Chacabuco has no smell. The heat crushes its tin roof or what is left or it… Former miner’s quarters planted in the desert at the beginning of the 20 th century, and near the salitreras, from which potassium nitrate is extracted.

Chacabuco was transformed into a concentration camp under the Pinochet’s regime in 1973. On the walls are superimposed traces of the stories that haunt the place. Yhe grids of the streets contrasts with the ruins of these dwellings. under a stifling heat, xe seek life in this crisscrossed city, theses abandoned buildings between shadow and I light.

In Pedro di Valdivia, life came to an abrupt end when in 1996 the government decided to end the activity of the salpetre factory. Inaugurated in 1931, the dusty and noisy dispensary founded by Guggenheim quickly had more than 6000 workers with their families and life was organized in that became a city with its town hall, its schools, it’s social housing, its hospital, its swimming pool, its football field…

Today, Pedro di Valdivia, named after the famous explorer, is no more than a ghost town where but not far away remains the dusty cloud of the last salitreras where the workers have shouted at each other for decades in silence.

We find on the site work contract books and the worker’s heath bulletin…

Hernàn Riveira Letelier (chilian) as writed La reina Isabel cantaba rancheras (The Queen Isabel Sang Mexican Music) where he describes the living conditions of these famlilies. Magnificent book.