Atacama School Days

Dive In

A photographic essay

Children are our hope and the future. The yellow sign reads “UNESCO Contribution. the restoration of five classrooms of School number 35.”

From their web site: UNESCO encourages international peace and universal respect for human rights by promoting collaboration among nations. Its mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue.

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Click me for the first post of this series.

References

Websites

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

The Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works site (Chile), removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger/

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Sycamores and Riparian Space

a Preview of Reavis Ranch

….continued from the chapter “A Peaceful Day at Pine Creek.”

Compare these Arizona Sycamores with the struggling specimen from the last chapter, “A Peaceful Day at Pine Creek.” Many Sycamores such as this one flourish along Reavis Creek, a perennial stream of the eastern Superstition Wilderness. The drainage that feeds Pine Creek is far less acreage than that of Reavis Creek and, when the Pine Creek flow fades in the driest seasons, plants go into survival mode and halt growth and may even slough off limbs to conserve water.

These Sycamores grace a stream that seldom stops flowing, even in the driest of seasons. I had the good fortune to visit the Reavis valley of the Superstition Wilderness in November 2007, when these trees were at peak autumn foliage.

The tree requires a supply of water to thrive. This specimen demonstrates the species growth habit growing multiple trunks with a shape driven by water availability and the environmental context. The multiple trunks may be a desert survival mechanism. In dry periods a trunk or trunks are sloughed off to reduce moisture loss. This is why the Sycamore of “A Peaceful Day at Pine Creek” has a single trunk.”

To encounter a riparian space of the Arizona desert is a revelation, to progress from Sonoran desert spaces assailed by the breath of dry wind, to see the first signs of water in the distance as a welcome fluttering of leaves, to feel a welcome odor of water.

Yes, the first effect of a riparian space on the senses is the smell of water. Let’s finish this post with limbs of the Reavis Creek Arizona Sycamore reaching for the sky.

Click me to visit Michael Stephen Wills Online Arizona Gallery.
Click me for the next post in this series, “Desert Luxuries.”
Clck me for the first post in this series, “Racing the Sun.”

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Blue Way

Thursday Door

A photographic essay

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Click me for the first post of this series.

References

Websites

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

The Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works site (Chile), removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger/

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Atacama Swim Time

Dive In

A photographic essay

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Click me for the first post of this series.

References

Websites

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

The Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works site (Chile), removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger/

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Lost World

worn, defiled

A photographic essay

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Click me for the first post of this series.

References

Websites

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

The Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works site (Chile), removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger/

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Dance Hall

Ghosts from when time stood still

A photographic essay

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Click me for the first post of this series.

References

Websites

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

The Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works site (Chile), removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger/

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Main Square Humberstone

Tower and Architectural Details

United States of America has its own closed mining towns. Read about Empire, Nevada in Chapter Three of Jessica Bruder’s 2017, “Nomadland.” Empire thrived on gypsum mining until economic changes forced it to close. December 2, 2010 the entire town was informed June 20, 2011 was the deadline for all to leave the company provided housing. 100% of housing was owned by United States Gypsum. In Humberstone, as in Empire, Nevada, housing stands empty. Here, wo stopped clocks of the wooden tower overlooking the main Humberstone square emblemize the situation.

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An hexagonal bandstand, area lighting on the electric poles.

Ramada with table and benches.

View from the main square.

Water, the source of life pumped from where? We saw here and there hoses for watering plants. I did some research and there are three methods for supplying water (1) tankers (2) pipe hundreds of miles long and (3) harvesting fog. Yes, fog. It never, never rains but some locations are swept by fog. There plants there harvest the fog on branches and people are now doing the same. Follow the above link to learn more.

Remembrance of Humberstone Village

A few details from the main square.

Click me for the first post of this series.

References

Websites

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

The Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works site (Chile), removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger/

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Humberstone People

In a bubble

Pam and I, not fluent in the Spanish language, depended upon our guides and bus drivers for negotiating our on land exploration of South American. Here is our guide for this trip, providing insights as we stand in the main square of the village.

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A guide for another Oceania group.

Children accompanied…

the men and women who kept open air sales kiosks providing….

…refreshments and souvenirs. I purchased a handmade collection of minerals from the region.

Remembrance of Humberstone Village

We never learned why these people were dressed in period costumes. Most certainly descendants of the people who worked here.

Click me for the first post of this series.

References

Websites

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

The Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works site (Chile), removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger/

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Marian Devotion

Prison Break

Mullioned windows along the nave provide brilliant illumination, into the side aisles where we see, in the following photograph, a chapel devoted to a Marian Apparition.

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The framed image is the appearance of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, appearing to six native children. The event, called a Marian Apparition, does not correspond to any such event I am aware of. Nor did one come up in my researches. The most famous appearance of Mary in the Americas if the Virgin of Guadalupe who appeared to a man, a recent convert to Catholicism from the Aztec religion, Saint Juan Diego, and is Uncle,  Juan Bernardino, in the year 1531, Mexico. I provided a list of Marian Apparations under references.

The left aisle hosts another Marian chapel, a Madonna.

The most accessible Marian Devotion is the rosary, here in the form of crystal beads.

Instead of an arch, the central aisle is a flat roof with some additional support from wood beams. We will explore the side aisles in later posts.

Click me for the first post of this series.

References

Websites

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

List of Marian Apparitions

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Iglesia

Prison Break

Iglesia, from the Ancient Greek ἐκκλησία (ekklēsía, “assembly”) by way of Latin, is the Spanish language word for church, announced on this charming hand lettered sign. This church served the needs of up to the 5,000 souls of Humberstone.

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Unlike other places, this church was build for the mine owners to serve the needs of workers, to make it unnecessary to leave the settlement to attend services.

Made from the simplest materials, this cross of the church facade is three pieces of 2 x 6 lumber.

Here is our tour guide, a resident of Iquique in front of the alter, with an elaborate crucifix

Instead of an arch, the central aisle is a flat roof with some additional support from wood beams. We will explore the side aisles in later posts.

References

Websites

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

The Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works site (Chile), removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger/

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved