This website is designed to give you a general overview of Chile and its people. You may be involved in an organized HOST Program, or an employer who is about to offer a job to a newly arrived Chilean. You may be a teacher or a student who wants to learn more about new members of your class. This booklet will give you a glimpse of the culture and life experiences of your newly arrived friends.
Most Chileans in Canada today have come in the last 30 years. Thousands of Chileans left or were exiled during the period of military rule in Chile (1973-89). Many came to Canada in search of political stability or better economic opportunities.
Moving to a new country is difficult and takes time. New immigrants may have to go through a formal process to have their degrees or professional qualifications recognized. They may not be able to find jobs in the areas for which they are trained, or they may be required to take further schooling or certification in Canada before pursuing their careers.
This is a period of transition for new immigrants. They will have many questions and concerns, such as how to find a job, where to live, what schools their children will attend, how the Canadian health care system works, and what their new community will be like.
Gaining some insight into the life experiences of your friends will help you anticipate some of their immediate concerns as new immigrants to Canada. If you listen to their stories and take the time to understand their culture, you will learn as much from them as they will learn from you.
Although this cultural profile provides some insight into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Chile.