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CHILOÉ CHURCHES

CHILOÉ CHURCHES
Chiloé Island, Chile
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BACKGROUND

At least 150 wooden churches once stood on the Chiloé archipelago, a group of islands off the coast of central Chile. The first missionaries to evangelize the local population were the Mercedarians, and between 1608 and 1767 the Jesuits organized a system of itinerant missions that traveled once a year for eight months, building new chapels in different locations. (...)

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HOW WE HELPED

Due to heavy rainfall, high humidity, fires, and infestation that threatened to further damage the structures, WMF placed the Chiloé Churches on the Watch list in 1996. (...)

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WHY IT MATTERS

The Chiloé Churches have been called the most significant group of wooden structures in all of Latin America. These churches are extraordinary examples of the fusion between European styles and local craftsmanship, and their iconography symbolizes a true mestizo culture developed from aboriginal and Jesuit ideals.

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