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Chonchi

Chonchi is a Chilean town and commune located in Los Lagos Region. The commune consists of the town of Chonchi and the following villages: Rauco Quinched Vilupulli Teupa Terao Petanes Notue Quiao Huillinco CucaoDemographicsAccording to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Chonchi spans an area of 1362.1sqkm and has 12,572 inhabitants (6,453 men and 6,119 women). Of these, 4,588 (36.5%) lived in urban areas and 7,984 (63.5%) in rural areas. The population grew by 18.3% (1,945 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses.HistoryOriginally Chonchi was a Jesuit mission station with a school which had 150 pupils in 1755, and the town itself was founded in 1767 by order of Don Guil y Gonzaga, the then Governor of Chiloé. In 1787 Chonchi had 315 inhabitants. Unification with Chile increased the economic importance of the region and promoted population growth. The 1833 census in Chonchi demonstrated that it was the most important town in south of the island. It became a parish in 1836, resuming its traditional religious significance within the area. A good anchorage made Chonchi a natural stopping place for traffic in the canals and timber exploitation transformed it into a hub for development of the region. The economic activity centred upon Chonchi reached its zenith at the beginning of the 20th century creating an opulent society with an active social circle. The influence of external ideas (Europeans) is clearly apparent in the town.
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