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|Town and Commune|
A view of Porvenir
|Region||Magallanes and Antartica Chilena|
|Province||Tierra del Fuego|
|• Alcalde||Fernando Callahan Giddings|
|• Total||6,982.6 km2 (2,696.0 sq mi)|
|Population (2002 Census)|
|• Density||0.78/km2 (2.0/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CLT  (UTC-4)|
|• Summer (DST)||CLST  (UTC-3)|
|Area code(s)||56 + 61|
|Website||Official website (Spanish)|
Founded in 1883 by immigrants from Croatia and Chiloé during a minor nineteenth century gold rush, Porvenir (Spanish for "future") is the capital of both the homonymous commune and the Chilean Province of Tierra del Fuego of the Magallanes and Antartica Chilena Region. It is Chile's southernmost town (further south than Punta Arenas), and has 4,734 inhabitants, including several thousand soldiers. It is the largest settlement in the Chilean half of the island of Tierra del Fuego.
The main sources of income are sheep farming and small scale fishing (wrecks in Porvenir bay prevent larger vessels from mooring). In addition there is a regiment of the Chilean army and a high security prison. An abattoir operates for only short periods of the year.
Some gold deposits remain and are commercially mined. Porvenir also gives access to Cerro Sombrero, an oil town, 125 km (78 mi) east of Porvenir.
Though tourism is expanding, most tourists pass Porvenir by, or use it simply as a stopover on their way further south. There are several hotels, cyber-cafes, restaurants, and one gas station. A small grocery store is located near the Chilean army base on the upper level of the town, and there are several small stores and supermarkets elsewhere in town.
Access is by ferry or by air from Punta Arenas or by road from the Argentine side of the island. All ferries across the Straits of Magellan are run by Austral Broom, a Chilean company. One service runs once daily except Mondays from the port near Punta Arenas and reaches the ferry terminal about 3 km from the town of Porvenir. The other service is at the northern end of the island running from Punta Delgada to Bahia Azul.
It is possible to reach the south of Chilean Tierra del Fuego from Porvenir. The southern region has several lakes and rivers available for fishing.
According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Porvenir spans an area of 6,982.6 km2 (2,696 sq mi) and has 5,465 inhabitants (3,307 men and 2,158 women). Of these, 4,734 (86.6%) lived in urban areas and 731 (13.4%) in rural areas. The population grew by 7.1% (361 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses.
As a commune, Porvenir 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 Fernando Callahan Giddings.
Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Porvenir is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Mrs. Carolina Goic (PDC) and Mr. Miodrag Marinovic (Ind.) as part of the 60th electoral district, which includes the entire Magallanes and Antartica Chilena Region. The commune is represented in the Senate by Carlos Bianchi Chelech (Ind.) and Pedro Muñoz Aburto (PS) as part of the 19th senatorial constituency (Magallanes Region).
- (Spanish) "Municipality of Porvenir". Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- (Spanish) "National Statistics Institute". Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- "Chile Time". WorldTimeZones.org. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
- "Chile Summer Time". WorldTimeZones.org. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
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