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Photographed by Angie Cruz

The Other Chile (Cecilia & Patricia)

1. I misplace an earring in my hotel room in Santiago, Chile. So I ask the head housekeeper, Patricia, if anyone has found it: a silver lotus leaf, not valuable, but special to me because it’s a good luck charm.  “Nothing can get lost he [...]

Illustration by Andy Omel

Bull Shipping

We all owe our lives to someone’s vision and someone else’s blind spot, but it’s seldom quite so literal: I owe my existence to that tumor and the sight lines that developed around it.

All Rivers Lead to the Sea

As a child, Oridia Paredes dreamed of walls. For the daughter of itinerant fishermen in Chilean Patagonia, daily life was built not around a house or a neighborhood, but the sea—and for Paredes, walls became a symbol of the life that her parents were never able to attain. Instead, the family hopscotched from islet to islet, piling possessions into their boat, and motoring to the next spot near where the fish were running.

Father Copper

When Carmen Ahumada first looked on the copper mining city of Calama, she wanted to die. It was 1958, long after Germany’s World War I-era invention of artificial saltpeter—the main ingredient in bombs—brought Chile’s glory days as a world supplier to an end and made obsolete the tiny, arduous saltpeter towns that had cropped up all over the Atacama Desert.

The Chilean Girls

That was a fabulous summer. Pérez Prado and his twelve-professor orchestra came to liven up the Carnival dances at the Club Terrazas of Miraflores and the Lawn Tennis of Lima; a national mambo championship was organized in Plaza de Acho, which was a great success in spite of the threat by Cardinal Juan Gualberto Guevara, Archbishop of Lima, to excommunicate all the couples who took part; and my neighborhood, the Barrio Alegre of the Miraflores streets Diego Ferré, Juan Fanning, and Colón, competed in some Olympic games of mini-soccer, cycling, athletics, and swimming with the neighborhood of Calle San Martín, which, of course, we won.