- French Chilean
Infobox Ethnic group
group = flagicon|France French Chilean flagicon|Chile
caption = Notable French Chileans:
Augusto Pinochet, Michelle Bachelet
poptime = Large minority
Chilean Spanish, French
rels = Roman Catholicism
The French came to Chile in the 18th century arriving at
Concepciónas merchants, and in the mid-19th century to cultivate vines in the haciendasof the Central Valley, the homebase of world-famous Chilean wine. AraucaniaRegion has also an important number of people of French ancestry, as the area hosted settlers arrived by the second half of the XIX century.
An estimated half a million (500,000) Chileans are of French descent, one of the country's most largest ethnic groups and the French contribution to the development of Chile was significant.
The current president of Chile,
Michelle Bacheletis of French origin. Former President Augusto Pinochetis another Chilean of French descent. A large percentage of politicans, businessmen and professionals in the country are of French ancestry.
In World War II, a group of over 10,000 Chileans of French descent, the majority have French relatives joined the
Free French Forcesand fought the Nazioccupation of France.
During the Pinochet regime (1973-89), a sizable but well-noted wave of Chilean refugees settled in France, and many French-Chileans managed to adapt or rapidly assimilate if they ended up living in France permanently.
* http://membres.lycos.fr/emigrationchili/emigracion%20cl.htm (in Spanish and French)
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