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

Click any photograph for a larger view and use Ctrl-x to zoom in closer.

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

Rolling Stock

No Roads Crossed

What happens when a railroad engine runs out of track?

It stands still. In the case of the following photograph, a urban trolley car is moved to the open air museum of Humberstone. The stenciled words, “F.C. de Iquiqud – P. Hundido” translate to Iquique Railroad, Hundido Park. “Hundido” means “sunken” in the Spanish language. There is no such park in Iquique today. Mexico City has a Parque Hundido, an elaborate garden park.

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Almost certainly a steam locomotive for transporting saltpeter.

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

Not What It Seems

Prison Break

Touches of humanity soften the hard edges of Humberstone.

From a carefully hand-lettered sign….

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….to rebar (short for “reinforcing bar” — used to increase the tensile strength of concrete walls) repurposed for security….certainly from after the 1960 abandonment of the site, to deter looters.

A mysterious message, barely holding on. “Coopere con el, aseo” — can be translated as Keeping clean together — we could re-purpose this sign for COVID-19. The bench in background is slanted in the opposite direction.

Someone has a sense of humor: this was a door to the drill bit room, repurposed as a prison, complete with a ball and chain. In the background, a father photographing is wife and child.

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