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Chile is a large and narrow strip situated in southwest South America, bounded on the north by Peru, on the east by Bolivia and Argentina, and on the west and south by the Pacific Ocean.

Formidable natural barriers mark present-day Chile's boundaries, isolating the country from the rest of South America.

Since the late 1980s, the country's economic prosperity and sociopolitical stability have attracted an increasing number of immigrants from Korea and from other Latin American countries (largely from Peru, Argentina, and Cuba). The official language of Chile is Spanish ( castellano as Chileans call it), which is spoken by practically all the country's inhabitants.

In the northern region some twenty thousand indigenous people also speak Aymar√°, while most of Chile's Mapuche population speak or at least understand their ancestral language, Mapudungu.

In some places Chile is so narrow that the Andes peaks of its eastern border can be seen from the Pacific coastline.Some 25 percent of Chileans are of European ancestry (mainly from Spanish, German, Italian, British, Croatian, and French origins, or combinations there of).Chile also has a large Palestinian community (some 300,000 persons, the largest outside Palestine).As of 1997, life expectancy at birth was seventy-two years for males and seventy-eight years for females, while the infant mortality rate was ten per thousand live births.The majority of Chileans (65 percent) are of mixed European-indigenous descent ("mestizos," though this term is not in use in Chile).

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