In Eastern Island the two thousand native inhabitants speak their own language of Polynesian origin.
Chileans of foreign ancestry do sometime also speak their mother tongue but do so almost exclusively in the intimacy of their home.
In the northern provinces near Bolivia, Aymará Indians have been able to preserve many aspects of their Andean culture.
In the southern region the Mapuche Indians are a large cultural group who strongly contributed to the formation of Chilean culture.
Its length explains the great variety of climates and regions one can find from north to south.
While the northern region is extremely dry (including the great Atacama Desert and numerous places where no rain has ever been recorded), the central region is a fertile area with a mild climate.
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.
The capital city, Santiago, is located in the central region and constitutes the political, cultural, and economic center of the country, and the homeland of the historically dominant Central Valley culture.
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).
Since the late nineteenth century, both the northern and southern regions have been mainly populated by people coming from the central region, helping to strengthen the country's cultural homogeneity.
Notwithstanding the existence of a strong dominant national culture, some cultural regional traditions can be identified.