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Chilecito

Chilecito is a city in the Argentine province of La Rioja, and head of the department of Chilecito.OverviewThe city is located in the valley formed by the Sierras de Velazco to the east, and the Sierras de Famatina to the west. The city was founded in 1715 by Spanish colonizers. Chilecito still presevers the cable-car of La Mejicana mine built by Bleichertwhich which is part of the city mining past that saw its peak at the end of the 19th century.Chilecito is surrounded by an oasis of irrigation, which has been expanded by way of supplements from underground waters. A great part of agricultural land is used for the cultivation of vineyards because the most significant industrial activity is based in wine-cellars. Walnut and fruit trees are also cultivated and their product is locally processed.The Argentine educator, lawer, senator, governor and historian Joaquín V. González was raised in the vicinity of Chilecito.He also used to spend his vacation in a home that he built here in his later years. The property, which he called Samay Huasi (Quechua Samay Wasi, "rest house") was donated to the University of La Plata for use as an artists' retreat.By the end of the 1990s, the university of Chilecito which was still part of the National University of La Rioja became the National University of Chilecito.This decision was highly criticized by different academic and political sectors, especially those concerning to the President of Argentina at the time, Carlos Menem.
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