routes provided by the channels along
the coast, without the inclement weather being
a major obstacle for them. However, in contrast
to the generous soils of Chiloé, the
land in Aysén did not lend itself to
cultivation along the coast and the settlers
depended on supplies from outside. One hundred
and twenty workers from the Sociedad Explotadora
del Baker died from scurvy in 1906 because
supply ships did not arrive in time. Some
historical source raise doubts about this
interpretation and suggest the deaths were
the results of conflicts between the Sociedad
Explotadora and the workers. Of these lives
cut short all that remains are simple and
nameless wooden crosses on the Island of the
Dead at Caleta Tortel, as if waiting for some
future researcher to clarify one of the mysteries
of era of settlement.
the end of the 19th century, the Government
of Chile contracted scientists to explore
the Aysén region, among them the German
Hans Steffen, who was in the region 1894 and
1899. The motive was to establish sovereignty
over the region called Western Patagonia and
establishing a definitive border with Argentina.
The major difficulty for Chile was the lack
of access to the interior of Aysén,
which impeded carrying out an emigration,
basically because of the lack of roads from
the coast. In contrast, Argentina had open
territories toward its border with Chile,
which to today represents a natural route
to Magallanes or to the north of the country.
a result of these explorations, the Government
of Chile decided to populate Aysén
by offering large land concession to private
companies on the condition that the companies
had to extract their products through Chile,
construct roads to the coast and settle communities
and build towns. While there were some exceptions,
the reality was that products were removed
through Argentina, without meeting the commitment
to invest in the development of infrastructure
and even less in populating the region.
the beginning the companies acted as the real
power and authority, especially because their
concessions were located near the border and
thus they could impede the entrance of those
seeking to establish themselves on virgin
lands in the interior of Aysén. But
history sometimes follows its own course and
in the case of Aysén Chileans entered
the region via Argentina, giving rise to the
spontaneous colonization of the territory
beginning around 1900. In effect, the settlement
of Aysén took place without the intervention
of the Chilean Government, which at that time
did not exercise effective control of the
territory. In contrast, the companies pressured
settlers based on their particular interpretation
of the rights given to them in their concessions
and consequently rapidly fell into conflict
with peasants who sought their future in the
thousands of unoccupied land in the region.
Violence reached a height in what has been
termed the War of Chile Chico in 1918 resulting
in the deaths of three police officers and
a worker, as well several wounded settlers.
of those who came to live in Aysén
were peasants from central Chile and Chiloé
along with some families from Magallanes,
which for different reasons lived for a time
in Argentina before coming to live in Chile.
These families suffered the hostility of the
Argentine authorities, which in part arose
from border conflicts, but were also a secondary
effect of major strikes in the Argentine Patagonia
that were harshly repressed by the Federal
Government. As well, some of this group of
Chileans traveled through the pampas pasturing
their herds, which had negative effects on
the land, and in this case, the Argentine
pampas was not uninhabited like Aysén.
Paradoxically, the colonizers of Aysén
and their descendents maintained strong ties
with Argentina and even today at various points
along Patagonia it is common that people regularly
cross the border and that children of Chilean
parents are born in Argentina (and vice versa).
easy passage from one side of the border to
the other suggests that at the beginning settlers
did not give much importance to their nationality.
This results in links being forged with both
countries and the emergence of the particular
culture of the inhabitants of Aysén,
with customs typical of Argentina like the
game the truco or the dance the chamamé.
They also inherited customs from Chiloé
like a belief in magic in life and nature
that gave rise to stories that lie between
myth and reality. The early settlers in Aysén,
who prefer the term pioneers, left the most
important cultural imprint, which can be summarized
in the pride of being Patagonian and Aysenian,
a feeling that is shared among the entire
population independent of their social origin,
gender or age.
Historic Events Map of Aysén)
Hernando de Magallanes sails along the Aysén
coast during the expedition that circumnavigated
1553 The Spanish mariner
Francisco de Ulloa explored the southern regions
of Chile during the era of Spanish dominion.
1557 The Spanish explorer
Juan Ladrillero sailed to the Gulf of Penas
and along the Patagonian channels until reaching
the Straits of Magellan.
1562 Arias Pardo Maldonado
explored to the south of Chiloé, taking
possession of the territory of Trapananda,
1674 Antonio de Vea, Spanish
mariner, was sent by the Viceroy of Peru to
explore the southern channel in search of
The British ship the HMS Wager, which was
part of the fleet of Commander George Anson,
was wrecked on an island that bears the name
of the ship to south of the Gulf of Penas.
1741 John Byron, a young
midshipman at the time of the shipwreck of
the HMS Wager, wrote a book about the mutiny
that divided the survivors into two groups.
He survived the harsh conditions of the southern
winter together with Captain Cheap, Lieutenant
Hamilton and midshipman Campbell. The group
was able to reach Chiloé Island thanks
to the help of Chono canoeists. Byron’s
book about the shipwreck has been the source
of inspiration for novels about sailing and
exploration, some of which became movies,
such as the Master and Commander. The Far
Side of the World, which was shown in Spanish
as Capitán de Mar y Guerra.
1744 The expedition of Mateo
Abraham Edward found the remains of the English
ship the Wager. Edwards explored San Rafael
Lagoon and had contact with the Chono people.
1766 The Jesuit priest José
García Alsué went up the Puyuhuapi
Channel and to Queultat and explored the area
in search of the City of the Caesars.
1786 Expedition of José
de Moraleda who undertook a detailed mapping
of the area between Chiloé and the
coast of Aysén.
First voyage of the Beagle under the command
of Pringle Stokes who, after exploring the
Patagonian channel up to Aysén, committed
suicide in Hunger Port in the Magellan.
1834 The second voyage of
the Beagle around the world under the command
of Captain Robert Fitz-Roy, who explored the
Patagonian channels. The young Charles Darwin
participated in the voyage. His subsequent
theory of evolution made the Beagle one of
the most famous ships in history and synonymous
1834 Charles Darwin sailed
along the coast of Aysén on board the
Beagle. Darwin was cited out of context as
describing Aysén and Patagonia as a
“green desert”. In reality Darwin
was deeply impressed by the tropics and by
Patagonia, as he wrote in his autobiography,
“The glories of the vegetation of the
Tropics rise before my mind at the present
time more vividly than anything else; though
the sense of sublimity, which the great deserts
of Patagonia and the forest-clad mountains
of Tierra del Fuego excited in me, has left
an indelible impression on my mind”
1856 Francisco Hudson Cárdenas,
a lieutenant in the Chilean navy who was born
in Chiloé explored the coast of Aysén
looking for a pass through the Ofqui Isthmus.
He discovered that there was no pass and recommended
the construction of a canal. The Chonos were
accustomed to crossing the isthmus portaging
their canoes and in that way avoided the dangerous
Gulf of Penas.
1859 Founding of Melinka,
named by Felipe Westhoff in honor of his wife.
1862 Captain Francisco Vidal
Gormaz of the Chilean navy explored Chiloé
and Aysén as far as Guaitecas.
1878 Eruption of Lautaro
volcano, which had originally been called
Mount Humboldt. An Argentine expedition in
1952 renamed the volcano Lautaro in honor
of Mapuche military leader during the first
stage of the Spanish conquest of Chile.
1880 The Chiloé entrepreneur
Ciriaco Álvarez began logging Guaiteca
cypress trees and constructed warehouses and
stores near what is now Puerto Aysén
to supply goods to his workers. Because of
the fortune he amassed he was called the “Cypress
1886 Pedro Ñancupel
Alarcón, called the pirate Ñancupel,
was captured in Melinka. He was tried and
convicted for robberies and murder and sentenced
to death and executed by firing squad in Castro.
1894 The Welsh explorer Llwid
Ap Iwan traveled for the first time through
the area between what is now Coyhaique and
Lake General Carrera.
Pioneers gradually began arriving, first to
Balmaceda, and to Puerto Ibáñez
in 1908, Chile Chico in 1909, Coyhaique in
1912, Baker and Lake Verde in 1914.
1902 With the British government
acting as arbitrator, the border between Chile
and Argentina in southern Patagonia.
1903 Concession given to
the Industrial Society of Aysén.
1906 One hundred and twenty
workers died, the majority of them from Chiloé.
According to the official version, the cause
of death had been scurvy. Nevertheless, it
has been suggested that the workers were poisoned
by the private company Explotadora del Baker,
but this has been denied by several authors.
The company was going bankrupt and its workers
had undertaken arduous work without the aid
of machinery or logistical support or adequate
food supplies, totally isolated from the rest
of the country where the company was the only
de facto authority. The island, with its anonymous
and simple wooden crosses, was declared a
National Monument in 2001.
1907 Carl Johan Fredrik Skottsberg,
a Swedish botanist and explorer traveled through
Patagonia. He arrived by land from Argentina
to area around the Cisnes River and then went
south, traveling by what is now Coyhaique
and Lake General Carrera, returning to Argentina
via the Jeinimeni River.
1908 Concession given to
the Sociedad Explotador Río Baker.
1917 Founding of Balmaceda.
1918 The first doctor in
Aysén, Dr. George Schadebrodt, of German
nationality, came to Coyhaique.
1920 The entrepreneur and
pioneer Esteban Lucas Bridges, who authored
the book El último confín de
the Tierra (The last frontier of the Earth),
began business operations in the area around
the Baker River.
1924 Founding of Puerto Aysén.
1924 Concession given to
the Cisnes River Livestock Company.
1926 Founding of Lake Verde.
1927 Founding of Valle Simpson.
1928 Founding of Chile Chico.
1928 The Territory of Aysén
was established by the Government of Chile.
1928 The first hospital was
established in the city of Puerto Aysén.
1929 Founding of Coyhaique,
originally named Baquedano.
1929 The first newspaper
in the region, El Aysén, was founded.
1929 Arturo Merino Benítez,
together with Captain Vergara and Lieutenant
Schaerer took off from Puerto Montt and flew
over the Aysén estuary, making them
the first pilots to fly over continental Chiloé
1930 Founding of Cochrane,
originally named Pueblo Nuevo.
1930 First movie theater
was opened in Puerto Aysén by the Spanish
immigrant Roberto Campistó.
1930 Discovery of the cave
paintings near the Pedregoso River in Chile
Chico by the German geologist Max Yunge.
1930 The first midwives arrived
to Puerto Aysén, Elena Domínguez,
and Coyhaique, Julia Bon.
1930 Opening of the experimental
Puerto Montt-Puerto Aysén airline with
the upgrading of two amphibious airplanes
in Puerto Aysén.
1930 Regular maritime services
between Puerto Montt and Puerto Aysén
1931 Three Kawaskars are
killed in Bajo Pisagua, near the Island of
the Dead and the community that was the precursor
to the contemporary town of Caleta Tortel.
A group of Kaweskar canoeists approached Estancia
Posadas to exchange food for furs. On a second
occasion there was a confrontation that resulted
in the deaths of the three Kaweskars.
1931 The approximate date
of the founding of Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez.
The area was among the first to be settled
by pioneers beginning around 1908.
1932 Juan Augusto Grosse,
who was born in Germany, began exploring in
Aysén. His routes of exploration are
considered precursors of the roadways that
would be constructed in the region.
1934 Founding of Guadal.
1934 Establishment of the
first theater group in Aysén, the Evaristo
Lillo Artistic Center.
1934 Juniuos Bird and Margaret
McKelvy explored the southern channels in
a small boat the Hasperus. They made contact
with the original peoples of the channels
and conducted archeological, anthropological
and linguistic work. Their journey from Puerto
Montt to Punta Arenas is legendary. Bird is
considered by some to be the inspiration for
the movie character Indiana Jones.
1935 Founding of Mañihuales.
1935 Founding of Puyuhuapi
by German colonists who arrived to the area
drawn by the writings of the explorer Hans
1936 Colonists begin starting
large-scale fires to clear land for farming.
The practice of setting fires continued until
1956 and reduced forests by 50%.
1938 Construction began of
a fully equipped luxury hotel for tourists
to San Rafael Lagoon. The three-floor building
remained empty because tourist did begin arriving
to the area until decades later. The hotel
was abandoned and finally destroyed by a fire
1952 Founding of Cisnes.
1955 Founding of Caleta Tortel.
1942 The first newspaper
in Coyhaique, El Regional, was established.
1952 Ernesto Hein Águila
founded the legendary Hein Airline that provided
services to every corner of the region.
1952 Founding of Cisnes.
1959 Creation of the Laguna
San Rafael National Park.
1960 Luis Ojeda and Baldo
Araya Uribe founded the first radio station
in Aysén, Patagonia Chilena de Coyhaique.
It was particularly famous for the personal
messages that listeners sent to relatives
throughout the region, making them part of
the public domain.
1962 Federico Führer,
a German pilot and pioneer in aviation in
Aysén, died in an accident near Lake
1963 Chilean workers were
repatriated from the Argentinean province
of Chubut when the Federal Government of Argentina
annulled petroleum contracts, which resulted
in high levels of unemployment. The repatriated
Chileans began the community of Gabriela Mistral
1964 The British mountaineer
Eric Shipton made the first east-to-west crossing
of the Northern Icefield. Shipton was a distinguished
climber with experience in the Himalayas and
other extreme parts of the planet, as well
as authoring several books on mountaineering.
1965 Police lieutenant Hernán
Merino Correa died in a confrontation with
Argentine police in the Laguna del Desierto,
an area bordering on the Chilean community
of Candelario Mansilla. In 1995 a arbitration
court decided that the Laguna del Desierto
belonged to Argentina.
1966 Opening of Presidente
Ibáñez Bridge in Puerto Aysén.
1966 Founding of Villa Cerro
1966 Founding of Villa O´Higgins.
1966 Felipe Bate Petersen
held the first conference on the original
peoples of Aysén, while he was a high
school student in Coyhaique (approximate date).
Bate is now a distinguished archeologist and
founder of the theory of Latin American social
1967 Ohri Donoso Lehmann
created the theatrical group Los Ñires
in Coyhaique, which performed throughout Chile
until the military coup d’état
1969 Study by Hans Niemeyer
of the cave paintings near the Pedregoso River.
1972 Felipe Bate discovered
the archaeological site of Baño Nuevo;
with skeletal remains dating back 9,000 years.
The military coup of 1973 interrupted his
1972 The song Viejo puente
song by the group Los Lazos and directed by
the musician Arturo Barros wins the folk music
competition in the Viña del Mar Festival,
an important musical event at the level of
1973 The military coup d’état
took place on September 11, 1973. In the Aysén
Region the Secretary of the Communist Party
Juan Vera and José Pérez and
Néstor Castillo were taken prisoners
and subsequently disappear. The teacher Jorge
Vilugrón was shot in Puerto Cisnes.
1975 Founding of the newspaper
El Diario de Aysén.
1976 Official beginning in
Puerto Montt of the construction of the southern
highway, which after more than 20 years reached
Villa O’Higgins. To date no history
has been written that takes into account the
technical, political and social aspects of
this construction. There were doubtlessly
thousands of anonymous actors in the Military
Work Corps and laborers with minimum employment
program whose labors made this possible. Special
mention should be made of those who died in
the construction of the highway, because there
is no official record of this with their names
and the circumstances of their deaths, although
there are animitas (*) along the roadside
as a record of the men and women that faced
the rigors of building a highway through Aysén.
(*) Animitas are small shrines that generally
feature a cross on top. They are common throughout
Chile and are a way to commemorate the death
of a loved one, usually when the death by
accident or violence. They are common along
roadways and families light candles and leave
1983 Founding of Villa Amengual.
1991 Eruption of the Hudson
volcano, one of the most violent recorded
in Chile. It resulted in physiognomic changes
in the area, including destroying pastures
and fertile fields. Other eruptions have been
recorded in 1930, 1971 and 2011.
1994 Founding of the newspaper
1998 Pablo Besser, Mauricio
Rojas, José Montt and Rodrigo Fica
made the first complete north-to-south crossing
of the North Icefields.
2002 Seven students from
the Santa María University in Valparaíso
died while climbing Mount San Valentín
in the Northern Icefields.
2005 Researchers from the
Patagonian Ecosystem Research Center (CIEP)
discovered sites with cave paintings at Lake
Póllux, El Salto and Lake Elizalde.
2006 The citizen group Aysén
Life Reserve was formed, and soon gave rise
to the organization the Council for the Defense
of Chilean Patagonia, which encouraged opposition
to the construction of large hydroelectric
projects under the slogan “Patagonia
2006 Constitution of the
company Hidroaysen with the objective of constructing
two controversial hydroelectric facilities
on the Baker River and three on the Pascua
River and a transmission line to central Chile.
2007 An earthquake of 6.1
on the Richter scale took place. The subsequent
tsunami caused the deaths of ten people in
2008 Opening of the Aysén
2008 Opening of Electronic
newspaper Vientoapatagon.cl, defined as “
citizen 2.0 and 100% collaborative”.
2009 CIEP researchers discover
cave paintings near Coyhaique.
2009 First Aysén Patagonian
2010 First digital and printed
editions of the magazine Elpatagondomingo.cl.
2010 Debut of the Latin pop band Los Vásquez
from Coyhaique. Their first album Contigo
pop y cebolla had the highest sales in Chile
2011 Discovery of the remains
of Chono people near Puerto Gala.
2012 A social movement emerged
in Aysén that left the Region paralyzed
with protests over diverse issues with the
Chilean Government over making substantial
improvements in areas of the economy, health
care, education and measures to mitigate the
high cost of living in Aysén compared
to other regions of the country. Its slogan
“your problem is my problem” resonated
deeply within the region and beyond among
those who sympathized with its social demands.