Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

May 03, 2013

A REVIEW OF SOME ISLANDS IN SPANISH AMERICA


HI THERE! WELCOME TO THIS POST!




HOUSES ON STILTS IN CHILOE, CHILE

Click to enlarge


Source: Christian Cordova, CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons



My Blog group has provided the following prompt for the Hop called FTSF (that’s Finish the Sentence Friday).

“If I were stuck on an island I would like to have…!”

I will “finish the sentence” by stating that I would like to have plenty of food and water and a place that could provide some shelter.

Quite honestly, if I had to stay on this island alone, I probably wouldn’t survive for long. At my age, I do need some help, and I also need a pharmacy where I can buy medication that I take habitually. Quite a sobering thought, especially if a person is used to being independent, like I have been all my life!

So I’d much rather generalize and write about various islands in Spanish America. These come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and locations, so a brief review should prove interesting.




TROPICAL BEACH IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC



Click to enlarge


Source: Cuchinek, Publiuc Domain, Wikimedia Commons



TWO HISPANIC ISLAND COUNTRIES IN THE CARIBBEAN.


Under this title, both Cuba and the Dominican Republic provide some interest, although the Dominican Republic shares its island with Haiti.

Cuba is an island state that has beautiful scenery and a rather tragic history. My friends, who have traveled to Cuba for holidays, tell me that there are many colonial buildings still in existence, which make the major towns look very attractive. As for beaches, the island is blessed with an assortment of beautiful expanses of white sand, palm trees and the like.

The Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola is very similar, but in this case the authorities seem to have planned their tourist attractions in a more efficient way. Again according to my friends, Punta Cana is a marvelous resort, and many visitors from Chile and other countries go there for holidays and especially for honeymoons.



CLASSIC BUILDING IN HAVANA, CUBA




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Source: jodastepen, CC BY 2.0. Flickr



PUNTA CANA, A RESORT IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC





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Source: Luis Fernandez24, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedi Commons



THE FLOATING ISLANDS OF LAKE TITICACA IN BOLIVIA.


Lake Titicaca is an enormous expanse of sweet water located very high up in the Andes Range between Bolivia and Peru. Its shores have been the home of various very ancient cultures that precede the Inca.

The most famous of these was Tiwanaku, centered round the archaeological site of that name towards the south end of Lake Titicaca. These unknown inhabitants left us their extraordinary stone structures that have been studied by various scientific expeditions for many years. Unfortunately they did not leave any written registers but we do know that they built the enormous complex called Puma Punku, and they are also the developers of the potato.

(For more information on the history of the potato, see my Blog post that refers to the gift of the potato)

The descendants of these original inhabitants have spent centuries living ON the waters of Lake Titicaca. They are the Uro, and they actually construct their island homes using reeds and other local vegetation.

They are superb navigators and wonderful crafters, their boats are real works of art. I am including some photos that speak more clearly than words could do!



FLOATING ISLANDS ON LAKE TITICACA




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Source: Jpduchesneau, Public Domain, Flickr



ANOTHER VIEW OF THE FLOATING ISLANDS ON LAKE TITICACA




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Source: comicpie, CC BY 2.0. Flickr



THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS OF ECUADOR.


The Archipelago of the Galapagos in the Pacific Ocean is an important reservoir of biodiversity and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I have written a something about them in my Blog post on Ecuador in Spanish America.



GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR



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Source: US Government, Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons



THE JUAN FERNANDEZ ISLANDS OFF THE COAST OF CHILE.


The main island of this Archipelago is better known to the world as “Robinson Crusoe Island”. These islands belong to Chile and the official language is Spanish, but many of the place names that appear on the maps are English names, because the British privateers visited there frequently, using them as a base for their excursions against the Spanish galleons.

Cumberland Bay on the main island is famous for the British castaway Alexander Selkirk, for its production of lobsters and for being the final resting place of the Dresden, the German warship that was scuttled there during World War 1 after being cornered by ships of the British Navy.

What remains of the Dresden, an iron steamship, is now a diving attraction.



CUMBERLAND BAY ON JUAN FERNANDEZ




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Source: Profe Lester, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons




THE ISLANDS OF CHILOE CLOSE TO THE CHILEAN MAINLAND.


This important Archipelago is centered round the Chiloe Island, known as the “Isla Grande” (Big Island).

There is a varied and attractive history related to this area, which was the last Spanish stronghold to be integrated within the independent republic of Chile, in 1826.

It is also a place of legends and mythical figures, most of which are related to the sea.

The cuisine is mostly based on the indigenous traditions provided by the original inhabitants. There are specific varieties of potatoes that are cultivated in numerous quantities and also integrated to the cuisine.

(See my Blog post on the potato by following the link provided above).

The music and traditional dances are very different to those of the mainland and usually take place with a background of fishing nets.

Perhaps the most significant elements of these islands are the numerous Catholic churches that were built all over during the Spanish period.

The local hardwoods were used to construct these buildings, which are now being repaired and are gradually achieving their initial splendor.

The churches in particular and the wooden constructions in Chiloe in general, are the basis for the nomination as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The rows of houses built on stilts at the water’s edge provide a postcard scene that is familiar to tourists from many countries.



THE GREAT WOODEN CHURCH OF SAN FRANCISCO, CHILOE, 



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Source: Robert Gould, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons


INTERIOR OF THE SAN FRANCISCO CHURCH ON CHILOE ISLAND


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Source: AM Michelson, CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons




DETAILS OF A WALL, INTERIOR OF WOODEN CHURCH IN CHILOE





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Source: Lin Linao, CC BY SA 30. Wikimedia Commons

EASTER ISLAND, ANOTHER WORLD HERITAGE SITE.


Spanish America is quite privileged in its World Heritage Sites nominated by UNESCO.

Easter Island is probably the most well-known of these, together with Machu Picchu in Peru.

After changing hands several times during its varied history, Easter Island has been under Chilean administration since the end of the 19th century.

Out of respect for its many famous features, I will leave Easter Island for a future post!



THE FAMOUS MOAIS ON EASTER ISLAND




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Source: WW Gifts, CC BY SA 2.0. Flickr



So stay tuned, there’s more to come!


SPANISH VERSION


(This Blog is bilingual)


En este post se presenta una corta reseña de algunas islas destacables en la América Hispana. Las islas abundan en todos los tipos, localidades y tamaños y presentan en general muchos aspectos de interés.


DOS PAISES HISPANOS QUE OCUPAN ISLAS EN EL CARIBE.


Nos referimos a Cuba y a la República Dominicana, haciendo la salvedad que este segundo país comparte la Isla de Hispañola con Haití.

Tanto Cuba como la República Dominicana presentan las típicas playas tropicales de blancas arenas y hermosas palmeras, como también numerosas construcciones que perduran desde la época colonial.

Mis amigos de Chile siempre hablan de Punta Cana, un resort ubicado en la República Dominicana, y que ellos estiman es el mejor lugar para unas bellas vacaciones o para pasar una luna de miel.


LAS ISLAS FLOTANTES DEL LAGO TITICACA EN BOLIVIA.


El Lago Titicaca es esa enorme expansión de agua dulce que se ubica en los altos de la Cordillera de Los Andes entre Bolivia y Perú.

Sus costas han sido habitadas desde tiempos remotos, por culturas que preceden a los Inca. Una de las más destacadas fue la de Tiwanaku, que se desarrolló en torno al complejo de construcciones que lleva ese nombre.

Ellos son los constructores de sitios arqueológicos tales como Puma Punku, y también son los primeros desarrolladores y cultivadores de la papa.

Me he referido a la papa como un obsequio de la América Hispana en un Blog post anterior,  para lo cual se puede seguir el link señalado más arriba.

Los descendientes de esos antiguos habitantes son los Uro, que en la actualidad habitan SOBRE las aguas del Lago, ocupando islas que ellos mismos construyen usando la totora y otras fibras vegetales del lugar.

Los Uro son espléndidos navegantes y artesanos de primera línea. Las fotos lo expresan con mayor claridad que las palabras.


LAS ISLAS GALAPAGOS PERTENECIENTES A ECUADOR.


Son Patrimonio de la Humanidad según UNESCO por constituir una enorme reserva de biodiversidad.  A ellas me he referido en un Blog post sobre Ecuador, al cual se acceda mediante el link señalado más arriba.


LAS ISLAS JUAN FERNANDEZ FRENTE A LAS COSTAS DE CHILE.


La isla principal de este conjunto se hizo famosa por las aventuras del náufrago llamado Robinson Crusoe. 

En esta misma isla, la Bahía de Cumberland es famosa por haber sido el hogar del verdadero náufrago, Alejandro Selkirk, por sus langostas y por guardar los restos del Dresden, barco de guerra alemán que fue hundido en esas aguas durante la Primera Guerra Mundial.


EL ARCHIPIELAGO DE CHILOE, CERCA DE CHILE CONTINENTAL.


Chiloé presenta una variada y atractiva historia, siendo el último reducto español en ser integrado al Chile republicano en 1826.

Es también un lugar de leyendas y de figuras mitológicas, muchas de ellas relacionadas con el mar.

Los platos típicos son famosos, e integran los productos naturales del lugar, entre los que se encuentra la papa, por cuanto hay una especie de papa que es endémica precisamente de Chiloé.

Lo más destacable lo constituyen las múltiples construcciones en madera nativa que datan de la época del dominio español.

La multiplicidad de iglesias Católicas de madera ha sido destacada por UNESCO al nombrarlos como Patrimonio de la Humanidad

Las casas tipo palafitos también son mundialmente famosas.


ISLA DE PASCUA, OTRO PATRIMONIO DE LA HUMANIDAD DESIGNADO POR UNESCO.


La América Hispana es sin duda un lugar privilegiado en cuanto a sus tesoros patrimoniales.  La Isla de Pascua es probablemente una de las más famosas, junto con Machu Picchu en Perú.

Este interesante lugar pasó por varias manos hasta quedar bajo la administración de Chile hacia fines del siglo 19.

Por respeto a sus increíbles aspectos que la han hecho justamente famosa, dejaré la descripción de la isla de Pascua para un futuro post en este Blog!


More about similar topics in a future post.     Más sobre temas similares en un próximo post.



LANGUAGE TIPS FOR ENGLISH


Words that go together!  * Owe an apology   - * Return a favor  - * Make a request   - * Return a compliment   – * Turn down an invitation



LANGUAGE TIPS FOR SPANISH.


Expresiones de uso frecuente: * Esta tarea es pan comido - * En la puerta del horno se quema el pan  - *  Borrón y cuenta nueva


How is your level of comprehension?   ¿Cómo está su nivel de comprensión?


© 2013  joanveronica  (Joan Robertson)



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