Statue commemorating the Mapuche culture:

There are so many sights in Santiago that it is difficult to select just one, but when I saw this statue I knew this was what I wanted. After its war for independence Chile was a small country, with neither its present northern nor southern territories. The Chileans adopted a geopolitical philosophy very familiar to those of us living in the United States and much of Europe -- a state is like a biological organism; if it does not grow it will die.

In the mid-1800s, Chile annexed the lands of the Mapuche people known as Araucania, to the south of Santiago and the Central Valley. The settlement of this area was not without hostilities; however in the long run, the greatest cost to the Mapuche people was impoverishment, both economic and cultural.

Now a more mature country, Chileans express themselves, their culture and their history in art. The Mapuche culture is broken but not destroyed, its people scattered but not forgotten. History is not a road from one place to another, from one battle to another; it's a voyage, an odyssey. A life is rich, it is the sum of all who have touched it and who have loved it. Chile remembers, just as we remember when we grow older, when the road beneath our feet becomes more important than that distant point on the horizon.