Where the atacama desert begins

The landscape, a few hours north of Santiago de Chile, slowly begins to change. There appear the first signs of the Atacama Desert, which occupies a huge part of the north of Chile. Chañaral is a town that lies on the Pacific coast where the border between the sea and the desert begins to be clear. Don Hugo was an indefatigable man of the sea, which at maturity has invented an innovative way to survive and at the same time to provide jobs for many of his fellow citizens, just taking advantage of the particular climatic conditions of the Chilean coast. In fact, in Chañaral drought begins to be a problem, but the high temperature range between day and night, the proximity to the ocean and the conformation of the hilly area, make possible that every morning on the city passes a thick blanket of wet fog. Don Hugo has invented a system of sheets that trap moisture and cause it to condense into water. An ingenious system of collection, channeling, and depressurization of the liquid allows to transport the water 800 meters down the hill, where there are some houses and plantations. Each day the system is able to generate about 5000 liters of drinking water. On the night we head to Antofagasta, the last big city before entering the desert, and finally in the region of Chilean mines. Father Hurtado, a well known Jesuit saint, a practical and hard worker man friend of working people and Chilean miners, watches over this underwater world.

Chanaral Antofagasta chile

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