Spanish immigration to Chile

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Total population

25,624[1] Spanish citizens

Vast majority of Chileans have at least partial Spanish ancestry (from colonial times)
Regions with significant populations
All over Chile
Chilean Spanish
Mainly Roman Catholicism,
Evangelicalism and Protestantism minorities
Related ethnic groups
Chilean people, Spaniards, and other Latin American peoples
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Spanish Chileans (in Spanish: Chileno-español) refer more often to Chileans of post-independence Spanish immigrant descent, as they have retained a Spanish cultural identity. People of pre-independence Spanish descent are usually not considered Spanish Chileans even though they form a large majority of the Chilean population and have Spanish surnames. This is because they rejected Spanish identity for the emergent Chilean one on the eve of national independence.

The earliest European immigrants were Spanish colonisers who arrived in the 16th century. They came to form the majority of the population by the time of Chilean independence.[2] They came mainly from Castile and Andalusia and formed the majority population. The Amerindian population of central Chile was absorbed into the Spanish setter population in the beginning of the colonial period to form the large mestizo population that exists in Chile today. In the 18th and 19th centuries, many Basques from both Spain and France came to Chile were they integrated into the existing elites of Castilian origin.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Other European nationalities then followed and also became rich and fused with each other and the Basque-Castilian elite to create modern middle and upper classes. In the 20th century, there was an influx of refugees of the Spanish Civil War and Franco's regime.(see Winnipeg ship) They have kepted their Spanish national identity and set up Spanish clubs throughout the country. The Spanish culture of the original settlers slowly evolved into Chilean folk culture, especially the huaso one, and at the time of independence had abandoned national affiliation with Spain.

Today, most Chileans have predominately Spanish ancestry. However, unlike most other Spanish-American countries, very few buildings were built by Spaniards during the colonial period. One or two colonial buildings from the later stage of Spanish domination might still be standing in a few cities in central Chile. However, there are two small towns in Chile whose city centre is dominated by Spanish architecture, Cobquecura, near Concepcion, and Yerbas Buenas, near Linares. Because of this exception to the rule, they are protected by the Chilean government as 'places of architectural heritage'. Most houses are American in style, while the old public buildings are French and the newer ones are based on American skycrapers.[citation needed]

Chileans of pure Spanish descent (colonial stock) have been discriminated against by Chileans with other European ancestry (Basque, English, French, German) since independence. Hence, French, British, German surnames have prestige as well as Basque (apellidos vinosos), over Spanish surnames. The same is true with appearance, where northern European features (pale completion and light-coloured hair and eyes) are favoured over a Mediterranean appearance. This has been instrumental is discrimination in terms of employment of good jobs and woman on TV are lighter than the average woman. However, this reason is not admitted or recognised by Chileans in general who accepted this hidden racism as the status quo. Chileans of colonial Spanish stock themselves embrace and value their heritage.[citation needed] .

Notable Spanish Chileans[edit]

List of Spanish cultural centres and other institutions in Chile[edit]

They have regional cultural centres in Santiago and other large cities.

  • 7ª. Cía. de Bomberos "Bomba España", Antofagasta
  • Centro Español de Antofagasta
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia de Antofagasta
  • Centro Español, Arica
  • Estadio Español de Chiguayante
  • Centro Español de Chillán
  • Hogar Español de Chillán
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia de Chillán
  • Centro Español de Concepción
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia de Concepción
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficiencia de Concepción
  • Colectividad Española, Coquimbo
  • Corporación Unión Española de Coyhaique
  • Centro Español de Curicó
  • Club Deportivo Español de Curicó
  • Club Deportivo Español de Curicó
  • Estadio Español de Curicó
  • Sociedad de Damas del Pilar de Curicó
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia de Curicó
  • Casino Español de Iquique
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia, Iquique
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia, Las Condes
  • Estadio Español de Linares
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia, Linares
  • Centro Español de Los Andes
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia, Los Andes
  • Centro Español de Los Ángeles
  • Club Deportivo Español de Osorno
  • Sociedad Española de SS.MM. de Osorno
  • Colectividad Valenciana de Chile Providencia
  • Instituto Chileno de Cultura Hispánica, Providencia
  • Centro Español de Puerto Montt
  • Centro Español de Puerto Natales
  • Sociedad Española de Punta Arenas
  • Centro Español de Rancagua
  • Corporación Club Español de Campo Reñaca-Viña
  • Centro Cultural Español San Antonio
  • Centro Español de San Fernando
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia, San Fernando
  • 10a. Cía. de Bomberos "Bomba España", Santiago
  • Camara Oficial Española de Comercio de Chile
  • Centro Navarro de Chile, Santiago
  • Círculo de Profesionales Hispánicos, Santiago
  • Círculo Español, Santiago
  • Colectividad Andaluza de Chile, Santiago
  • Colectividad Asturiana de Chile, Santiago
  • Colectividad Castellano-Leonesa de Chile, Santiago
  • Colectividad Castellano-Leonesa de Chile, Santiago
  • Colectividad Madrileña de Chile, Santiago
  • Comité de Damas de A.I.E.CH., Santiago
  • Confederación de Bombas Españolas en Chile, Santiago
  • Coolectividad Aragonesa de Chile, Santiago
  • Estadio Español de Las Condes
  • Hogar Español, Santiago
  • Lar Gallego, Santiago
  • Sociedad Benéfica La Rioja, Santiago
  • Sociedad Española de Socorros Mutuos y Beneficencia, Santiago
  • Unión Española, Santiago
  • Agrupación Winnipeg, Santiago
  • Centre Català de Santiago de Xile, Santiago
  • Centro Vasco, Santiago
  • 5a. Cía de Bomberos Bomba España de Talca
  • Centro Español de Talca
  • Club Deportivo Español de Talca
  • Escuela Especial España, Talca
  • Ropero Español de Talca
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia de Talca
  • 4a. Cía. de Bomberos Bomba España, Temuco
  • Centro Español de Temuco
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia de Temuco
  • Centro Español de Valdivia
  • 7a. Cía. de Bomberos Bomba España, Valparaíso
  • Sociedad Española de Beneficencia, Valparaíso
  • Club Unión Española Valparaíso, Viña del Mar
  • Soc. de Beneficencia Damas Españolas Viña del Mar


  1. ^ (Spanish) 44.468 ciudadanos españoles viven en Chile
  2. ^ Vascos en Chile.
  3. ^ Diariovasco.
  4. ^ entrevista al Presidente de la Cámara vasca.
  5. ^ vascos Ainara Madariaga: Autora del estudio "Imaginarios vascos desde Chile La construcción de imaginarios vascos en Chile durante el siglo XX".
  6. ^ Basques au Chili.
  7. ^ "Contacto Interlingüístico e intercultural en el mundo hispano". instituto valenciano de lenguas y culturas. Universitat de València Cita: "Un 20% de la población chilena tiene su origen en el País Vasco".
  8. ^ (Spanish) La población chilena con ascendencia vasca bordea entre el 15% y el 20% del total, por lo que es uno de los países con mayor presencia de emigrantes venidos de Euskadi.
  9. ^ El 27% de los chilenos son descendientes de emigrantes vascos. "DE LOS VASCOS, OÑATI Y LOS ELORZA" Waldo Ayarza Elorza.
  10. ^ (Spanish) Presencia vasca en Chile.