What would you like the youth of America to know?

You ask what I would like teenagers from the U.S.A. to know about Chile. There are many things that I would highlight. However, if I had to choose one, above all, I would like them to know that Chile is built by brave women and men who have a great spirit of solidarity and a huge capability to overcome adversity.

We Chilean people inhabited a land in which we have had to stand up again and again in order to build and rebuild our dreams. For this reason, I am very proud to say that our biggest source of wealth is our people. Chileans have transformed this country into a fertile territory. Each corner of my country is populated by little heroes and heroines, strong women and men, hard workers that above all have written their history with hope and happiness. This is what I would like the young people from your country to know.

What they sent me:
This is one of the most recent packages I received, but it was well worth the wait! I am extremely humbled that world leaders would not only take the time to write to me, but send me their response express mail. This is the only envelope I received that had been opened and then resealed with tape that read: "Opened And Resealed For Customs Purposes." It made me wonder if maybe Customs is why I haven't received more letters, especially from nations in conflict...

I was so impressed that the president really took the time to answer me. Along with her native Spanish language letter, she also sent along a "courtesy translation" which, although I took 4 years of Spanish, I greatly appreciated.

President Bachelet spoke of her country's resources and their continual struggle to rebuild. Chile's geography is unusual in that the country extends 2,653 miles from north to south, but is on average only 110 miles wide. Most of Chile is either mountains or rugged coastline, very beautiful, but very tempermental. In the last century, Chile endured 28 major earthquakes. Chile's territories also include some Polynesian islands, including Easter Island.

Chile is also home to world-class adventure travel and eco-travel, art, culture, and tradition.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

President Bachelet writes, "Chile has a privileged geography: from the driest desert in the world to fertile central valleys surrounded by rivers, lakes and volcanoes and, in the South, Patagonia with stunning islands and glaciers. However, it is this same natural wealth which has shown us its ugliest face, being responsible for huge nautral catastrophes.

"Volcano eruptions, floods, earthquakes and devastating fires have hit our country violently. These tragedies have caused big pain and suffering to us.

"However, after each one of these emergencies, Chilean people have had the strength to rebuild the country again and again. With courage, bravery, unity and generosity, Chilean people have stood up, with the hard work of families, friends, neighbors, which offer help with solidarity."

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Official Name
Republic of Chile
República de Chile


Current Leader
Michelle Bachelet Jeria

• Bachelet is currently serving her second term as president; she was elected as the country's first woman president and served from 2006 to 2010

• After her first term, Bachelet was appointed the first executive director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Recommended sites
Government of Chile

This is Chile

Official Travel Guide to Chile