Temuco (Spanish pronunciation: [teˈmuko]) is a city and commune, capital of the Cautín Province and of the Araucanía Region in southern Chile. The city is located 670 kilometres (416 miles) south of Santiago at the heart of the modern Araucanía Region and historic Araucanía—the land of the Mapuche who resisted Spanish conquest.
Temuco was founded in 1881 during the occupation of Araucanía and grew quickly into one of Chile's main cities. Temuco's central place in Araucanía with easy access to the Andean valleys, lakes and coastal areas makes it a hub for tourism, agricultural, livestock and forestry operations as well as a communication and trade centre for the numerous small towns of Araucanía. Temuco has recently been regarded as a university city as it houses two main universities: University of the Frontier (Spanish: Universidad de La Frontera) and Temuco Catholic University (Spanish: Universidad Católica de Temuco). Nobel laureates Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda both lived in Temuco for some time.
According to the 2002 census by the National Statistics Institute (INE), Temuco had a communal population of 245,347 (117,071 men and 128,276 women). Of these, 232,528 (94.8%) lived in urban areas and 12,819 (5.2%) in rural areas. The population grew by 24.4% (48,111 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses. The INE projected the 2010 population to be 377,495, which makes it the second largest city south of Santiago (behind Concepción), and the fourth largest in the country. One of the distinctive features of Temuco is the strong presence of the Mapuche culture, who make up 23.1% of the population in the Temuco commune, and numerous German immigrant colonies (9.8%). Temuco proper has a population of 227,086.[when?]
The locals are called temuquenses. Most inhabitants are of different origins. Temuco has a high percentage being of Basque ancestry other than Castilian and other Spanish nationalities. Thus, one can find indigenous, mainly Mapuche, who account for 13% of the population of Temuco, which makes it the city of Chile with the largest indigenous presence. There is also a large percentage of temuquences that are directly descended from European immigrants, many of the early arrivals during 1883–1901, after the pacification of Araucanía. The main sources are from Switzerland, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and the [lUnited Kingdom and other less numerous in many other parts of Europe such as Netherlands, Austria, Croatia, Armenia, Greece, [Portugal and others arrived after that first migration, especially during the World Wars, the Spanish Civil War (1930s) a large percentage being Aragonese, Asturians, Catalans, Galicians, Navarrese and Basques; reaching a significant number of immigrants from Europe (mainly Germany and Spain).
There are also small communities of Jews (i.e. from Russia, Poland, Macedonia, Hungary, Central and Eastern Europe) and Arabic (Lebanon, Syria and Palestine) peoples, proof of this phenomenon of immigration from Europe and to a lesser extent, Jewish and Arabic are the various clubs, schools, and sections of the city of Temuco. There are East Asian colonies of Chinese, Japanese and Koreans in Temuco, dating back to the end of the Korean War in the 1950s when thousands of Korean refugees settled through U.N. relocation programs to Chile.
Cautín Province (Spanish: Provincia de Cautín) is one of two provinces in the southern Chilean region of La Araucanía (IX), bounded on the north by Arauco and Malleco provinces, on the east by Argentina, on the south by Valdivia Province, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Its population at the 2012 census was of 692,582. The most important communes are Temuco, Villarrica, Padre Las Casas, and Nueva Imperial. Cattle, forestry, and agriculture make up most of Cautin's economy. Its climate is humid, rainy in winter, and generally warm in summer.
The La Araucanía (/ˌærɔːˈkeɪniə/ ARR-aw-KAY-nee-ə ), La Araucanía Region (Spanish: Región de La Araucanía pronounced [aɾau̯kaˈni.a]) is one of Chile's 16 first order administrative divisions and comprises two provinces: Malleco in the north and Cautín in the south. Its capital and largest city is Temuco; other important cities include Angol and Villarrica.
Chile did not incorporate the lands of La Araucanía Region until the 1880s, when it occupied the area to end resistance by the indigenous Mapuche by both military and political means. This opened up the area for Chilean and European immigration and settlement.
In the 1900–1930 period, the population of Araucanía grew considerably, as did the economy despite recessions striking the rest of Chile. La Araucanía became one of the principal agricultural districts of Chile, gaining the nickname of "granary of Chile". The administrative Araucanía Region was established in 1974, in what was the core of the larger historic region of La Araucanía.
In the 21st century, La Araucanía is Chile's poorest region in terms of GDP per capita. About a third of the region's population is ethnic Mapuche, the highest proportion of any Chilean region. La Araucanía Region has been the main location of the confrontations of the ongoing Mapuche conflict, as the Mapuche have pressed their land claims against the central government.
Spanish settlers first arrived in Aracunia (one of two regional names) in the 1550s but were unable to subdue the indigenous Mapuche.
In the late 19th century, the Chilean government endorsed a large-scale immigration and settlement program for the area. At the time, Chile often endorsed land allotment advertisement to Europeans, notably in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where most of the new arrivals came from. Beginning in the mid-19th century with the German Revolutions, immigrants were often fleeing political upheaval and poor economies, and seeking a new place to live. Other immigrants were Basques from northern Spain or southwest France, and some Argentines from across the Andes.
The current population is descended mostly from internal migration from the Central Zone of Chile; to a lesser extent, it consists of descendants of European settlers who arrived during and after the "pacification of La Araucanía". The region has the highest proportion of indigenous residents of any in Chile, approximately 25%, of which a majority are Mapuche people. About 25% of the population are white or castizo (another form of Mestizo (50%) of partial European-Amerindian descent), and a large proportion of them are at least partially descended from Spanish colonists.
Smaller numbers of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Lebanese, Arab and Turkish immigrants, and people of (North) American and Australian descent settled in La Araucania in the early 20th century. Temuco has a thriving Chinese, Taiwanese (another group of "Chinese") and Syrian presence; and Capitán Pastene has a largely ethnic Italian community. Villarrica was where several thousand Afrikaners or Dutch South Africans settled after their expulsion from South Africa following the Boer War (1899–1903). These towns also were influenced by early Dutch colonists in the 16th century, when the region was nicknamed New Flanders. The Netherlands later ceded it to Spanish colonial rule.
During the past three decades, the city of Temuco has had the highest rate of growth in the nation. According to the census of 1970, approximately 88,000 inhabitants lived in Temuco. In the census of 2000, 30 years later, the population had tripled to 250,000. The resort town of Villarrica, on Lago Villarrica, has expanded rapidly.
It is located next to the fast-growing resort of Pucon, now one of the four largest tourist destinations of Chile. According to the 2002 census, the most populated cities are: Temuco (260 783 hab. Includes Padre Las Casas); Villarrica (45 531 hab.) Angol (43 801 hab.) Victoria ( 23 977 hab.) Lautaro (18 808 hab.) New Imperial (14 980 hab.) Collipulli (14 240 hab.) Loncoche (14 191 hab.) and Traiguén (14 140 hab.).