Puerto Montt is a city situated in the Los Lagos Region of southern Chile, founded on the 12th of February, 1853. Puerto Montt has grown to become a significant urban centre and the capital of the Los Lagos Region.
Puerto Montt has a diverse cultural heritage, influenced by its indigenous roots, Spanish colonial history, and the significant German immigrant population. This cultural mix is evident in the architecture, cuisine, and traditions of Puerto Montt.
Brief History of Puerto Montt
The area where Puerto Montt is situated was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples such as the Huilliche and Mapuche. These groups had established their communities long before the arrival of European explorers.
The Spanish explorer Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza founded the city of Puerto Montt on February 12, 1853, intending to promote settlement in the region. However, Puerto Montt’s initial development was slow and faced challenges such as isolation and harsh weather conditions.
In 1979, Puerto Montt was nominated and subsequently designated as the capital of the Los Lagos Region, emerging as the primary hub for administrative, political, and commercial activities in Southern Chile.
By 1982, the population of the commune had already reached 103,680 inhabitants. In the late 1980s, the city entered a rapid growth phase, both demographically and economically. This growth was primarily driven by establishing the Chilean salmon farming industry, with Puerto Montt evolving into its central nerve centre. By the 1990s, Chile had become the world’s second-largest exporter of salmonids, trailing only behind Norway.
Puerto Montt Economy
Puerto Montt, acting as the capital of the Los Lagos Region, plays a crucial role as a major commercial hub. Its strategic positioning, coupled with well-equipped port facilities, fosters the smooth flow of trade and commerce. A diverse array of businesses, spanning from local enterprises to international ventures, actively contributes to the economic vitality of the region.
One of the most significant contributors to Puerto Montt’s economy is the salmon farming industry. The city has become a major centre for salmon aquaculture, with numerous fish farms and processing facilities.
Facts and Figures
|Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza
|12 February 1853