French Chilean

French Chilean

Infobox Ethnic group
group = flagicon|France French Chilean flagicon|Chile

caption = Notable French Chileans: Augusto Pinochet, Michelle Bachelet
poptime = Large minority
popplace = Chile
langs = Chilean Spanish, French
rels = Roman Catholicism
related = French people

The French came to Chile in the 18th century arriving at Concepción as merchants, and in the mid-19th century to cultivate vines in the haciendas of the Central Valley, the homebase of world-famous Chilean wine. Araucania Region 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 Bachelet is of French origin. Former President Augusto Pinochet is 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 Forces and fought the Nazi occupation 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.

External Links

* (in Spanish and French)

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