Chuquicamata is the one name mine of Cobre to open sky and of an old mining camping. Both are located to 16 km to the north of Calama, in II Region of Antofagasta, Chile . Considered one of greatest of the world, in his type and it is the major in copper production of the Country. Chuquicamata is administered by state Company, Codelco . The mine owns an elliptical form, with a surface of about 8.000 ms ² and about 1,250 ms of depth. initiated the copper production in 1915 and until 2007 owned a camping or mining town, destined to lodge to the workers and its families.


Chuquicamata, the mine to greater open edge of the world, originally was operated by the indigenous towns of the zone. Its name is of origin aymara and it is related to the chucos natives or chuquis that worked copper to make tools and arms.

In 1882 settled the first industrial task in the sector. Company Guggenheim Bros, of the United States, produced the first fine copper bar 18 of May of 1915, which it followed a period during which company receives successive names like: Chile Copper Co. and Chilex Exploration Co.

Thousands of miners arrived in search of opportunities when the first massive copper extractions began. The company property of the brothers Guggenheim acquired the rights of the old society and red-baptize the company/signature like " Chile Exploration Company".

Chuquicamata changes of owners

In 1922, Anaconda Co. it bought American Brass with his enormous productive capacity. This production needed a great amount Cobre, which exceeded that they produced the located mines Mountain Anaconda, even though these produced around a million pounds of copper to the day. The executives of the company/signature considered that it was fundamental to assure additional resources copper. First they initiated negotiations with Utah Copper Company, those that failed because one of the majority shareholders, Kennecott Copper, did not reach an agreement. No other alternative explored in the United States was successful. The then company directed to its glance to the operation to edge abierto of Katanga in the Congo Belgian . Here it was not possible to be reached an agreement from purchase due to the close relation between Katanga and the government Belgian. , executive of Katanga were maintained to conversations in Brussels with Fernand Pisart, to see the possibility of an operation of joint sale, action that did not take shape either. In the long run the failure of these negotiations concluded with the attempt to buy Chuquicamata.

In March of 1923 Anaconda acquired Chile Copper in 77 million dollars, the greater transaction well-known in Wall s$street until that moment . The 51 percent from Chile Copper to 35 dollars was sold the action. The capitalization of Chile Copper was of 5 million 400 thousand actions to a nominal value of 25 dollars by action. Sothward, the star of the empire Anaconda, had determined its course. In autumn of 1928 the market of copper rose high and continued the negotiations with the Guggenheim brothers. The actions of Anaconda were in stop and seemed a good moment to acquire the rest of the actions of Chile Copper Company. Finally in January of 1929 and after weeks of discussion, announced a base of conversion for the acquisition of 2 million 200 thousand remaining actions of Chile Copper Company to 73/100 of an action of Anaconda by one of Chile. This conversion was decided with Daniel Guggenheim, whereas other members of the family tried a 80% conversion. In as much, the actions of Anaconda were to around 150 dollars. Immediately rights of subscription were offered to the shareholders to 55 dollars by the new emission of Anaconda. Finally the family of Guggenheim accepted the conversion and the supply was formulated in official form 23 of January of 1929 . For it 73 thousand three actions of Chile for their conversion, granting to Anaconda were given to two million the 98.41 percent of the property.

30 of June of 1940 this one had increased to 98.50 and, soon it arrived at the 99. Thus it concluded the giant transaction.

In 1971 promulgated a constitutional reform by means of which nationalized the great mining of copper in Chile, which meant the total property of this mine on the part of the Chilean State. At the moment of the world and the main ones in metallic mining belongs to Codelco Chile one of the one hundred majors Companies. The mine is characterized to contain copper to earth flower, reason why it is operated open-cast, in an extension of similar elliptical form to an amphitheater of 4,000 ms of length, 1,900 ms of width and 950 ms of depth. Daily t is extracted approximately 500,000 of the material, of which 180,000 t are of mineral with a law approximately of 1% of copper. The transport of this material is made essentially in trucks of 360 extraction of 330 and capacity t.

The mining complex of divisón North Codelco consists of three open-cast mines : The South mine, smallest, Mine Radomiro Tomic and the Chuquicamata Mine, greatest, with 4.6 km in length, 3 km in width and 980 M of depth approximately.

Mining camping

The camping of Chuquicamata, located near the mine that takes the same name, began to construct between 1911 and 1912, was based the 18 of May of 1915, had like main function to shelter the heads, workers and workers with the basic equipment, that quickly went away equipping and I get to have about 25,000 inhabitants.

The first miners of the Loa

The first men who worked in Chuquicamata, to where they exist antecedent, were Atacameños . They used tools of wood and semicarved stones, large drills and peasants chisels. With these tools they made small resentments in the faldeos of hills.

There are indications of mining extractions in which today it is the sector the northwest of the mineral. Peculiarly, the processing of the mineral took place to several kilometers of Chuquicamata, in the shores of the rivers Salty and Great. The historians deduce that the atacameños chose this place for the smelting of the metal by their proximity to Way of the Inca, commercial route where it was possible to compromise made products. Another peculiar detail, is that this old town could temper some copper pieces, that is to say, harden the metal to prologar its life utility, technical stranger until now. He counts the history that Diego de Almagro to its return to Cuzco in 1536 obtained from the furnaces of Camac Mayu (Rio Grande), copper horseshoes for his horses.

The archaeological rest, locate the first copper operations and other minerals in the Chilean north, around the 500 before Christ.

Origin of the Chuquicamata word

According to the dictionary “Voices of the North of Chile”, of author Mario Bahamondes, the etymological origin of Chuquicamata, Chuki (that means lance) and Kamata is in the voices Quechuas (whose next translation is nicotine glauca).

As far as the interpretation of these voices quechuas, Francisco Solano, author of the “Geographic Dictionary of Chile”, define the compound word as “lance” or “measurement of lance” lasts. For this interpretation, the writer was based on peculiar copper adornments that the primitive inhabitants of the zone used.

According to Eulogio Gutiérrez, the term comes from the tribe of robust mountain dwellers met like Chucos, who inhabited the north of Calama before the Spanish conquest. Investigations during second half of the last century, gave account that this culture never existed and that only was product of a fertile mind, supported in the discovery of a body momificado in 1899, to the interior of a resentment.

The rest, correspond a. to an indigenous miner catched by a landslide the 800, approximately. Its body, could be conserved thanks to a natural leaching process, that acted like momificador agent.

Placilla and Punta de Rieles

The first antecedents of an urban center in which we know like Chuquicamata, were Placilla and Punta de Rieles. In these places it began the sale of food and the first centers of diversion. These sites, at the moment are covered by the immense banks of the North mine.

The historian loíno, Héctor Pumarino Grove, affirms that the dismissed ones of the War of the Pacific changed their arms by tools. Rail end received that name because there all the branches ended that finished in end, simulating shoots with an arrow. This one was located to the southwest of the camping. The railroad settled due to the dangers to transport the metal in mule. The last destiny of the convoys was a handful of gaming houses and house of remolienda. From the station towards the north they were the houses, that as they move away of the railroad were more and more miserable. Both towns, continued growing until the arrival of the Americans and the construction of Chuquicamata. Rail end was condemned by the company, because it meant a danger for his workers who constantly escaped to drink there, apart from which in the place the promiscuity proliferated and the delinquency the workers did not return in days to their workings and many were died by inescrupulous cazafortunas that went up to around the zone. Little by little one went away depopulating and one went depositing a cake of debris on his houses, until in the middle of the third decade disappeared completely.

Placilla lasted major, because their owners never wanted to sell their possessions, in such circumstances continued operating the cavern, whereas I boast of Chuquicamata grew around to his.

Decree 1854, promulgated the 29 of April of 1905 by the government of the president Germa'n Riesco, authorized to Braden Copper Company, company of the North American engineer William Braden, so that it operated in Chilean territory. The geographic difficulties and the necessity to expand the facilities of the mine forced, it to sell the property, that happened to be administered by Kennecott Corporation .

In 1910, Albert C. Burrage in society with the Duncan Fox and company., obtained permission to set off the Chuquicamata mine. The 3 of April of 1911, Burrage was authorized by the Chilean government to establish the metallurgical center in Chuquicamata, where without permission the Guggenheim brothers (financistas of New York) had carried out workings of prospections. This gave rise to an intense competition to obtain the rights of the mineral, that finished at the beginning of 1912 with an agreement between both societies. Then, the 11 of January of 1912, the government approved the law that granted the authorization to operate the deposit. The 3 of April of 1913, in the gift presidency Ramon Luco Mud, was promulgated the decree 878, that gave to the new society the permission to establish agency in Chile.

Under hégira of the Guggenheim brothers (Society Braden Cooper Co. ) the operation of the deposit in Chuquicamata begins in 1915, with a plant of 10,000 tons daily. By their salitrero past and the repression against the labor movements, the Guggenheim brothers, decided to change the name of their company by Chile Exploration Company, that by an error was identified during long time like “Chilex”. This error to call " Chilex" also it is used commonly for the theater, although its name is Chile theater, not " chilex".

After 14 years of operation, Chile Exploration Company sold its rights to the Anaconda Copper Company. The soundings of the mineral were in charge of Edwin Berry and Walter Perkins, that engaged like assistants the brothers Juan and Alberto Almonte, connoisseurs of watered down and the rivers of the zone, vital elements to establish an extractive task. The 4 of February of 1913 Chile Exploration received its first manager: Fred Hellman.

It begins To be born Chuquicamata

The Construction begins

The company asked for concessions and permissions to equip to the tasks of potable water and industrial use, electrical energy, railroads, telephone lines and lands where to carry out the constructions of the different residential work areas and.

One of the first authorizations that receive the company came from the mayor of Tocopilla and had as objective to allow the land use for the rise of an electrical plant that would give energy to Chuquicamata.

In the local scope, the cuprífera received several hectares for the construction of a mineral leaching plant of low law and a space for the camping of its personnel, besides water Mercedes in the rivers San Pedro, Toconce and Lequena. Also tender was mentioned a permission internal railway lines and a branch to the Antofagasta-Bolivia railroad.

Also the construction of lines of communication of electrical energy and a telephone line between Tocopilla and Chuquicamata.

It was born thus, the Arsenal, his frames, the beams and pillars are entretejían in heights that went from the 71 meters in length by 25 of width. In a level more down and to a distance of 200 meters, the Copper Smelting rose, to the front the electrolytic house.

Camping of Chuquicamata

The construction of the camping began in 1917 . In charge engineers determined the location of two great complexes of houses, those that would be located to three kilometers of distance of the grates that marked the limit of the work areas.

American camping

Near the mine, the North Americans made level some sectors, giving beginning to the American Camping, denominated thus because there engineer and executive Americans would only live. Thus, from his Chuquicamata beginnings he counted on two campings, distant 3 kilometers to each other and connected by the Tocopilla Avenue.

The life of the American lasted until 1980, when their houses were transferred, among them house 2000 (General The Manager House), in 1984, today is in the Auka-Huasi town, of the sector the west of the Camping.

The disposition of the houses was hierarchic. The house of the manager of the company was in highest and its design would be known like “Special”, a model of construction that was used between the great landowners, to the south of the United States .

The materials were brought from the foreigner and the architecture gave space to great large windows, pillars of pine Oregon, a interior plated in the same material, a great room with an enormous chimney, cooks, halls reception, five dormitories, two more appointed the personnel on watch, ample patios and land for future gardens.

More down the houses of the assistant directors, with a similar style, calls “Special”. The difference with the house of the manager was the size.

In sequence descendant, the rise of the houses was seen that the designated superintendents would occupy type “Large A”. Then, “Large B”, for the North American heads according to its rank. “Detached A-B”, “Ford To” and, finally small dimensions that would be occupied by the engineer futures that would work for Chile Exoploration Company.

Camping of employees

To the opulence of " Americano" camping;, the “Camping of employees” was against. The best one located was the overseers, to those who the North Americans instilled their system of classes with houses to part. They were “the Broad” houses type, construction done with wood pillars, covers by esterillas to which soon granulated cement was added to them.

A bullfight had four houses. The 200, 300, 400 and 500 are born therefore. They were separated to each other, some even were in the top of a small hill, as it were the case of the 400, that later it would be the way of communication between the American Camping and the worker. In the low part of the working camping, the company commanded to construct “the Sunk ones”, a type of house with the same characteristics that the Tins, but covered in the ground floor with brasses and the discharge with wood. A bullfight was formed by nine houses, those that were in the corners were smaller. Each bullfight took a letter. The lot began in the “A” and finished in the “I”. The numeration went of the west to this, therefore the 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 were, until arriving at the 1099. Against the letter “To”, infantile games, those rose that counted on modern infrastructure. Behind this complex “Types C”, a construction that emphasized when entering a small hall, living, dining room, two or three dormitories and the characteristic patio closed with esterilla were located. Each two run existed a pylon, place from where the water was extracted. It consisted of a heavy pipe of more than 15 centimeters of diameter. Within this one there was a key. The pylon was within a cement circle that had one esterilla, the one that was connected as well with the water-drainage, that is to say, in the same place where they were hurled the wastes the vital element removed. In a great esplanade underneath “Tins” it was the sector that would occupy the future school, the church and a field of skating. In the side the west they were constructed the “Adobes Type”, small constructions done in Calama, whose raw material (adobes) arrived at the mineral in small carts thrown by mules. He was common that the adobes were divided in the way, reason why the engineers decided to bring the Earth and the straw to make the adobe in the same place where he was being constructed. The bullfights are numbered from the 10 to the 40 and, from letter “C” to the “W”.

The hygienic services were in the corners. Thus each 12 houses there was a common bath, the one that one long canal or wall of 35 centimeters of stop by 10 of width consisted of. The baths did not count on separation, with the consequent lack of privacy in the case of going several people at the same time. This true drain in many opportunities played bad past which did not know and it was located in the first place, this one was almost always vacated, since to every ten minutes a strong water spurt that emerged from a heavy pipe and devastated and so it found, taking to the unwary surprised one by the canal. In their beginnings, the populations of greater spread were “the Sunk ones”, “the Tins” and “the Adobes” (many of these were demolished or renewed between 1970 and 1990) and, finally divided by the crossing of the railway line that came from Calama and died in the different work areas, were located “600s”, right on the feet of hills. Neighbor to this small camping began the construction of long bullfights, those that strangely had the access doors in the flanks. On the inside an extensive corridor with several pieces, to which it was called “the Ships soon to them”, because they had a similarity with the rooms of the boats. These pieces were destined to the single women. These soon they happened to be between 1970 and 1990 I exercise of engineers N°1 de Chuquicamata, whose symbol was a number a 1 with one picota and anchor crossed. The basic services were during decades in the American Camping: the hospital, the American Recova, the bakery, the Quarter of Firemen and Customs officers. By the end of the decade of the 40 the company announced the construction of new houses. These would be between the new market and the N°7 sentry box (way to Tocopilla). Of equal way, in the site today known as Nórmac Plant, 8 ships with 34 pieces were built each for workers and two more for the employees than they were in front of the camping Broad. The 544 houses were distributed of the following way: 250 houses would have a dormitory, living, a kitchen and a bath; 140 of two dormitories, 92 with three dormitories and 62 with four rooms. All was given the 24 of December of 1949, being qualified just in 1952.

Retired of the camping, in the same place that occupies until today, they were the lands for the cemetery. Apparently before there was another cemetery in Chuquicamata in already mentioned Placilla.

A paternalistic system

With the growth of the camping, an incipient commerce thanks to the land concession settled down that made the company, previous investigation of the applicant, soon each was in charge to construct its house. For the rest of the civil servants a system installed by the administration existed where continuously the houses were watched and if their inhabitants inhabited really them. What they sanctioned was the abandonment and as punishment the company cleared the house. It was custom to watch the behavior of the employees in the camping, being worried that considerable robberies of materials did not take place and that did not abuse the alcohol consumption in the residences. As the increase of copper production takes place, a contingent major of employees and workers entered, for such reason rose in the decade of the 60, populations like “the Forest” and “the Lagos”, in both cases the constructions are of two floors, with great patios and parking for vehicles. Then who wanted to change it had to approach the office of houses (Department of Well-being). For the sixty, already they inhabited in the camping 24 thousand people, of who 5,600 were workers and the rest corresponded to relatives, customs officers, officials government, professors and retailers.

The initial residential condition of Chuquicamata

He is interesting to leaf through the conditions of Chuquicamata in his beginnings. The report of a governmental commission that visited the mineral in 1920, turns out useful to form an impression of the life of these first chuquicamatinos. “In this establishment, in the gorge, in front of the copper smelting, it is the small camping for unmarried, whose miserable quarters are covachas where they sleep in rickety old beds up to 16 individuals. As here there is no service of sewage system, the served waters and other wastes throw to the ground, causing a fetidity that becomes unbearable by the fall of the heat. Its location at heart of the gorge does of this camping true toldería indigenous by unhealthy and the unhygienic thing of its conditions”. “Next to this camping for unmarried he is denominated the 500. This it is for families. Marriages in houses live here on a single piece. This camping has electrical light, neither sewage system, nor baths”. “The new camping (New Camp), that is most popular, is most unhygienic, unhealthy and inadequate to see. It includes two sections of houses: the one of tins and the one of adobes. The tin camping does not have sewage system, artificial light, patio nor empties. The promiscuity is complete, until the dog and the cat the children and the parents in one live and sleep there next to or two beds”.

Social life in the camping

The public life of the mineral passed in places like the Recova, pulperías, the restaurant and the parochial church. In the peak it was always the Chilex Club, located in the American camping, center forced for the free short whiles after the work. In their interior halls were lodged, bars, dining rooms, kitchens, restaurants, billiards, field of ninepin, swimming pool and a field of básquetbol. A summary of the buildings with historical value of Chuquicamata is the following one:

Chílex Club

Camping dates from first years of, since a place became necessary of relaxation for the Americans who lived in the American camping, soon between 1970 and 1980 were closed by the expansion of the camping and new one in the sector of the Auka-Huasi town was constructed one, being inaugurated in 1985, this only granted attention to the supervisors of the mine, up to 1990 year in which all the workers of Codelco could make use of the facilities. Even though that this building only has some of the imported elements of the original club, it does not have a defined architectonic style, because it consists of the adoption of fields and swimming pools realized after his construction. The transfer meant definitive suppression of this one social club, since the company denied the construction of new Chilex-Club in Calama.

Theater Varieties

Building that took the salitrero patrimony, constructed almost completely of calamine. It owned galleries in circular form and to the flanks. There theater spectacles were offered and of juergas, known they are the presentations of the theater of magazines of Daniel Vilches. At the moment it is a restaurant known like the Arcoiris Cénter, with service to the table and of supermarket. They concur to him, almost exclusively, personnel of the companies contractors of Codelco

Chile theater

Without a doubt, this one is one of the icons of Chuquicamata, that in the future will evoke the memories of the mineral. Founded on 1943, Chile abrió to its doors with the opening of the film “That one Night in River”. Their stellar protagonists were Carmen Vantage point, Caesar Romero and Alicia Fai. This room of theater was faithful copy of a cinema of Virginia, the United States. The places were certain according to the social class. It silverplates discharge, left side was exclusive for the North Americans, alongside straight the executives, in it silverplates low the Chilean supervisors and employees. The gallery was the place for the rest of the community. With a capacity for two thousand people, for sixty years hardly if it reached to satisfy the demand of diversion. Between the 2002 and 2005 building he was used as it soothes of the N°3 Union of the Division and their outer conditions were deplorable (by lined and graffitti, and the ceiling very aggravated by use of the doves by not being maintained), today is being remodelado.

Chuqui club

The esplanade where today this the place of Chuquicamata, was a great uncultivated land, partly filled with the creation of a stroll and kiosco for orchestras. In order to complete the sector, executives decide to raise a great dance hall, where in addition the favorite sport of the Yankees could be practiced; básquetbol. Thus in 1925 he divided the construction than later “Chuqui Club” would be called. Everything a colossus for the time, because it was the first stage roof of South America. The building showed two floors, great offices, graderías, dressing rooms and a floor of wood that was remodelado several times between 1980 and the 2000. It is a representative icon of the chuquicamatina social life, a luxury for the mineral, his inauguration was the 21 of May of 1926. Until recently he was used by the sport, the Mining Lisodech and Glasses that every August were made and where a truck of the mine and the well-known Ferrilo parked (statue with similarity of scrap iron man done mainly and a great wheel).

Union audience

Of it cuts net modernist, this building is the main manifestation of the union movement among 1920 and 1940, with ample facades and one species of ceiling in the form of wave, war is a representative style of post. It was used like main scene of several acts and degrees. Today it is soothes of the facilities of the union N°1 and N°2 de Trabajadores of the division.

Ex- maternity

This house corner at some time acted as of maternity of the camping, at that time was counted on precarious elements for the construction being of common use the calamine, the Oregon pine and the unfolded material, a species of esterilla on which granulated cement was placed. later it was a school and today it is the Commissariats of Customs officers transferred from the American camping (today demolished).


Different educational establishments worked in Chuquicamata, among them:

  • B-10 grammar school " América" (ex- N°3 School de Hombres)
  • E-34 school " John F. Kennedy" (ex- School N° 31)
  • Industrial school San jOse (present testigoteca)
  • F-33 school
  • Infantile garden " Pinocho"
  • School of Párvulos ANSCO
D-54 school " Republic of Chile"
like School of Primary Education began its activities in 1917. In 1925 is constructed the well-known building on the basis of quality wood like its ample classrooms guinea fowl with different reasons (following the level of the room) and step to be the School Superior of Nº4 Children. Its direction was " Street Place the S/N" Heroes;. In 1978 megres with the Mixed School Nº22 of the Loa located against the Establishment and the place happening to be called D-54 School Republic of Chile. In the year 2002 the School counts on a matriculation of 800 students of first a Basic eighth taken care of by 30 educational ones and his Director is Mr. Many of their students returned like professors to this dear establishment continuing therefore a tradition of years.

The year 2004 the School begins its functions in a new building in the City of Calama. 24 of September of 2006 the building located in Chuquicamata is destroyed by a fire reduced that it to ashes.

Very well-known it is a phrase the one that is considered by many generations infaltable: " The National anthem sera directed by professor Edmundo Biaggini" that every Monday was pronounced.

The School, today in Calama, celebrates its anniversary in the month of November opportunity in which diverse commemorative activities are realized. Account with academy of Folclor, Soccer and Baby-soccer.

Chuquicamata school
of was born 27 from April 1927, under the name of Chilex School, destined to the education of the children of the North American civil servants who in that then worked in the company Chilex Exploration Company.

In the year 1970, by Resolution of the Ministry of Education, the Chilex School is designated " Collaborator of the Educative Function of the Estado", with the name of Particular School Nº 8", telling on courses of Parvulario Eighth Basic Year.

15 of November of 1978, by Resolution 1094, took its present name from Chuquicamata School, employee of the Company Codelco Chile, Chuquicamata Division, including from the Parvulario level to Fourth Year of Average Education.

From 1995, happened to depend on the Educational Foundation Chuquicamata.

Parochial church

Catholic parish " El Salvador ", constructed according to legend of a church of the United States, the parish has been evolving in its outside and interior. It was a very special point of contact, where North Americans and Chileans congregated themselves. Of the disasters of this church it was a fire happened between 1940 and 1950.

During the years of military Government, from 1973, the misas was realized to doors closed due to the touch of is restored in those years.

His last priest was the parish priest Enrique I trimmed off lower branches of Turú, who celebrated the last misas and closed the parish in Chuquicamata definitively, to give course to the transfer of this one to new dependancies in Calama, to continue the evangelizadora mission in the new towns of the workers of Codelco in Calama .

Some important dates:

  • Date of creation decree company/signature: 30 of October of 1917.

  • Date of publication: 20 of Nov. of 1917, nevertheless were celebrated the 6 of August of 1917.

This church was one of the last dependancies, independent of the administration of Codelco, that worked in Chuquicamata.

Working Social club

The Working Social Club was the last one in rising, being before the chuquicamatinos the 17 of April of 1967. Dedicated exclusively to the workers of the camping, it was thought and constructed to reunite in a single building the most varied comforts. Like its predecessors (the well-known " Social" club;), it had fields of palitroques (6 Fields), in which their competitions were during the most commented years of the zone. Pool, dance halls, restaurant and bar, completed the infrastructure.

Directed to the workers, it was the great answer for which during years they did not have an own place and of privilege like the one of his companions, who by social position were “different” (like example the Chilex Club).

The Pulperías

The merchandize necessity, when beginning the camping, was covered buying in End with Rails. This was problematic for the administration, for being common that the workers ended up drinking in this “cavern of the perdición”, with the later failure in the work.

The other problem was the assaults that happened in this passage. But not only there were assaults in the way, the salesmen who arrived the pay day for “plucking” the employees was another headache for the landlords. The headquarters took letters and raised a building that would do the times of faenadora, place to where the animal arrived directly from Argentina. The Chinese were the ones in charge to take care of the enclosure. The term “pulpería” adapted of the United States, means “pulp” place where several sorts are sold. Very known in the salitreras they extended until the mining campings, including all type of products. Pulperías was another one of the benefits that the company gave to its workers, allowing to tell them free on foods of first necessity, thanks to a granted subsidy to work in the company. In the dawn of century XX the cost of life of the employees was extremely high due to the speculation and the loads. Nevertheless, when the North American administration settled, the prices of articles of first necessity were congealed, first with low prices in nine foods, extending in 1932 to all the products, since the financial crisis devalued the Chilean peso.

The articles of pulpería were classified in “rationed” and “not rationed”. First they were specifically certain in rationing cards and they only could be acquired in the amounts that in them were expressed. The right to this ration extended to the worker or employee, besides its legitimate wife, the illegal, natural or hijastros children and daughters until the 18 years and, the parents of the worker when the economic support of the family suffered some accident that it prevented him to continue serving the company. Pulperías was great sheds, similars to a supermarket. They were located in strategically important points of the camping. The N°1 worked to the entrance of the American Camping. There the employees bought so much as the managers of the company, acquiring products of better quality than in the rest of pulperías. Next to her a bakery was constructed that was exclusive of the company, like the milk plant. In the Working Camping, in as much, they were the N°2 (Next to parvularia school " The Principito" (or Pinocho by a great figure that is looked like the wood puppet)) and N°3 (entered which is today the second entrance to the mine) which they were great warehouses where it bought the majority of the workers. This distribution obeyed to the proximity that had these businesses with the houses. Finally, recova American, that was constructed especially for the North Americans.

Pay in money and rations
Along with his pay (money in cash), the worker received a rationing card, where the number of rations to that was expressed it had right the worker in agreement with his civil state and, the number of people who composed their familiar group. The minors of 12 years were subject on a rationing scale that varied according to the ages.

This card era of fine cardboard and took the name of the employee, its number of file, its pay and the list of articles that could acquire. The first day of every month was received and with her the owner of house went to pulpería after determining which were the monthly needs of the familiar group.

Once in the premises, they were placed in the corresponding row; there were one of packings, another one of vegetables and fruits and, another one for the meat. Then, the row to pay, gave the card there and the merchandizes were tallied that had retired.

Another benefit for the workers was the prices of the merchandizes, much more under which in the commerce established in the environs (including Calama). This was reason for great tails and agglomerations. Also was current that familiar or friendly of the workers please asked to acquire articles nonrationed.

The robbery in pulperías practical common and until was accepted by the administration in “reasonable” proportions. Each pulpería had superintendents and heads of pulpería, besides the heads of each area who were in charge of the normal operation of the premises. In pulpería N°1 it was the warehouse of Valparaiso, place where all the merchandize arrived that had to be distributed to the different branches. Every three months an inventory had to become, subject that was not very easy, by the customary losses. The disappearance of pulperías was gradual, being replaced in the Nineties by the supermarket Ekono and Tiendas Falabella . The great loss in this new system was the low prices. The physical spaces that occupied by so many years these pulperías redistributed of the following way:

  • Pulpería N°1 : Auditorium of the Management, unions, reception of illustrious authorities to the mining complex like the meeting of ministers responsible for mining within the framework of the Apec 2004 that took place in June of that year (wall the place and I remain within the mine in the fore door of the mine)
  • Pulpería N°2 : It presses Emserc
  • Pulpería N°3 : Industrial protection
  • Pulpería N°4 : It disappeared
  • Pulpería N°5 : Room of Events
  • Pulpería N°6 : It disappeared
(Note: Pulperia N°5 and N°6, was located in Villa Ayquina and Exótica in Calama, respectively).

pulpería N°1 this buried by the advance of the debris that comenzo in completes week of June of 2008 .

Place " The Héroes"

Under just the getting up district “the Tins” the Mixed School Nª10 was created, without a doubt everything a gift for the children of the workers. Nevertheless, its construction created more of some problem for the engineers of the time. Against the establishment it had been a esplanade, the one that a principle was thought to erect other buildings, idea that with time was being in the forgetfulness. 1923 ran and the place had become the point of contact of the chuquicamatinos that all the Sunday met to enjoy music which they touched small the symphonic ones composed by workers and fans to the musical art. Like well-known " Chilex". These groups were characteristic of the salitreras and its quality obvious had extended the times, inasmuch as to some they contracted them heads so that they also brightened up his particular celebrations. Thus the ladies and the men who took a walk by that one esplanade shone their elegant suits, as a sample of their last acquisition in Antofagasta, in the importer Pinnau and company., who was in charge to bring besides clothes, articles for the home, tools and machineries. The week ends had acquired great importance for the population, as much that some North Americans excited with the musical orchestras and groups ventured themselves to create their own grouping of jazz, style that by those years made rage in the United States. To the compass of swing and blue they demonstrate to the assistants who are good dancers. With the wind so characteristic of the place, it raised dust and it soiled shoes, suits and hats. For such reason, the administration decided to fill up the esplanade with gradilla and to draw up what later it would be the Place of Arms of Chuquicamata, that would count on gardens, sinks and in center one " torre" with banks so that the people and the band could be comfortable, but between 2000 and 2006, the place was watched by inescrupulous who destroyed and brought about visual contamination to the place with graffitti, today totally was recovered.


First hospital of Chuquicamata
The first hospital of Chuquicamata was an American construction of colonial type, to a considerable distance of the camping, although it was next to the American camping. Great pavilions formed the different rooms ordenadamente, being greatest the “D”. A beautiful garden surrounded this construction, the windows upwards abrían by a system of piolas and strips of cloth similar to which were in the American camping. The unique error of distribution, assignment the North American engineers, was the surgical pavilion, that was in the middle of a patio. This enclosure, “grandfathers” of the Hospital Roy H. Glover, era of wood and counted on all the necessary services, except the one of maternity that was near the place, more exactly in the Customs officers. Near the place the maternity worked and a policlínico that also acted the paediatrics as. The medical services and of pharmacy were gratuitous, the workers went to the different buildings to receive their medecines. Grant was of thirteen doctors, four matrons, 26 nurses and 66 aids.

Hospital Roy H. Glover
The construction of Roy H. Glover mainly had the numerous deficiencies that the hospital of the mineral presented/displayed . Although, it managed to control per years diseases and the indices of mortality of the camping, his reduced to physical space and its little capacity to take care of different specialties, added the great population that existed in the zone, soon made it incompetent. The doctor in head of the enclosure, the doctor John Bradford raised the restlessness to the manager of the time ( 1954 ), Charles Brinckerhoff, and with his approval and aid it divided to New York to present/display his project to the directory of The Anaconda Company, the propietary company of the mineral through Chile Exploration Company. In New York, Bradford was with Mr. Glover, vice-president of the directory of Anaconda, that did his the project. Before the convincing arguments of Bradford, Glover convinced to the rest of the directory and with much aid I present/display scale models, planes and designs being approved the plan, in 1955, began its construction between 1956 and 1957 being finished to the work of 21 August of 1960 . The investment was of 28 million dollars and for the construction of the enclosure the best materials of the time were used, thinking about a hospital that had to last many years. Arrived the moment for working, the name of Roy H. Glover arose like most suitable, in signal of gratefulness to the man who as much made secure his construction, even though he never traveled to Chuquicamata, but made the dream raise a new hospital.

The hospital rose with five floors of height and two subterraneans (the well-known floors G and B ), having a specialty basic by floor, plus a pensioner and next to them, a pavilion of operations, delivery rooms, laboratory, X-rays, among others so many dependancies, that they turned quickly it into the best and more modern center of the country, equipped to be self-sufficient, given to the distance of the other medical enclosures of Chile, and including of Santiago The marble gardens and coatings in their main access were the special characteristic of the enclosure, added to a peripheral wall of copper sulfate blocks that granted an original scenery, besides a surprise, a sculpture of the tower eiffel on scale. At the time of their inauguration 18 doctors worked .

Gradually they went away creating Neonatología, the Unit of Cuidados Intensivos (UCI) of that area, UCI of adults, Hemodiálisis, Ophtalmology, Orthopedic surgery, Otorrinolaringología, Siquiatría, Pathological Anatomy, Ecographies, Scanner (first of the country), Dermatology, Kinesiología, Automated Clinical Laboratory, among others.

worked during 41 years, which gave a unique work, getting to be, at some moment, recognized like the best hospital of South America, today rests under tons of debris, after a cruel agony, in which it was involved, several demolitions and cutting of trees, which were thrown down and were buried next to the colossus of green color.

The particular commerce

The particular commerce settled down in the Bernardine avenue Or' Higgins. The majority of these establishments disappeared, if embargo, for 2002 still existed like true “institutions” of the chuquicamatino memory, Emporio the “Verbena” and sastrería “Sands” . Today the unique ones that continues in the camping are emporio " The Verbena" taken care of by gift Alcides Lira and its relatives, and the Warehouse " The Reina". Many retailers settled down themselves in this street as soon as they had to leave the station of End Rails by the end of the decade of 1920 . In 1923 settled the gaseous drink factory of property of Nicholas Pápic and Francisco Alessandri, with a capital of 150 thousand pesos. The building located in the new camping also acted the refrigerator as, where it was sold ice and congealed fish. 5 of December of 1923 settled the industralist Victor Farías with one pulpería, in fact Farías was civil servant of one of them, pertaining one to the company when it decided to settle down with a business. Also located in the New Camping, it was dedicated to lend services of store, hat shop, footwear, sastrería and counted on a Recova section, a slaughter and verdulería. Also at that time, consisting of the second decade of existence of the camping, important most variable commercial companies in red were developed. In 1917, Rufino Vargas settles with modest sastrería to a flank of the main street, was first that settled in the mineral and from which so many houses arose in agreement increased the demand to ter to us. “the Progress”, as it were baptized, it occupied in the preparation of suits to 13 workers, and with pride it showed the imported fabric use that entered the country by Antofagasta . As much it was the progress reached with this business that Rufino Vargas installed a branch in street Vivar 182, Calama, and one contiguous hairdressing salon to its business. In 1921 settled the Yugoslav trader Andres Marínovic, with one pulpería that emulated to its businesses that worked in Antofagasta. At that time also the unique business of pastry shop worked and ice-cream shop that took by name “the Sun” and whose owner was Kawashima Robert, the Japaneses that lived in the camping were expelled in 1942 as a result of the entrance from the United States in World War II, a data was that during this warlike confrontation, Chuquicamata was forced to extinguish its lights not to be bomberdeado by " eje". The conflagration marked the relations of there in future and the Asians never returned to the deposit, reinstating themselves in Calama and Antofagasta . In 1919 abrió a drug store, of property of the Spanish industralist Juan Francisco Would fry . The European began its fond of walking destiny teaching to the language in the Berlitz School of Languages, where was director in Santiago. Later, it worked in the Braden Copper Company and later it was transferred to Chile Exploration Company arriving from that way at Chuquicamata to dedicate itself to the education of the English language to the miners. Its dedication to the work was awarded by the Americans, who allowed to construct a great concrete building him where pharmacy “Chilex” installed . In addition is very remembered the Warehouse " The Reina", one of the last ones that follows in Chuquicamata.

Also very the pharmacies are remembered like: Cotorás and Síglic, along with the houses Dissi, Anita, Choliux, Carmona, Mile, others like the La Riojan. The hotels Washington, Yoma, Cobre. The soda water sources " the new Gallo" and " The Anaconda".

Other Places in Chuquicamata

Places are remembered like:
  • Emporio " The Verbena" : This store has helped and served to the chuquicamatinos by more than 70 years, today is one of the stores more remembered of the mineral, taken care of by gift Alcides Lira and family. In addition in very remembered by the accomplishment to the act of " Old Pascuero" that it was in center realized each 24 of December of the mineral.
  • Warehouse the Queen : It dates from 1915, was administered by the Mimica Family from 1915 to 1960, this is one of the oldest warehouses of the mineral. From 1960 to in the actuliadad it has been administered and taken care of by the Family Shock Lopez and Hijos,

  • Social Club : It was located near the American camping, it counted on 6 fields of Bowling and several places of entretención. In addition he was one of the first centers of Bowling in Chile.

  • Radio " Loa" : " was located underneath a esplanade next to the O'Higgins population (; The Nórmac"), soon to be occupied by an office of Codelco.

  • Refreshment bar " The Minero" : It worked during several years underneath the Chile theater, was taken care of by his Owner Do6na.

  • Rossi Ironworks : It was located right in the center, next to the pharmacy " Cotoras". It was created by the Rossi Brothers of Italian origin.

  • House Ruiz : It was located in well-known " Ruiz" small square;, that was located in front of the Departments " Diego Portales". At the moment they take care of in the city of Calama.

  • Bookstores " Chilex" and " The Union" : First it is today soothes of a museum that gives routes (Tours) by the mine and second by several years he was restaurant.

  • Club Of Employees : 1947 date from, was a very common place for the workers who looked for distraction, at the moment is located in the city of Calama, way to San Pedro de Atacama, near the Municipal cemetery, where 5ta was located Corner.

  • Great Store " The Vicuña" : 1926 date from, is located in the main street of the center, today this remodelada.

  • Club of Rayuela

  • Hill de la Cruz : It was way in the procession of Easter every year, that showed the great faith of people since the community of the El Salvador parish walked by its slope reviviendo the moment of the crucifixion, that was full of emotividad and which, to far, were listened to the prayers, music and dances that escorted to the vehicle of the father Enrique, who revivia the moments of Jesus in the Calvary and that in the summit of the hill delivered a beautiful speech next to the imposing cross of the hill, intact, that seemed to have a cruel agony, since a debris I am placed behind, for perhaps, to finish with this symbol.

  • Cave Of the Pirate : The popular stories speak of which the name must to the presence of a vagabond used who it like refuge and that in years 60 settled outside the fair with a bottle of red wine and when it was totally alcolizado shouted " I am the pirate, I I am pirata" and even with its clothes and beard neglected along with lenses that used to hide the lack of an eye.

With the years it was the shelter of people who fell in misfortune. There they dormian, they encendian its bonfires and they cooked its foods. remembered he is " bird verde", old that recorriqa the mineral without object some that vivio years in the cave and that by the pranks of children went of there. I end up sleeping in the debris. In the middle of the 80, the death of small which next to its friendly partio to an excursion and that by things of the destiny, key from the high part towards the bottom, was victim of that unfinished cavern. Also it was place to begin with the adolescence games, to fix pending accounts of the school or to improve the aim. The cave also was called " to him; cave calavera".

New Constructions

At the beginning of the 70, with nationalized copper, Chuquicamata into the hands of Codelco Chile and the consequence divided of the North Americans, began demolitions, closings and remodelings . It was the case of the tins, 600s, the sunk adobes and, that took passage to new urbanizations.

In order to replace the houses, it was constructed Abra in the place of Tins, with a total of 56 houses for the employees of the company. And for those who still did not have house, in Calama began a massive urbanization that constructed to more towns and populations in Calama. In 1974 divided the project of 312 departments for unmarried, whereas the Adobes would have 8 blocks of married departments for, divided in four blocks of four floors and four of three. Another plan was the first game of 408 houses, of which 178 correspond to the sector of 600s, the rest would be located to the North flank of the Population the Discoverers of America. The new houses are of two plants and with equipped kitchen totally. Between 1975 and 1995 divided to the existence of the new population John Bradford. The execution of the project included a surface of 15 thousand meters square and represented a complete remodeling in view of the hospital with 2 sectors, in which was the Hotel John Bradford and like data the last group that was and took a photo to the front from this hotel was Lucybell when 2000 visited the zone the year . The rise of other towns followed its normal course, like the town Auka-Huasi and Atacama, in addition several reconstructed themselves, practically solving to all the residential problems of the mineral, demonstrating in addition a sustained growth that it gave without a doubt a taken care of aspect him more of to the old camping. In addition in Chuquicamata they were counted on services of completes generation .

Existing populations at the time of the transfer
  • Departments Caesar Aguilar
  • Departments of Customs officers
  • Departments the Sunk ones
  • Departments Diego Vestibules
  • Population Araucan
  • Bellavista population
  • Population the Forest
  • Population the Adobes
  • Population 600s
  • Population the Duplex
  • Population the Discoverers of America
  • Population the Reformed Sunk ones
  • Population the Flowers
  • Population the Lagos
  • Population Types C
  • O'Higgins population (" The Nórmac")
  • Villa Florence (streets: Diego Vestibules, Atacama, Manuel Bulnes, Manuel Rodriguez, Diaz Wins, Alonso de Ercilla)
  • Villa Atacama
  • Villa Auka-Huasi
  • Villa Abra
  • Villa John Bradford
  • Villa Turi

Chuquicamatinas histories

Chuquicamata owns a great variety of urban legend that went away weaving throughout their history, some of them are:
  • The black lady
  • Meter eighty
  • The weeping one of the debris
  • The curse of placilla
  • Capacho damn
  • The fianc2ee in the ascent to Chuquicamata
  • The skirt of the devil
  • Ghosts of the Hospital Roy H. Glover (elevators that raised and lowered, children that played in their runners)

Furthermore some places that were very frequented by the children and young people who grew in Chuquicamata:

  • the cave of the pirate

  • The great stone
  • The summit of the hill San Lorenzo
  • The summit of the hill of the antennas
  • The cakes of debris

The transfer

In 1992 Chuquicamata was declared saturated zone of breathable particulado material and sulfuric Anhydride . The following year, detected that the zone had high levels of Arsenic . These environmental problems, added to difficulties with the expansion of the mine (due to the high price of adjacent lands, except the camping), motivated that Codelco made the decision between 1992 and 1997 to transfer the population of Chuquicamata, constructing to them houses in Calama which totally would be equipped and they would not be given in comodato like those of Chuquicamata, but would be hers of by life. The transfer of the families in great majority would not happen until 2004 .

The first steps

After to remove to the families who were in the population " The Dúplex", one began to vacate slowly and dyingly the hospital Roy H. Glover, the town John Bradford and Bellavista population (vacated and closed in 2003 ), populations that were near the botaderos, especially botadero well-known 95, the one that enterraria to the Hospital. Soon translada in 2003 the regiment N°1 de Chuquicamata and in 2004 begins the transfer in majority of commerce and families.

Consequences for Calama

Varied they are the consequences that the transfer had in Calama, like the construction of the Hospital of Cobre Rescuing Doctor Beyond Gossens, the Mall Calama, construction of the Corporative Building of Codelco, and new populations like Túcnar Huasi, Villa the Volcanos (located to flanks of the Topater Regiment), Villa the Legend (located in the Sector the Peuco), Villa the Salares, Villa the Deposits, etc. Besides several projects to hermosear Calama, including the schools and schools transferred from Chuquicamata like the School Chuquicamata, the E-34 school John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the D-54 school Republic of Chile, B-10 Grammar school.

Closing of Chuquicamata

31 of August and 1 of September of 2007 was realized the official ceremony of closing of the camping, after 92 years of existence, is had thought to keep the chuquicamatina memory being preserved the historical helmet from the camping which has been remodelado to be visited.

Of all parts of Chile and the foreigner, thousands of ex- inhabitants of Chuquicamata attended the final event of the closing of this mining camping, that lodged to several generations of compatriots from 1915 .

They were more than 30 thousand people those that repletaron the streets and the esplanade to a flank of the Place of the Heroes. In front of the Chuqui Club a monumental scene mounted, by that local groups marched past, to finalize with the presentation of the Sonant Palaces and the Jaivas .

Of battery of Juanita Vine the only accompanied with the members of the Jaivas and the Sonant Palaces gave to the beginning to the spectacular festival pyrotechnics that astonished to the multitudinal attending public.

This festival, that illuminated skies of Chuquicamata, lasted more than 20 minutes, whereas in bottom the song of " was listened to; The Pampinos" (group of the zone) " Miner De Cobre" along with the noise that emitted trucks of the mine, along with the sirens of cars of firemen later to take step to the subject, " Chuquicamata" of Dark Antonio followed by “All the Together “of Jaivas, moments at which the families, the friendly and the fellow workers embraced and cried, in the middle of an emotion that removed the foundations of this historical city.

During afternoon, the Minister of Mining, Karen Poniachik, next to the Corporative Vice-president of North Codelco, local Sergio Jarpa, and authorities, discovered a commemorative plaque, that it marks this historical date as the final closing of a full mining camping of memories.

Today Chuquicamata, simultaneously gives to tranquility and one complete solitude to the last families who are there, waiting for its transfer to the neighboring city of Calama, with all the populations already surrounded and many that today are being demolished like " The Lagos" and " Villa Florencia", besides almost all the closed stores.

Some peculiarities of the transfer

  • is Even people living in Chuquicamata, since much people have remained by problems with the company codelco, like judicial irregularities and conflicts.

  • the sanitary and power provisions of the camping were suspended 1 of February of 2008, only being the electrical system of mantencion and illumination of the historical patrimony, bringing consequently, to the last inhabitants, to have to ask, to the inhabitants of Calama, who help them with the basic provisions.

Some Dates to mention that they are symbolic

  • 18 of May of 1915 - Inauguration of mining facilities in chuquicamata by the Society Braden Cooper Co. (Chile Exploration Co.
  • 21 of August of 1960 - inauguration of the Hospital Roy H.

  • 20 of May of 2001 - Closing hospital Roy H. Glover, after 41 years on watch.

  • May of the 2002 - Official Beginning of the process of transfer to Calama.

  • 18 of May of 2007 - the Municipality of Calama officially declares the 18 of May like day of Chuquicamata, assumes that in this day, every year celebrations would have to become in which it was of camping.

  • 31 of August of 2007 - symbolic Closing of the camping of Chuquicamata.

  • 25 of November of 2007 - Eucarístia of the Parish El Salvador de Chuquicamata Completes.

  • 22 of December of the 2007 - Low to Calama family of " ultimo" Supervisor of the transfer.

  • 31 of December of 2007 - Warehouse the Queen stops working and they move to Calama.

  • 01 of January of 2008 - " Cierre" official of the camping and official declaration like industrial zone.

  • 23 and 24 of June of 2008 - the mine begins " tapar" pulperia N°1.

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