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Thread: Chile: Agriculture Property

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Chile: Agriculture Property

    Sovereign Man: Agriculture Property in Chile.

    Notes from the Field
    Date: May 12, 2011
    Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

    [Editor's Note: Dr. John Cobin, a long-time resident of Chile, is filling in for Simon today who is out looking at property. Photos are available on the site.]

    I was driving through the Chilean countryside recently and it dawned on me that in most of Chile, even the relatively "dull and drab" parts are downright beautiful.

    I have been to 60 countries, including extended visits to Guatemala, Jordan, Iran, Italy, and New Zealand, and have lived in both the USA and Chile for many years. I have literally been almost everywhere in the latter two countries, seeing all the best spots, and I believe Chile to be far more beautiful.

    Why Chile is so often neglected by tourists and expatriates compared to other countries is a mystery to me. Chile is a wonderful, modern, civilized place. It is great to live here, and the free market reforms continue to spur strong economic growth.

    Chile is a country of sprawling, magnanimous, diverse and ubiquitous beauty, and there is no place quite like it. It's ironic that one of the 'dullest' places in Chile looks like California's Central Valley. Imagine being in a country where the 'ugliest' part looks like central California!

    So where is this paradise? The southern Central Valley is found from Los Andes, about 100 miles north of Santiago, down to Los Angeles, about 350 miles south of Santiago. It is basically a mirror image of California's Central Valley from Bakersfield up to Red Bluff.

    In this "Central Valley" of Chile, everything is grown. There are plenty of cows, chickens, pigs, horses and other livestock (mainly sheep and goats), too. Dairy is big business. Wine is an even bigger business. Oranges, pears, apples, avocados, cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, grapes, watermelons, etc.

    The climate is quite nice too, so long as long, dry, often hot, summers are not a problem for you. You'll hardly ever see a snowflake in winter unless you go up into the higher elevations nearby.

    A person who likes central California's scenery and weather ought to consider enjoying some choice property near Chile's heartland of agricultural production. Great places to live and farm can be found within 2-3 hours of Santiago's supplies, services, and great medical care.

    But the most important aspect of the Chilean heartland is that it can be had for reasonable prices. Bear in mind, this is a developed, first world country... but you're not paying first world prices.

    To give you an example, I recently saw a 7-acre property with a modest home, about 2 hours south of Santiago, for $76,000. Larger farms (100+ acres) can be purchased for a few thousand dollars per acre.

    In Chile, the thing to always remember is that water rights are separate to land rights; in other words, you purchase a property, and often have to separately purchase water rights.

    To give you an example, Simon is out right now looking at a large property on one of Chile's magnificent rivers. The property doesn't automatically come with rights to use the water that's in the river, though.

    Chile has a market-based system to allocate water rights for a collective body of water-- the owners of all the properties which border the river get together and bid for rights to a certain volume of water, essentially a certain number of gallons per minute that they can take from the river.

    If one farmer expects to use more water, he or she must bid more. If the river has a limited capacity and demand for the water rights exceeds the river's supply, then the price goes up... that's how the market works. In this way, you can be sure that the water will be put to its most economic use.

    Furthermore, these water rights are held in a separate title and can be bought, sold, and transferred just like title to property. Typically, water rights and land rights are sold together in a package... but not always.

    This system is quickly becoming THE standard that many other countries are adopting to allocate their water rights-- one of the many ways that Chile is becoming a model to the world.

    Dr. Cobin's book, Life in Chile: A Former American's Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost ever topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service, where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Chile: Volcano Explosion.

    Hell on earth: Monster volcano can be seen from SPACE as it spits fire into the sky

    Last updated at 4:17 PM on 7th June 2011

    This towering plume of brown ash is clearly visible from space as a Chilean volcano continues to violently erupt.

    Captured by specialist equipment on the Aqua satellite, the image was taken shortly after the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle exploded into life after decades of lying dormant in south-central Chile.

    A three-mile long fissure has opened up in the Andes as toxic gases and ash belched a cloud more than six miles high across Chile and Argentina.

    Powerful: A vast plume of ash is clearly visible from space after the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile erupted on Saturday

    Seismic activity: The volcano chain, which has been dormant for decades, sent a six-mile-high cloud of toxic gas and ash

    Impact: The plume of smoke is visible on this image of Earth taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)

    Authorities in the country have been going house to house, trying to persuade stragglers near the volcano to leave because of an increasing danger of toxic gas and flash floods in Saturday's eruption.

    Around 4,000 people have already been evacuated from 22 communities. They began fleeing as earthquakes hit the South American country on Saturday.

    But some have refused to leave, staying to protect their homes and livestock.
    Chile's verdant lakes region is a centre for dairy farming, with more than 9,000 cows and sheep.

    Grounded: An aircraft belonging to Austral with ash on it from Chile's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain remains stranded on the tarmac of the sky resort San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina's Patagonia

    Covering: This road near the volcano site was left completely coated in pumice rocks from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle chain volcano

    Massive: An example of a pumice rock from Chile's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle chain volcano is displayed

    Local media said the smell of sulphur hung in the air and there was constant seismic activity.
    'The Cordon Caulle (volcanic range) has entered an eruptive process, with an explosion resulting in a 10-kilometre-high gas column,' the state emergency office ONEMI said.

    As a precaution, the government said it was evacuating 3,500 people from the surrounding area.

    This development is the latest volcanic activity to affect the country. Three years ago, Chile's Chaiten volcano erupted spectacularly for the first time in thousands of years, spewing molten rock and a vast cloud of ash that reached the stratosphere and was visible from space.

    It also drifted over neighbouring Argentina, coating towns. Chile's Llaima volcano, one of South America's most active, also erupted that year and again in 2009.

    Chile's chain of about 2,000 volcanoes is the world's second largest after Indonesia. Some 50 to 60 are on record as having erupted, and 500 are potentially active.

    Winter come early: In scenes more reminiscent of a snow storm, residents walk through an ash covered street in the resort San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina

    A rose is covered with volcanic ash in the Patagonian city of San Martin de los Andes, Argentina, while locals gather on a road covered with pumice rocks from the volcano near the border between Argentina and Chile

    Two people tread over volcanic stones from Chile's Puyehue volcano as they walk in Cardinal Samore Pass, near Osorno in southern Chile

    Deputy Interior Minister Rodrigo Ubilla said around 50 families in the Rininahue area had refused to abandon their homes.

    Vicente Nunez, director of Chile's emergency preparedness office, said: 'Everything is prepared with shelter and transportation for them to immediately leave the danger zone.'

    North of the complex of volcanoes, the city of Futrono and communities of Lago Ranco and Entre Rios are particularly vulnerable to flash flooding.

    People have also refused to leave Mantilhue, along the Rio Bueno, just six miles from the volcano eruption.

    Choked: A field is covered in fine ash as the plume of dust blocks out sky

    It could almost be snowing: People shelter from falling ash in San Martin de los Andes, Argentina

    Shut down: A path at the ski resort of San Carlos de Bariloche is covered in ash

    Precautions: A man wears a mask to protect himself from the ash in San Martin de los Andes

    Police officers inspect a road covered in debris from the volcano

    A group of Mapuche Indians have said they will also seek authorisation to enter the evacuation area to pray for the volcano to stop erupting.

    Enrique Valdivieso, director of Chile's National Geology and Mines Service, said the fissure was belching toxic gases and material that could clog rivers and force them to overflow.

    Spectacular displays of lighting have lit up the volcanic clouds over the weekend and experts are still unsure how long it will be before the volcano falls silent.
    The plume of ash has caused the airport at Argentinian ski resort San Carlos de Bariloche to be closed.

    The eruption, 575 miles south of the capital Santiago, has also seen a busy border crossing between the two countries shut.

    There are four volcanoes in the chain, but it was unclear which one has erupted because of the ash cover and weather conditions. The chain last saw a major eruption in 1960.

    Spectacular: Lighting strikes above the Puyehue volcano, around 500 miles south of the capital Santiago

    Spectacular: A time-lapse photo shows lightning bolts striking around the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain

    As a precaution, the government said it was evacuating 3,500 people from the surrounding area.

    An extraordinary cloud formation is created by the ash rising several miles into the atmosphere. It was the latest in a series of volcanic eruptions in Chile in recent years. Chile's Chaiten volcano erupted spectacularly in 2008 for the first time in thousands of years, spewing molten rock and a vast cloud of ash that reached the stratosphere.

    The ash also swelled a nearby river and ravaged a nearby town of the same name.

    The ash cloud from Chaiten coated towns in Argentina and was visible from space. Chile's Llaima volcano, one of South America's most active, erupted in 2008 and 2009.

    Chile's chain of about 2,000 volcanoes is the world's second largest after Indonesia. Some 50 to 60 are on record as having erupted, and 500 are potentially active.

    Danger: Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area over fears of flash flooding and toxic gases

    Eerie: The massive plume of ash glows red during sunset near Entrelagos, Chile. It has seen the airport in Argentinian ski resort Bariloche closed, as well as a border crossing

    Apocalyptic: Rivers around the volcano site are becoming clogged with ash and debris, which could lead to flash flooding in at risk communities

    Raining ash: The plume above the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain threw ash up to six miles into the sky

    Scale: The plume of ash has reached as far as the Atlantic thanks to winds blowing it towards Buenos Aires

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Sovereign Man
    Notes from the Field

    A boots on the ground perspective on the Chile riots

    Date: August 29, 2011
    Reporting From: Santiago, Chile

    [Editor's Note: Our Chile correspondent Dr. John Cobin is filling in for Simon today]

    You've probably heard that old saying-- 'if you're not a socialist by the time you're 20, you have no heart. If you're still one by the time you're 30, you have no brain.'

    This is true everywhere in the world. Even in capitalist bastions like Hong Kong, there is a misguided minority that believes they should prosper from others' labor.

    Usually this attitude fades with age and career progression, right around the time someone strokes his/her first check to the local tax authority. After all, it's much easier to be a socialist when you're on the receiving end of benefits, not the one footing the bill.

    Here in Chile, my adopted home for many years, it's no different. A market-oriented society with a thriving economy, Chile has had remarkable growth over the last 20-years. Its economic expansion has been no doubt due to this market-based model, as well as surging demand for copper, Chile's prime export.

    People in Chile recognize that their standard of living is much higher than it has ever been, especially compared to their neighbors who still dabble in socialism.

    Just over the mountains, for example, Argentina is a hopeless basket case whose government makes a sport of fleecing its people and maintaining the elitist mafia-like plutocracy.

    Now-- the last few weeks in Chile have showcased student protests over the cost of their university education; they demanded that the government provide free tuition to all students, and they weren't going to take NO for an answer.

    At first, most of the country supported them. Local polls showed that Chileans were proud of their kids standing up to the government and letting their voices be heard... even if they didn't agree with the politics.

    You see, Chile is a pretty conservative place. There are definitely pockets of socialism throughout the country, as there are just about everywhere, but if Ron Paul were running for President here, he would do quite well... and certainly get all the media coverage he could handle.

    For the most part, Chileans were just happy to see their kids get off Facebook for a few days and stand up for an issue that was important for them. After all, that's what those impressionable university years are for.

    Then Chile's socialist CUT union came along to exploit the student protests and capitalize on the wave of turmoil around the world in order to advance their agenda.

    CUT escalated the protests into violent riots. They attacked the police, they looted some shops, they destroyed some property, and they attempted (and failed) to shut down city traffic in Santiago.

    All the while, the police kept a cool head. I've seen videos of G20 riots and austerity protests in the US, Greece, and Spain where the police mercilessly club and beat protestors into submission. That's not how it works in Chile.

    In fact, the Washington Post ran an article criticizing the Chilean government for being too soft on the protestors, saying that the government "looked powerless to curtail the anger in the streets."

    Photo by: Roberto Candia/Associated Press. How fast would this guy get clubbed where you live?

    Powerless? Because cops kept their cool? The photo in the Post's article shows a student protestor physically taunting one of the policemen at the scene. How fast would this guy have been clubbed where you live?

    Frankly I'm happy to live in a place where the police refuse to squash people like bugs... where people are not afraid of their government like they are in North America and Europe.

    Yes, one person died in the riots. Considering the tens of thousands of people who were in a confined space flinging rocks in every direction, though, this is pretty much a miracle.

    Things here seemed to have calmed down now, giving everyone some time to reflect on the events that transpired. Here's my takeaway given years on the ground, my local family, and my experience in Santiago as a university professor:

    1) Of the 3.5 million students in Chile, only a small percentage of them were protesting.

    2) The rioters do not reflect the attitude of the nation. Recent clippings from La Tercera summed up the event as "[a] work stoppage which found no public support" and "reprehensible opportunism that the public is unwilling to accept."

    3) While there will always be people everywhere who want something for nothing, Chileans are quite happy with their economic prospects. They have no desire to return to the hyperinflationary socialist experiments of the past.

    4) When things turned violent, many of the student protestors actually turned on their fellow CUT rioters and tried to prevent them from looting and destroying property. Chilean media published these accounts. Foreign media did not.

    5) I credit the police here for protecting private property and dealing with the violent rioters in a very professional way.

    6) Despite foreign media accounts that it was a war zone down here, most of Santiago was business as usual. Throughout the events, I was never personally inconvenienced because of what was happening.
    As Simon Black often says, no place is perfect, and neither is Chile. But I have never once regretted my decision to move here. Ultimately, Chile remains a free, respectful, market-oriented, opportunity-rich country on a long-term uptrend, and that hasn't changed one bit.

    Until tomorrow,

    Dr. John Cobin


    Dr. Cobin's book, Life in Chile: A Former American's Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost ever topic imaginable for new expats-- things like buying property, buying gold, meeting locals, cost of living, finding a job, opening a bank account, securing top quality health insurance, and just how to get started.

    If you're considering a move to Chile, or want to find out if the country is right for you, don't miss Dr. Cobin's extensive, first-hand account of his own story and successes in Chile.

    Click here to order your copy today, risk-free for 30-days.

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