Humberstone and Santa Laura works contain over 200 former saltpeter works where workers from Chile, Peru and Bolivia lived in company towns and forged a distinctive communal pampinos culture. That culture is manifest in their rich language, creativity, and solidarity, and, above all, in their pioneering struggle for social justice, which had a profound impact on social history. Situated in the remote Pampas, one of the driest deserts on Earth, thousands of pampinos lived and worked in this hostile environment for over 60 years, from 1880, to process the largest deposit of saltpeter in the world, producing the fertilizer sodium nitrate that was to transform agricultural lands in North and South America, and in Europe, and produce great wealth for Chile. Because of the vulnerability of the structures and the impact of a recent earthquake, the site was also placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger to help mobilize resources for its conservation.
Criterion (ii): The development of the saltpeter industry reflects the combined knowledge, skills, technology, and financial investment of a diverse community of people who were brought together from around South America, and from Europe. The saltpeter industry became a huge cultural exchange complex where ideas were quickly absorbed and exploited. The two works represent this process.
Criterion (iii): The saltpeter mines and their associated company towns developed into an extensive and very distinct urban community with its own language, organisation, customs, and creative expressions, as well as displaying technical entrepreneurship. The two nominated works represent this distinctive culture.
Criterion (iv): The saltpeter mines in the north of Chile together became the largest producers of natural saltpeter in the world, transforming the Pampa and indirectly the agricultural lands that benefited from the fertilisers the works produced. The two works represent this transformation process.
Year of Inscription: 2005
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Travel Info for Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works
- •New Year´s Day – 1 January •Epiphany Eve – 6th January •Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday – March/April •Walpurgus Night – April 30 •Labour Day – 1st May Swedish National Day – 6th June •Whit Monday, Midsummer´s Eve – June •All Saint’s Eve – October/November •Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - December 24 – 25 •New Year´s Eve – December 31
- Miss Havisham
- Rupert Campbell-Black
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- No holidays other then the winters when the sea cannot be traveled
- Nigel Molesworth
- Harriet M Welsch
- Oskar Schell
- Elinor Dashwood
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