Villa Las Estrellas
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|Villa Las Estrellas|
|Region||Magallanes and Antartica Chilena Region|
|• Magistrate||Responsibility of Puerto Williams Mayor and de facto Base Commander|
|• Municipal Council||Responsibility of Puerto Williams Council|
Villa Las Estrellas (Spanish: "Stars Town") is a Chilean town in Antártica Commune, Antártica Chilena Province, Magallanes and Antártica Chilena Region. It is located on President Eduardo Frei Montalva Base, a military base, on King George Island. It is the biggest and one of only two civilian settlements on Antarctica (the other being Argentina's Esperanza Base). It has a summer population of 120 and a winter population of 80.
The people of Villa Las Estrellas live in a community that offers fourteen 90 m² (970 sq. ft.) homes.
The populace's youth study at F-50 "Villa Las Estrellas" School, a 1st–8th grade primary school staffed by two teachers that are responsible for providing education for the community's approximately 15 children. Furthermore there is a separate Kindergarten with six students and one instructor. Library No. 291 has a collection of books and magazines that are available upon request.
There is a Chilean Air Force Hospital staffed with one doctor and nurse and equipped with: X-ray, laboratory, surgery, anesthesia machine, sterilizer, and pharmacy services in addition to limited emergency and surgery capabilities. Two hospital beds are available in addition to a dental clinic. Through a partnership with the Chilean Antarctic Institute and the University of Chile, in emergencies, medical images can be outsourced to specialized health centers in South America and Europe for diagnosis.
The Office of the Civil Service Registry and Identification of Chile acts as official registry office with all the responsibilities inherent in this position.
There is a Correos de Chile post office staffed in the summer by a postal worker and by the command of the base in the winter. The office receives all its mail from Punta Arenas and is the mail depot and relay station for all mail addressed to any Chilean installation on Antarctica in addition to some other foreign facilities. From here it is delivered by hand, plane, or helicopter. The post office is also an attraction for tourists and philately enthusiasts that travel to the town to send postcards and letters with an Antarctic postmark.
The town is in the Piloto Pardo census district.
Business and recreation
A branch of the Bank of Credit and Investment operates throughout the year manned by a sole banker. Santa María Reina de la Paz is a Catholic chapel that attracts people from all over King George Island.
- Hostel: There is a small hostel capable of holding a maximum occupancy of 20 guests.
- Souvenir shop: There is a small souvenir shop in town to sell to tourists and staff returning to the continent. It is run by the women of the town.
- Gymnasium: Is the main community hub, in which a lot of activity takes place. Tennis practice, babyfútbol, basketball and volleyball. There are exercise machines, ping pong tables, dressing rooms and sauna. It is also used for cultural activities and scientific talks.
Transportation and Communication
- Telephones: Telephones for the base and their airfield via satellite telephone and, for the inhabitants of the sector there is a coin-operated pay phone and prepaid cards.
- Internet: There are three computers at the school that have internet access.
- Radio: FM Radio "Sovereignty" broadcast on the frequency of 90.5 MHz works during the day providing music and information to all the bases in the sector. Disseminated also certain cultural and entertainment programs made by staff and their families.
- Television: The town has a fixed dish of 2.5 meters in diameter, which allows reception of live, from Santiago, the signal of the main television channels in the country. You can also receive two broadcast stations. These are Televisión Nacional and Universidad Católica Television.
- Mobile phone: Since 2005 there is an antenna belonging to the Chilean company Entel PCS.
- Airport: The nearest airport is the Teniente R. Marsh Airport.
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