Iquique - City of Chile
Iquique is a city in northern Chile, capital of Tarapacá Region, on the Pacific coast, west of the Atacama Desert and the Pampa del Tamarugal. It had a population of 216,419 as of the 2002 census. It is also the main commune of the Greater Iquique.
CHILE National Animal : Huemul
Iquique has one of the largest duty-free commercial port centers of South America and has been traditionally called Zofri. There are around 2.4 km of warehouses, banking branches, and restaurants.
The city's name comes from the Aymara word "Ique-ique", which translates to "laziness", but can also mean "sleep" or "bed."
Although the city was founded in the sixteenth century, there is evidence of habitation in the area by the Chango people as early as 7000 BC. During colonial times, Iquique was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru as much of South America was at the time, and remained part of Peruvian territory until the end of the 19th century. Iquique's early development was due in large part to the discovery of mineral riches, particularly the presence of large deposits of sodium nitrate in the Atacama Desert . Some of the greatest Peruvian heroes were neighbors in Iquique, namely Alfonso Ugarte , Ramon Zavala, a rich saltpeter entrepreneur Guillermo Billinghurst, later President of Peru and Ramon Castilla, three times president of Peru, who was born in San Lorenzo de Tarapaca and died in the Desert of Tiviliche, Tarapaca, who lived in Iquique during his mandate as Governor of Tarapaca in 1825.
Territorial disputes between Bolivia and Chile triggered the War of the Pacific in 1879. The outcome of the war gave Chile this portion of the Peruvian territory. Over the years there was substantial emigration from other parts of Chile to this area which was called the Norte Grande. In subsequent years the further exportation of Chilean saltpeter significantly helped in the development of the city, attracting foreigners and rapidly expanding housing projects.
In July 1835, Charles Darwin, during his voyage on the Beagle, traveled to Iquique and described it as a town "very much in want of everyday necessities, such as water and firewood." These necessities had to be brought in from a considerable distances. Darwin also visited the saltpeter works.
The Battle of Iquique was fought in the harbor of Iquique on May 21, 1879, now commemorated as Navy Day, an annual public holiday in Chile.
The most recent accident involving a spacecraft RTG was the failure of the Russian Mars 96 probe launch on 16 November 1996. The two RTGs onboard carried in total 200 g of plutonium and are assumed to have survived reentry . They are thought to now lie somewhere in a northeast-southwest running oval 320 km long by 80 km wide which is centred 32 km east of Iquique, Chile.
CHILE National Bird : Andean Condor
CHILE National Flower : Copihue/ Chilean Bellflower Lapageria rosea
CHILE National Game : Chilean rodeo