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History of Chaitén

Chaitén grew from a settlement of three houses in 1933, and from 1938 a boat known as Tenglo, belonging to the state company Ferronave, stopped off there once a month.

Its name means ‘basket of water’ and is derived from the Huilliche word ‘chain’, relating to the abundant rain in the region and the topographical formation of the area.

Gradually, the population of the region was supplied with more services; in 1946 radio was installed and the Servicio Militario del Trabajo (Military Service of Work) began building a road towards the river Yelcho. At these times there was only one street, called Juan Todesco. There were already houses there and from here supplies were sent out to Futaleufú and Palena.

Nowadays this city and port forms the main administrative and commercial center of the region.

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