“In the beginning of time, God created the wonders of the world.
When he finished, however, he saw that he had many leftover pieces.
He had parts of rivers and valleys, of oceans and lakes, of glaciers and
deserts, of mountains and forests, and of meadows and hills. Rather
than let such beauty go to waste, God put them altogether and cast
them to the most remote corner on earth.
That is how Chile was born.” – A Chilean Legend
Welcome to Chile!
IAC House: Chesterton 7579
Las Condes, Santiago
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 2
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT CHILE
COUNTRY: (name in full) Republic of Chile
SURFACE AREA: 756,950sq km
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Spanish
POPULATION: 16,970,265 (2009 estimate)
REAL GDP GROWTH: .917% (2007)
HEAD OF STATE: President Sebastián Piñera
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: President Sebastián Piñera
(In office since March 11, 2010)
PRINCIPAL TRADING PARTNERS
Export Destinations (2007)
5. SOUTH KOREA
Import Destinations (2007)
Government and Law
The current government in Chile is Republican with a democratic system. President Bachelet
has emphasised stability and continuity of the reform process with the appointment to essential
cabinet positions of economic liberals. The key priorities are to reduce unemployment levels
and reinstate economic growth following the recession that Chile had from 1998-1999.
From Santiago to Concepción a Mediterranean climate prevails, with a dry summer season, and
a wet winter season. The seasons are the same as elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.
Generally the more you go north in Chile, the hotter and dryer the climate and the more you go
south the cooler and wetter it becomes.
The main religion is Roman Catholic (70%) followed by Protestant (17%), other (5%), none (8%)
Travel Information: The international airport, Arturo Juanito Benitez, is located north of
Santiago. Most hotels will arrange for taxis to pick you upon your arrival, but you can also take
a taxi from the airport – check the fares before hiring a taxi.
Travelling by bus and train is easy and accessible. www.turbus.cl or www.efe.cl (trains).
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 3
TO ORIENTATE YOURSELF
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
The Andes Mountains are on the
AMBULANCES 131 east. With them to your right, the
BOMBEROS - FIREMEN 132 north is straight ahead. The
CARABINEROS - POLICE 133 Mapocho River runs east to west, as
DETECTIVES 134 do the major streets: Kennedy
Avenue, Las Condes, Apoquindo,
INFORMATION (WITHIN CHILE) 103 Providencia and Bernardo O’Higgins.
Oriente is East and Poniente is West
CLINICA ALEMANA (Hospital) 212-9700
AMBULANCE 221-1010 Major streets running north and
CLINICA LAS CONDES (Hospital) 210-4000 south are: Vicuňa Mackenna, Pedro
AMBULANCE 210-5150 de Valdivia, Manquehue and Padre
Hurtado. Avenida Americo Vespucio
forms a ring around the city halfway
HYATT HOTEL 218-1234
IMMIGRATION 672-5350 out from the centre of the City.
MARRIOTT HOTEL 426-2000
NATIONAL TOURIST BOARD 236-1418 The Plaza de Armas in the downtown
POISON INFORMATION 212-8645 area is “kilometre 0” from which
RENEWAL OF TOURIST CARD 672-2530
distances to other parts of the
SHERATON HOTEL may be
TEMPERATURE & HOUR 700-0141
(An extra charge will be applied to call this number)
CHILEAN PUBLIC HOLIDAYS FOR 2011
January 1 New Year's Day/Año Nuevo
April 6 Good Friday/Viernes Santo
April 7 Holy Saturday/Sábado Santo
May 1 Labour Day/Día del Trabajo
May 21 Navy Day (Battle of Iquique)/Día de las Glorias Navales
July 2 St. Peter & St. Paul Day/San Pedro y San Pablo
July 16 Our Lady of Mount Carmel/Virgen del Carmen
August 15 Assumption Day/Asunción de la Virgen
September 17 Bridge Holiday/Fiestas Patrias
September 18 National Independence Day/Independencia Nacional
September 19 Army Day/Día de las Glorias del Ejercito
October 15 Columbus Day/Día del Descubrimiento de Dos Mundos
October 28 Municipal Elections/Elecciones Municipales
November 1 All Saint's Day/Día de Todos los Santos
November 2 Reformation Day/Día Nacional de las Iglesias Evangélicas y Protestantes
December 8 Immaculate Conception/Inmaculada Concepción
December 25 Christmas Day/Navidad
December 31 Banking Holiday/Feriado bancario de fin de año
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 4
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE
PRESIDENT: Patricia Hodges
VICE-PRESIDENT: Lucy Shepherd
Please be aware there is a charge for local
calls. To make an International call, you can BUILDING
choose from various carriers – the rates vary MANAGEMENT: Janis Fuentes
and it is always best to find out before you
sign with a carrier – as some carriers will SECRETARY: Karen Shaw
give you special discounts to certain
countries. TREASURER: Sandie Curtis &
Telefonica 121 MEMBERSHIP: Joanne Cardwell &
Movistar 181 OFFICER: Mary Knight
To make an International call you dial: SOCIAL SERVICES: Julie Klein
Carrier + 0 + Country Code + City Code
FUNDRAISING: Kathi Bubb
To make a long distance call within Chile you
dial: Carrier + City Code + Number HOUSE ACTIVITIES
Cell phone to Cell phone, dial 9, 8, 7, or 6 plus number.
Cell phone to regular phone, dial 02 plus number. SOCIAL: Maria Palacios
Regular phone to cell phone, dial 09 9 - 6 plus number.
WEBSITE EDITOR: Alison Toni
FOR FREE MAPS AND INFORMATION
SERNATUR – NATIONAL TOURISM OFFICE OF CHILE
Avenida Providencia 1550
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 5
The International Association of Chile meets formally on the third Tuesday of
every month (except January and July). While it is always recommended to
check the IAC website www.iachile.com to confirm location and time, we
normally meet at the Prince of Wales Country Club, Las Arañas 1909 in La
Reina. The room opens at 10:15 a.m for social time and the meeting begins at
FIRST THINGS FIRST, LEARNING TO GET AROUND:
These three diamonds indicate a metro station
Public transportation in Santiago
Transantiago is a system that combines bus and subway transportation in
Santiago. It was initiated in March 2007 and is still being “fine tuned”.
For routes or more information, go to their website www.transantiago.cl or
Here’s how it works:
You need to purchase a BIP card at any subway station. Subways are
called metros and municipal buses are called micros in Chile. A card
costs from 1.300 to 2.150 pesos. After you have a card, you can put an
additional 800 to 25.500 pesos on it for more credit. You can also
purchase cards at servipags which are located at most grocery stores
Note: if you do not use your bip card over a 3 month period, they will
lock the card and you will have to go and get it reactivated.
The BIP card allows you to take a bus with three transfers or bus and a subway
for one fee using your card. It is more expensive to travel during peak hours
from 7 to 8:59 a.m. or 18:00 to 19:59 p.m. There are special rates for students
and senior citizens. Students only receive the discount during the school year.
To travel to the IAC House, you can take bus 401, 407 or 421, which stops at
the corner of Chesterton and Apoquindo, with a 5 minute walk to the house north
on Chesterton. You can also take the metro red line 1 to Hernando de
Magallanes. From there, continue east (towards the mountains) to Chesterton
and turn left – it’s about a 10 minute walk to the house.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 6
You will find black and yellow taxis on major streets - just flag them
down. Their fees are metered. Be careful when paying and always
remember to count your change. Some taxis do not have a meter and
have fixed rates from point “a” to point “b”. Make sure you check when
you get in the cab.
You can call radio taxis and they will come to your location to pick you
up. They usually have set fees according to the distance.
El Golf: 778-7878
La Dehesa: 216-945
Las Condes: 519 9300
Los Dominicos: 214-9557
San Carlos de Apoquindo: 214-1018
Collectivos look like a black taxi, but they have a sign on the top of the
car indicating their routes. Collectivos are less expensive because they
go from point a to point b with more than one customer in the car.
Chilean driving license
If you are driving in Chile, you must obtain your Chilean driver’s license. Once you
obtain a carnet, you can only legally drive on your international license for up to 3
months. Each comuna has different requirements, so it is best to visit the Municipalidad
in your comuna to find out what you need to do. If you have a copy of your High School
diploma and your existing license, you can take these to your local municipality to apply
for your license. If you do not have your diploma you may go to a local Notaria and get
a statement notarized indicating that you graduated from High School. You must also
take proof of residence, either a water bill or electricity bill to show which municipality
you live in. Requirements vary from one comuna to another. There is a written test as
well as various coordination tests. If you wear glasses please bring them along. There
are also fees to pay to obtain your license so take money along with you. Depending
on your municipality, the license will be valid from 2 to 6 years. To renew your license,
go back to the licensing department. You will need to take the coordination tests again,
and pay for a new license. You can use an international driving license for up to a year.
Note: Driving can be challenging in Santiago. Buses are unpredictable, and taxis often
stop in the middle of the road. Some roads, such as Presidente Riesco, are
“reversible”, meaning that at certain hours traffic goes in one direction.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 7
Guide to Religious Services in English
SANTIAGO COMMUNITY CHURCH
Sundays – International/Inter-denominational
English speaking service at 10.30am with Sunday School for Children
Avenida Holanda 151 Providencia.
For further information call between:
8.00am – 1.00pm, Monday – Friday
Telephone number is 232-1113 or their website is www.santiagochurch.org
SAN MARCOS PRESBYTERIAN
An international, English-speaking church. Avenida Las Hualtatas, across the
Shell station at the corner of Manquehue. Workshop services Sunday 9.15am.
Sunday school and nursery provided. Weekly activities, includes men, women,
and couple bible studies, youth and children’s programs. For further
information contact Rev. Sam Mateer 220-2228
ST. GEORGE’S COLLEGE CHAPEL
Catholic Mass Sundays – 10.15am.
Avenida Americo Vespucio 5400 (Santa Maria de Manquehue)
Jewish Sabbath Services in Hebrew and Spanish.
El Templo Or Shalom Av. Las Condes 8361, Las Condes
Tel: 212-9218, Rabbi Schmuel Szteinhendier (Speaks English)
El de la Comunidad Aish Hatorah de Chile, Calle San Jose de la Sierra 055
Lo Barnechea Tel: 217-6501
Congregation Ruaj Ami, Rabbi Jaim Koritzinsky, English service in Vitacura,
Friday at 7:30 pm
Cell: 7-709-3623 or email: email@example.com.
SOCIAL ACTIVITES TO DO
There are various activities available in Santiago – for instance you can join a quilting
group, play mahjong, tennis, go horseback riding, play bridge, join a stitch group, a
conversational Spanish group or the Gourmet Club.
All these and many more are available – being in Chile gives you a chance to explore,
learn new skills, and meet interesting people. Check out the IAC website for activities
being posted on a weekly basis.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 8
This is an ideal opportunity, if you are new to Santiago, to get to know some of
the interesting sights and shopping opportunities such as: Parks; Museums;
Neighborhoods;Handicraft Markets, and more.
This activity takes place on the 4th Tuesday of the month.
One of the most important aspects of the IAC is the charity program. IAC
members are all invited to volunteer their time and talent. Through a selection
process which involves site visits, the IAC makes purchases and distributes
goods in the Santiago community where they are most needed.
IAC Charity Committee organizes fundraising events. The major annual event is
the Noche de Ayudarte held in the Spring every year. It is an event organised
by volunteers from the IAC, for members and the Santiago community at large.
We are proud that 100% of profits are used for charitable projects. It is
supported by major international and national companies, is a two night event
with over 30 top Chilean Artists selling their work. It is a great social
atmosphere with 500 visitors, wine, appetizers and live music. As an IAC
member you will be asked to participate in this event if only to purchase a ticket.
There are many other ways in which you may volunteer your time to assist the
Charity Committee. You can sort out donations at the IAC House, you can work
on the charity fundraising committee, or join our “hands on” volunteers and give
your time where it is most needed.
You can buy a raffle ticket or help make something to be raffled or donate
something that can be raffled. There are many ways to reach out and help.
For further information on what you can do with regards to the Charity Program,
please contact Julie Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Noche de Ayudarte, contact Kristel Leonard at email@example.com
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 9
To meet friends, enjoy homemade lunches, and catch up with activities, we
invite you to visit:
THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION HOUSE
CHESTERTON 7579, LAS CONDES
The IAC House is open on Thursdays from 11.00am – 2.00pm. During that time,
lunch can be purchased for $3.000 (except on Potluck Day where you bring
something to share). The video/book libraries are open, as well as membership
sign-up. You can also take advantage of the various items that are for sale.:
Bilingual Cookbooks; English Books written by Expats; Notecubes; Cranberries
(dried); Cranberry juice; Street map of Santiago, etc..
For further information about either volunteering for the video/dvd or book
library or how to use these great resources, contact Maxine Venter at 247 5094
(Book library), and Kim Wittenstrom at 8459 8491 (dvd/video library).
Australia 550-3500 www.chile.embassy.gov.au/quienes/cl
Belgium 232-1070 www.diplomatie.be
Britain 370-4100 www.britemb.cl
Canada 652-3800 www.chilegc.ca
Finland 263-4917 www.finland.cl
Holland 756-9200 www.embajadadeholanda.cl
India 235-2633 www.embajadaindia.cl
Japan 232-1807 www.cl.emb-japan.go.jp
Korea 228-4214 www.chl.mofat.go.kr
South Africa 231-2862 www.embajada-sudafrica.cl
Thailand 263-4186 www.thaitrade.com
United States 330-3000 www.chile.usembassy.gov
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 10
THE LEGALITIES OF DOMESTIC HELP
If you are new to Chile and are planning on using domestic help, here are some
essential guidelines. Please read carefully because there is a lot more to employing
home help than you would think. There are many extra costs that you should be
familiar with before finalizing a contract. Employing home help without a contract is
illegal. The contract (called a Contrato de Trabajo Para Trabajador de Casa Particular)
is designed to protect the home help, especially in the case of illness or accident.
INTERVIEWS AND HIRING
The following information pertains mainly to housekeepers, nannies and chauffeurs, but
not to gardeners. Know the qualities you are looking for and follow up on both written
and verbal references over the phone. Important pointers to look for are level of
education, personal hygiene and literacy, as well as trustworthiness. There is a trial
period of 15 days and either party can terminate at this time with 3 days notice.
Workers must be paid for the days worked. Remember that a contract is required for
both part-time and full-time employees. A standard contract can be obtained from a
bookshop (libreria) or hand written. It does not need to be notarized.
ESSENTIAL CONTRACT INFORMATION
Place and date of contract and date of commencement of employment.
Personal data of both employee and employer: Nationality, date of birth, date
Type and place of employment: house cleaning, babysitting, cooking, ironing,
Amount, method and frequency of salary payment.
The minimum wage for maids is 75% of the established minimum wage. The
established minimum wage is currently 86,736 pesos per month. For live-in
maids the salary includes room and board in addition to pay.
Length and distribution of work day.
Term of contract, e.g. Indefinite, one month, one year.
Other elements that need to be discussed and clearly established with the
employee are which days are to be free, training period, if required, and other
benefits such as travel allowance, childcare and bonus payments.
All employers and employees need to be absolutely clear as to whether or not the
salary offered includes the social security payments, or whether these will be paid on
top of the salary offered. (See Social Security Payments)
BONUS PAYMENTS (Aguinaldos)
Bonuses are given twice a year to all people who provide you with services, e.g. post-
man, guard, garbage collectors, gardeners and maids. They are paid on September 18th,
(Dieciocho) and around the Christmas/New Year time. The size of a tip is entirely at
the employer’s discretion. As a general guide, the equivalent of 1 day’s pay for
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 11
EMPLOYEE ENTITLEMENTS AND EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS
A workday for a live-out maid (puertas afuera) can be up to 12 hours long with a
one-hour’s rest time. A live-in maid (puertas adentro) is entitled to 12 hours
rest per day, which must include nine uninterrupted hours of rest.
Days Off (Descanso Semanal)
Live-out maids usually have all weekends off unless otherwise stated in the
contract. However, the law states that a worker must have at least one day off
a week, and if this day accumulates then it must be either paid out or an extra
day given at another time. Live-in maids must be given one day off a week,
which may be taken as two half-days.
There is no requirement for days off for part-time employees.
Paid Vacation Leave (El Feriado Legal)
For every full year worked, a full-time employee is entitled to 15 working days
paid leave. If a public holiday falls during this time, the employee is entitled to
For every full year worked, a part-time employee is entitled to 15 consecutive
days leave, being paid for the usual hours worked.
After 10 years of service, a worker is entitled to one extra day a year, and for
every three years of service beyond this they are entitled another extra day.
In case of death to a spouse or child, the employee has the right to one day’s
paid leave, given within three days of the event.
Social Security Payments (La Prevision Social)
These payments are in addition to the monies paid to the employee. All
employers and employees need to be absolutely clear as to whether or not the
salary offered includes the social security payments, or whether these will be
paid on top of the salary offered.
ISAPRE or FONASA: Health insurance – 7.95% of salary
AFP or INP: Pension Fund and Workers Compensation – 12.84% and
4.11% of salary. (These percentages may vary. They will need to be
It is usual that the employer and not the employee pay all social security
payments. However, some accountants suggest that the employee can
be held responsible for some of these payments. It is recommended
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 12
that each employer discuss this issue with his or her own accountant. It
is up to the employee to provide the correct books for the payment of
These payments must be made on or before the 10th of each month.
Payments can be made at selected banks.
Sick Leave Subsidy
To receive a benefit, an employee needs to have been a member for at least six
months. An employee has two days to produce a licencia médica. The employer
completes and signs the licencia médica and sends it to either the ISAPRE or
FONASA within 24 hours. Employees will then receive 80% of their salary for
as long as they have been a member. Employers must hold the job, without pay,
for eight days for less than six months of service, 15 days for between six
months and one year of service or 30 days for more than one year of service.
Work Related Injuries
If the employee is injured on the job or while travelling between home and work,
the employer must continue to pay full wages. The employer will be reimbursed
for the subsidy by the INP, and the amount will depend on the severity of the
Family Subsidy (Asignacion Familiar)
A female employee has the right to this subsidy if she has children under the
age of 18, or until the age of 24 if they are at an accredited school. The Civil
Registry must authorize each dependent. The employer pays this subsidy
monthly and deducts the amount from that paid to the INP.
Maternity Leave (Asignacion Familiar Maternal)
Any employee who becomes pregnant and continues to work is entitled to
Asignacion Familiar Maternal if she is paying health insurance. (A medical
certificate determines pregnancy, and from the fifth month the Civil Registry
authorizes the fetus as dependent). The first payment is for the first five
months, and then monthly thereafter upon the receipt of a medical certificate.
CONTRACT TERMINATION (FINIQUITO)
An employee or employer wishing to terminate a contract must give 30
days notice. No reason needs to be stated, but an employer terminating
a contract must do so in writing. An employer can choose to pay 30
days salary in lieu of notice.
A written termination of contract, Finiquito, must be ratified before
either the Inspección de Trabajo, a Notary in your comuna, the Civil
Registry Office or the Municipal Secretary. A standard Finiquito form
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 13
can be obtained from any libreria. The Finiquito establishes that all
employer obligations for holiday pay and social security payments have
Inspección de Trabajo, Av. Providencia 1275, Tel: 674-9300
Whatever the reason for termination of contract the employee has the
right to an indemnity equivalent to 15 days for every year worked up to
11 years. This indemnity is paid out of the AFP or INP fund to which
the employee belongs. The Labor Code has established reasons for
which an employee may have their contract t terminated
immediately: death of the worker; robbery, theft, or fighting; proven
grave immoral conduct; Failure to turn up to work for two days in a row,
two Mondays a month or three days a month.
Activities for Children in Santiago:
Swimming Lessons/Indoor Pool:
Pato Cornejo. Tel: 217-3071
Universidad Catolica, Las Rosas. Tel: 412-4400 (beside US Embassy)
Piscina Olympica – Cleveland 8612, between Las Hualtatas & Kennedy,
Vitacura, with Padre Hurtado. Tel.: 243-0145. Accepts children from 3
years old. Excellent teachers, some basic English spoken.
Spa Mund – Cardenal Belarmino 1075, Vitacura, 211-6104: good for
birthday parties, has hot tubs, water slides, showers and lockers.
Fine Things – at Pueblo Ingles, corner of Manquehue and Vitacura. Tel:
Kuki Tamara - Tel: 242-5542
Veronica Krahmer – Tel: 229-4730
Maria Eliana Cantaño – Tel: 211-0118
Carmen Verdaguer – Tel: 246-6559
Pony Club: Universidad Catolica, Dominique, Tel: 09-883-2044
Owner: Sandra Meynard 09 991.60.52 ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Escuela de Equitacíon (El Huinganal): Alicia Gonzalez, Cel: 09 733 7245
Universidad Católica (San Carlos de Apoquindo) – Tel: 02 412 4400
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 14
Universidad Católica, National Stadium, Nuñoa, Tel: 412-4400
Club Deportivo Manquehue, all levels, René Caro, Tel: 940-6507
Pre-schools (Jardin Infantil) which can teach in English:
Little Stars, Las Hualtatas 7177, Tel: 219-3831
Running Brook, Las Hualtatas 8500, Tel: 220-1893,
Av. La Dehesa 3242, Tel: 216-9760
Rainbow, Pedro Lira Urqueta 10,051, Las Trapenses, Tel: 249-6817
TIPS (The International Preparatory School) English – Tel: 321-5800
Club Medico – Tel: 216-6899
Club Deportivo Manquehue – (German) Tel: 940-6500
Club de Golf La Dehesa – Tel: 216-6816
Club de Golf, Lomas de La Dehesa – Tel: 243-4795
Club de Golf Sport Frances – Tel: 768-5700
Estadio Croatia – Tel: 212-9727
Estadio Israelita – Jewish Members only – Tel: 212-8264
Club Deportivo Italiano – Tel: 212-9455
Prince of Wales Country Club-757-5700
Hacienda Santa Martina – Tel: 756-0500
TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN
Not Kidnapping the Children – Then Prove it!
If one parent will be traveling outside the country with their children, they must
have notarized authorization from the parent not traveling. Also, if a child
(under the age of 18) will be traveling outside the country alone they will need
notarized authorization from both parents. This is very simple to acquire. The
parent(s) not accompanying the child will need to take their passports(s) plus
their carnets(s) along with the children’s passports and carnets to the local
Notary office (Notaria). You need to ask for “authorization for travelling”
(autorizacion de viaje). They will ask you who is traveling, where they are
going and who they will be traveling with. It is a standard form they use. They
print up 3 copies, you will sign them, making sure all names and numbers are
correct and then they will notarize them. This must be done for each trip, and
presented to the International Police when leaving Chile. The International
Police will keep an original copy of the authorization.
You can easily find a “Notaria” in your area in the Yellow Pages “Paginas
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 15
BANKING IN CHILE
You will need to have a RUT to open an account at the bank, and you will need
to know your numbers to write cheques. If you do not speak Spanish fluently,
please refer to the following:
NUMBERS IN SPANISH
1 Uno 21 Veintiuno 101 Ciento uno
2 Dos 22 Veintidos 200 Dos cientos
3 Tres 23 Veintitres 300 Trescientos
4 Cuatro 24 Veinticuatro 400 Cuatrocientos
5 Cinco 25 Veinticinco 500 Quinientos
6 Seis 26 Veintiseis 600 Seiscientos
7 Siete 27 Veintisiete 700 Setecientos
8 Ocho 28 Veintiocho 800 Ochocientos
9 Nueve 29 Veintinueve 900 Novecientos
10 Diez 30 Treinta 1000 Mil
11 Once 31 Treinta y uno 1001 Mil uno
12 Doce 32 Treinta y dos 1101 Mil ciento uno
13 Trece 40 Cuarenta 1200 Mil doscientos
14 Catorce 50 Cincuenta 2000 Dos mil
15 Quince 60 Sesenta 100,000 Cien mil
16 Dieciseis 70 Setenta 200,000 Doscientos mil
17 Diecisiete 80 Ochenta 1,000,000 Un millon
18 Dieciocho 90 Noventa 2,000,000 Dos millones
19 Diecinueve 100 Cien
SOME EXAMPLES FOR YOU BELOW
1.001 mil uno
1.888 mil ochocientos ochenta y ocho
2.010 dos mil diez
3.003 tres mil tres
13.021 trece mil veintiuno
56.102 cincuenta y seis mil ciento dos
101.000 cien mil cien
534.187 quinientos treinta y cuatro mil ciento ochenta y siete
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 16
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 17
PAYING BY CHEQUE IN CHILE:
Cheques are public documents and therefore are as good as cash in Chile, but they must
be correctly filled out or they will be rejected. You cannot make any changes on a
cheque, or it will also be rejected. You will need to cancel the cheque and write
It is possible to post date a cheque, but remember that a cheque can be cashed the
minute it is signed!
Therefore, do not write a cheque unless you have sufficient funds to cover the
expenses as you run the risk of being prosecuted under the penal code.
If you lose your cheque book, it must be reported to the police and your bank as quickly
as possible. To nullify a lost check, you need to publish the name of the bank and
check number in the newspaper.
Bearer Cheque: This is a cheque that has had the amount filled out and is dated and
signed. This check can be cashed by anyone.
Pay to the Order of: This is a cheque that is made out to a person or company and has
the words “o al portador” (on the right hand side of the check) crossed out. This
cheque can be cashed either by the person to whom it is made out or by a third party if
it is endorsed on the back.
Named Cheque: This is a cheque that is made out to a person or company and has the
words “o al portador” and “la orden de” (on the left hand side of the cheque) all crossed
out. This cheque can only be cashed by the person or company to whom it is made out.
Bills can be paid at the bank between 9:00 – 11:00 am. (Check your bank for time
variations) There is a Servipag service at most grocery stores and most malls; Lider
Express, Lider La Dehesa, Jumbo, Alto Las Condes, Parque Arauco to name a few. Any
overdue bills will need to be paid directly to the issuing body. If accounts are not paid
by the due date, you run the risk of the service being immediately disconnected.
LOSS OF CREDIT CARDS
American Express 800-201-022
Diner’s Club 800-220-220
Master Card 1230 021-2012
Visa USA (410) 581-0120
Note: Most banks offer insurance to protect your cards and cheques against theft. It is
not expensive and can save you many worries should your wallet be stolen or lost.
If you lose your wallet, you should go to the police station and file a denuncia. You also
need to nullify your carnet by going to the municipality that issued it. You also need to
notify your bank and cancel your bank cards. Lost cheques need to be publicized in the
newspaper to invalidate them.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 18
SNIPPETS ABOUT LIFE IN CHILE
1. You pay your mailman to deliver the mail. It isn’t much, but he may also ask
for a tip which is optional.
2. If you are invited to a Chilean wedding, be aware that many guests will wear
black. Weddings are typically at night and the reception may last all night.
3. Parking attendants usually receive a tip when helping you to park or watch
4. Kissing is the traditional way of greeting people in Chile. Men shake hands
with other men.
5. It is customary for children in Chile to greet adults with a kiss.
6. Keep your receipts. Cancelled checks are not considered receipts.
7. Pay your electric, water and gas bills on time, or you might come home and
find the company has cut your service. You can have them paid directly
through your checking account, but it usually takes 3 months to get it
organized. Many companies now have internet access to pay bills on-line.
8. Chilean casual dress is not as informal as gringo casual dress.
9. Chileans typically arrive late when invited to someone’s home unless “hora
inglesa” is specified.
10. As in most countries when invited to someone’s house it is polite to take a
hostess gift along - flowers, candy and wine are appropriate gifts in Chile.
11. Try and get your driver’s licence within 60 days of arriving in Chile
12. There is a time limit in which you must import your household goods into
Chile, without invoking import duties. This time is usually 120 days from
when you first arrived in the country or depending on the person interpreting
120 days from the day you received your visa.
13. Once you receive your Carnet (Chilean ID Card) make a copy and have it
This will speed up a replacement in the event of it being stolen.
14. Keep your address and telephone number in your wallet as often your home
telephone number is registered in the name of the house owner.
15. If you need special medication or have a medic alert bracelet, have it
translated into Spanish.
16. It is not customary to tip a taxi driver, however many people round it up when
paying for the service.
17. It is customary to tip waiters 10% of the bill, and also to tip the bag boy who
packs your groceries.
18. Often when purchasing items in small shops you will receive a bill from one
person, go to the “caja” to pay the bill, and present the receipt at the
“empaque” to receive your goods.
19. You can have goods from the Farmacia delivered to your house. The
telephone number is as follows: 362-9400. When ordering the first time, you
have to give your name, carnet number and address. Once you have
registered, you will only need to give your carnet number.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 19
USEFUL GUIDE TO THE CHILEAN DIALECT THAT YOU MAY HEAR:
Aguita: herbal tea
Altiro: right away (seldom means that though)
Bomba: gas station
Cachai: get it; understand
Colectivo: a shared taxi
Cueca: national dance
Despedida: goodbye party
Empaque: to pack
Huaso: Chilean cowboy
La cuenta: the check in a restaurant
Luca: a thousand pesos
Maestro: skilled worker (repairman, painter…)
Mozo: butler or waiter
Once: tea time
Oriente: East (in directions)
Oye: informal greeting (Hey)
Pelar el Cable: To talk a lot of nonsense or say crazy things.
Pino: chopped meat w/onions typically used in empanadas
Porfa: abbreviated form of por favor (Please)
Poniente: West (in directions)
Sacar la Vuelta: to take one’s time doing something while at work
Sapera: (echar un saping) To sneak a peek
Sencillo: change from a large bill or to break a bill into coins
Si Po: Yes, of course
Taco: traffic jam
Teleton: National fund raiser
Trago: alcoholic beverage
Vuelto: the change you receive from paying for something
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILE – NEWCOMERS BOOKLET 20
Chile’s beautiful Pacific coastline stretches the length of the country, 6,435 kilometers.
Chile has 15 regions designated by roman numerals from North to South. The only
exception is Santiago, the Metropolitan Region (RM). Each region has a capital and is
headed by an Intendent appointed by the president.
Chile’s Natural Resources are copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals,
The major exports are copper, fish, fruits, paper and pulp, chemicals, and wine.
The major imports are petroleum, chemicals, electrical and telecommunications
equipment, industrial machinery, vehicles, and natural gas.
The natural hazards in Chile are earthquakes, active volcanoes, and tsunamis. Check
out www.quakeinfo.org if you are not aware of earthquake safety.
The national flower is the Copihue or Chilean Bellflower which grows in the woods of
The only poisonous spider is the araña Rincon, or corner spider. The bite will burn and
turn red quickly. In the case of a bite, it must be treated medically and better sooner
than later. If not treated, it can be fatal, especially with small children.
Chile recycles. You can take anything from an old washing machine to batteries to
Punto Limpio, Vitacura. www.vitacura.cl/punto.php
There is also a Punto Limpio (La Casa Eco) at the Sodimac on Jose Alessandri (off
Most grocery stores have bins for plastic containers, tetrapak, glass, and aluminium.
The flag of Chile has a 5 pointed star that represents progress and honour. The blue
symbolizes the sky, the white symbolizes the snow covered Andes and the red stands
for the blood spilled to gain independence.
Rodeo is a national sport in rural Chile.
GOOD LUCK AND ENJOY YOUR TIME IN CHILE!
DISCLAIMER: Any information contained herein could change at any time.
The International Association of Chile accepts no responsibility for incorrect information.
This list of resources is a basic guide to help you get started finding your way around Chile.