|City and Commune|
|Founded as||Santa María de Guadalupe|
|• Alcalde||Jorge Venegas Troncoso (ILD)|
|• Total||135.8 km2 (52.4 sq mi)|
|Elevation||82 m (269 ft)|
|Population (2002 Census)|
|• Density||360/km2 (940/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CLT (UTC−4)|
|• Summer (DST)||CLST (UTC−3)|
|Area code(s)||56 + 41|
|Website||Official website (Spanish)|
Lota is a city and commune located in the center of the Chile on the Gulf of Arauco.The city lies in the southern of the Concepción Province of the Biobío Region, 39 kilometres south of Concepción, and one of the ten cities(communes) that constitute Concepción metropolitan area.
The first Spanish settlement, Santa Maria de Guadalupe was founded by the governor Ángel de Peredo on October 12, 1662 but it did not survive long in the hostilities of the Arauco War. The modern city grew with the coal mining industry in the mid-nineteenth century. It was established as a town on January 5, 1875 and became a city on 30 of November 1881. The name Lota is thought to be derived from a Mapudungun word Louta meaning small or insignificant settlement.
The city's coal mines were nationalized by Salvador Allende due to civil unrest and heavy Socialist support, but privatized again under Augusto Pinochet. In the 1990s, after Lota's coal resources were nearly exhausted and cheaper Colombian coal came on the market, the mines were closed, plunging the residents of Lota into poverty.
Today, Lota is one of the poorest cities in Chile and is trying to turn its economy towards tourism. Tourist attractions include guided visits to the coal mine, White Beach, the Park of Lota (created by the Cousiño family), and the Historical Museum of Lota. Lota also has Chile's oldest hydroelectric power station, the Chivilingo Hydroelectric Plant, designed by Thomas Edison and built in 1897.
Points of interest
According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Lota spans an area of 135.8 km2 (52 sq mi) and has 49,089 inhabitants (23,944 men and 25,145 women). Of these, 48,975 (99.8%) lived in urban areas and 114 (0.2%) in rural areas. The population fell by 2.3% (1167 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses.
As a commune, Lota is a third-level administrative division of Chile administered by a municipal council, headed by an alcalde who is directly elected every four years. The 2008-2012 alcalde is Jorge Venegas Troncoso (ILD).
Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Lota is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Manuel Monsalve (PS) and Iván Norambuena (UDI) as part of the 46th electoral district, (together with Lota, Lebu, Arauco, Curanilahue, Los Álamos, Cañete, Contulmo and Tirúa). The commune is represented in the Senate by Victor Pérez Varela (UDI) and Mariano Ruiz -Esquide Jara (PDC) as part of the 13th senatorial constituency (Biobío-Coast).
- (Spanish) "Asociación Chilena de Municipalidades". Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- (Spanish) "Municipality of Lota". Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- (Spanish) "National Statistics Institute". Retrieved 13 December 2010.
- Clifford Krauss, Chile's Leader Remains Socialist but Acts Like Pragmatist, Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company. December 10, 2001, Monday, Late Edition - Final
- Francisco Solano Asta Buruaga y Cienfuegos, Diccionario geográfico de la República de Chile, Pg 387-388