French Chilean
A French Chilean is an Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

an citizen of full or partial French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 ancestry. Between 1840 and 1940, 20,000 to 25,000 French people immigrated to Chile. The country received the fourth largest number of French immigrants to South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 after Argentina
French Argentine
A French Argentine is an Argentine citizen of full or partial French ancestry. French Argentines form the third or fourth largest ancestry group after Italian Argentines, Spanish Argentines, and perhaps German Argentines...

 (239,000), Brazil
French Brazilian
A French Brazilian is a Brazilian citizen of full, partial, or predominantly French ancestry, or a French-born person residing in Brazil. Between 1850 and 1965 around 100,000 French people immigrated to Brazil. The country received the second largest number of French immigrants to South America...

 (40,000) and Uruguay
French Uruguayan
A French Uruguayan is an Uruguayan citizen of full or partial French ancestry. French Uruguayan form the third largest ancestry group after Spanish Uruguayans and Italian Uruguayans. Until 1853, France constituted the main source of immigrants to Uruguay...

 (more than 25,000).

French immigration to Chile

The French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 came to Chile in the 18th century, arriving at Concepción
Concepción, Chile
Concepción is a city in Chile, capital of Concepción Province and of the Biobío Region or Region VIII. Greater Concepción is the second-largest conurbation in the country, with 889,725 inhabitants...

 as merchants, and in the mid-19th century to cultivate vines in the haciendas of the Central Valley, the homebase of world-famous Chilean wine
Chilean wine
Chilean wine is wine made in the South American country of Chile. The region has a long viticultural history for a New World wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French...

. The Araucanía Region
Araucanía Region
The IX Araucanía Region is one of Chile's 15 first order administrative divisions and comprises two provinces: Malleco in the north and Cautín in the south....

 also has an important number of people of French ancestry, as the area hosted settlers arrived by the second half of the 19th century as farmers and shopkeepers. With akin Latin culture
Latin culture
Latin culture may refer to:*Latin **Latin literature**Classics*Latin Europe**Spanish culture**Portuguese culture**French culture**Italian culture**Romanian culture**Moldovan culture*Latin America**Latin American culture...

, the French immigrants quickly assimilated into mainstream Chilean society.

From 1840 to 1940, around 25,000 Frenchmen immigrated to Chile. 80% of them were coming from Southwestern France, especially from Basses-Pyrénées
Pyrénées-Atlantiques is a department in the southwest of France which takes its name from the Pyrenees mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.- History :...

 (Basque country
Northern Basque Country
The French Basque Country or Northern Basque Country situated within the western part of the French department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques constitutes the north-eastern part of the Basque Country....

 and Béarn
Béarn is one of the traditional provinces of France, located in the Pyrenees mountains and in the plain at their feet, in southwest France. Along with the three Basque provinces of Soule, Lower Navarre, and Labourd, the principality of Bidache, as well as small parts of Gascony, it forms in the...

), Gironde
For the Revolutionary party, see Girondists.Gironde is a common name for the Gironde estuary, where the mouths of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers merge, and for a department in the Aquitaine region situated in southwest France.-History:...

, Charente-Inférieure
Charente-Maritime is a department on the west coast of France named after the Charente River.- History :Previously a part of Saintonge, Charente-Inférieure was one of the 83 original departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790...

 and Charente
Charente is a department in southwestern France, in the Poitou-Charentes region, named after the Charente River, the most important river in the department, and also the river beside which the department's two largest towns, Angoulême and Cognac, are sited.-History:Charente is one of the original...

 and regions situated between Gers
The Gers is a department in the Midi-Pyrénées region in the southwest of France named after the Gers River.Inhabitants are called les Gersois or Gersoises.-History:...

 and Dordogne
Dordogne is a départment in south-west France. The départment is located in the region of Aquitaine, between the Loire valley and the High Pyrénées named after the great river Dordogne that runs through it...


Most of French immigrants settled in the country between 1875 and 1895. Between October 1882 and December 1897, 38,413 Frenchmen settled in Chile, making up 23% of immigrants (second only after Spaniards) from this period. In 1863, 2,650 French citizens were registered in Chile. At the end of the century they were almost 30,000. According to the census of 1865, out of 83,220 foreigners established in Chile, 6,483 were French, the third largest European community in the country after Germans and Englishmen. In 1875, the community reached 3,000 members, 12% of the almost 85,000 foreigners established in the country. It was estimated that 10,000 Frenchmen were living in Chile in 1912, 7% of the 149,400 Frenchmen living in Latin America.

In World War II, a group of over 10,000 Chileans of French descent, the majority have French relatives joined the Free French Forces
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

 and fought the Nazi occupation of France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...


Today it is estimated that 500,000 Chileans are of French descent.

Former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet
Michelle Bachelet
Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria is a Social Democrat politician who was President of Chile from 11 March 2006 to 11 March 2010. She was the first woman president of her country...

 is of French origin. Former president Augusto Pinochet
Augusto Pinochet
Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, more commonly known as Augusto Pinochet , was a Chilean army general and dictator who assumed power in a coup d'état on 11 September 1973...

 is another Chilean of French descent. A large percentage of politicians, businessmen, professionals and entertainers in the country are of French ancestry.


French painter Raymond Monvoisin
Raymond Monvoisin
thumb|200px|right|[[Andrés Bello]], painting by Raymond Monvoisin.Raymond Auguste Quinsac Monvoisin , was a French artist and painter.-Biography:Monvoisin was born in Bordeaux....

 lived in Chile from 1842 to 1854 and founded the Academy of Fine Arts of Santiago. French architect François Brunet de Baines founded the city's first school of architecture.

Prominent French Chileans

  • Ignacia Allamand, actress
  • Juan Allamand (Paul Jean Baptiste Allamand), Master of Chilean Surgery
  • Maité Allamand, writer
  • Raymond Allamand, French Army WWII Officer at Africa, Legion d'Honeur
  • Andrés Allamand
    Andrés Allamand
    Andrés Allamand Zavala , a Chilean politician, is the founder and one of the past leaders of Renovación Nacional, currently in power. He is of French, and Basque descent. On January 14, 2011 he was named Minister of Defense by president Sebastián Piñera. He was sworn in on January 16,...

    , politician and Minister of Defense (2011-)
  • Jaime Artus
  • Alberto Bachelet
    Alberto Bachelet
    Alberto Arturo Miguel Bachelet Martínez was a Brigadier General of the Chilean Air Force. He opposed the 1973 coup of General Augusto Pinochet, and was imprisoned and subject to torture for several months until his death in 1974 of heart problems at the hands of the dictatorship.Bachelet was born...

    , Air Force General
  • Michelle Bachelet
    Michelle Bachelet
    Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria is a Social Democrat politician who was President of Chile from 11 March 2006 to 11 March 2010. She was the first woman president of her country...

    , former President of Chile (2006-2010) and current head of UN Woman
  • Bartolomé Blanche
    Bartolomé Blanche
    General Bartolomé Guillermo Blanche Espejo was a Chilean military officer and provisional president of Chile in 1932....

    , Army General and provisional President of Chile (1932)
  • Vivianne Blanlot
    Vivianne Blanlot
    Vivianne Blanlot Soza is a Chilean economist and politician. She studied economics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. In 2006 Michelle Bachelet appointed her as Minister of National Defense. She acted as government envoy at the funeral of Augusto Pinochet where she faced boos from...

    , politician and former Minister of Defense (2006-2007)
  • María Luisa Bombal Anthes
    María Luisa Bombal
    María Luisa Bombal Anthes was a Chilean author. Daughter of Martín Bombal Videla and Blanca Anthes Precht...

    , writer
  • Eduardo Bonvallet
    Eduardo Bonvallet
    Eduardo Guillermo Bonvallet Godoy is a retired Chilean footballer who played as a defensive midfielder and later developed a TV and radio sports commentator career, best known for his strong and rather raw commentaries on Chilean footballers, coaches and football's power structures...

    , former football player and sports commentator
  • Jorge Boonen
    Jorge Boonen
    General Jorge Boonen Rivera was a Chilean military officer and minister.He was appointed as Army Inspector General on April 19, 1910, a position he held until April 26, 1921....

  • Jorge Boudon
  • Marta Brunet
    Marta Brunet
    Marta Brunet , was a Chilean writer.- Life and work :She was the only child of Ambrosio Brunet Molina and his Spanish wife María Presentación Cáraves de Cossío. Her mother was an invalid and this led to Marta being largely taught at home by tutors...

    , writer
  • Monserrat Bustamante Lafferte, journalist and news anchor
  • César Caillet
    César Caillet
    César Caillet Álvarez is a Chilean actor , studied in the Instituto chileno-francés of the city of Temuco. Graduated with a Law degree, knowing that he would not pursue his degree, dedicated himself to acting...

    , actor
  • Paul Capdeville
    Paul Capdeville
    Paul Gerard Capdeville Castro is a Chilean tennis player.Capdeville was born in Santiago, Chile. On May 18, 2009, he achieved a career-high singles ranking of 76....

    , tennis player
  • Diego Casanueva Charlin
  • Alberto Coddou Chilean ambassador to Peru, Education Minister, Co-founder of Universidad de Concepción
  • Adolfo Couve
    Adolfo Couve
    Adolfo Couve Rioseco was a Chilean artist and writer.Couve was born in Valparaíso, Chile, the first child of three. In his first years, he lived in Llay-Llay and then moved with his family to Santiago...

  • Pilar Cox, TV presenter
  • Jean Philippe Cretton
  • Cristián de la Fuente Sabarots
    Cristián de la Fuente
    Cristián de la Fuente Sabarots is a Chilean-American actor.-Early life:De la Fuente was born in Santiago, Chile, as the only child of chemist Hugo de la Fuente and Adriana Sabarots, a homemaker of French descent...

    , actor
  • Hugo Droguett
    Hugo Droguett
    Hugo Droguett is a Chilean football midfielder, who currently plays for Cruz Azul in the Primera División de México...

    , football player
  • Émile Dubois
  • Hector Duvauchelle
  • Gonzalo Egas Pourailly
  • Edmundo Eluchans, politician
  • Juan Andrés Fontaine, academic and Minister of Economy (2010-)
  • Alberto Fouilloux
    Alberto Fouilloux
    Alberto Jorge Fouilloux Ahumada is a former Chilean football midfielder or striker who played 70 times for the Chile national team, making him the third most capped player in the history of Chilean international football....

    , former football player and sports commentator
  • Eduardo Fournier
    Eduardo Fournier
    Eduardo Antonio Fournier Arriagada is a Chilean former footballer who played at both professional and international levels before becoming a coach.-Playing career:...

  • Alberto Fuguet
    Alberto Fuguet
    Alberto Fuguet de Goyeneche is a popular Chilean writer, journalist, film critic and film director who rose to critical prominence in the 1990s as part of the movement known as the New Chilean Narrative. Although he was born in Santiago, he spent his first 13 years of life in Encino, California...

    , writer
  • María Paz Grandjean
  • Alejandro Guillier, journalist and news anchor
  • Augusto d'Halmar
    Augusto d'Halmar
    Augusto Goemine Thomson, who adopted the pseudonym Augusto d’Halmar was a Chilean writer who earned the National Prize for Literature in 1942....

    , writer
  • Lucía Hiriart, former First Lady of Chile (1973-1990)
  • Francisca Imboden
    Francisca Imboden
    Francisca María Imboden Fernández, is a Chilean actress .Francisca is the daughter of Juan Carlos Imboden and María Isabel Fernández...

    , actress
  • Manuel Jacques
    Manuel Jacques
    Manuel Jacques Parraguez, is a Chilean lawyer, academic and politician. He is President of the Izquierda Cristiana and a professor at the Universidad Bolivariana de Chile....

    , politician
  • Duberildo Jaque, politician
  • Aline Kuppenheim, actress and TV presenter
  • Paulette L´Huissier
  • Enrique Lafourcade
    Enrique Lafourcade
    Enrique Lafourcade Valdenegro is a Chilean writer, critic and journalist who was born in Santiago, Chile, on October 14, 1927.-Brief Biography:...

    , writer
  • Cristián Larroulet, academic and Minister General Secretary of Presidence (2010-)
  • Isabel Le Brun de Pinochet
    Isabel Le Brun de Pinochet
    Isabel Le Brun de Pinochet , was a Chilean educationalist who led reform of education for girls in Chile. In her time secondary education for girls was limited and only available through the church. Pinochet opened a private secondary school, later known as Liceo Isabel Le Brun de Pinochet, in...

  • Pamela Le Roy, model and TV presenter
  • Coco Legrand, humorist
  • Juan Carlos Letelier
  • Juan Pablo Letelier
  • Orlando Letelier
    Orlando Letelier
    Marcos Orlando Letelier del Solar was a Chilean economist, Socialist politician and diplomat during the presidency of Socialist President Salvador Allende...

  • René Letelier
    René Letelier
    René Letelier Martner was a Chilean chess player with the title of International Master.-Biography:...

  • Valentín Letelier, politician and academic
  • Patricia López Menadiér
    Patricia Lopez
    Patricia Lopez was a general assignment reporter for the CW11 Morning News on New York City's WPIX-TV.-References:...

    , actress
  • Fernando Martel
    Fernando Martel
    Fernando Martel is a Chilean football offensive midfielder. He currently plays for Deportes Iquique of the first division in Chile.-Career:...

    , football player
  • Evelyn Matthei Fornet
    Evelyn Matthei
    Evelyn Rose Matthei Fornet is a Chilean economist and politician.Matthei entered Chilean politics in the late '80s and early '90s, as part of the National Renewal party's youth group called Patrulla Juvenil, along the future President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, and future fellow senator and...

    , politician and Minister of Labour (2011-)
  • Catherine Mazoyer, actress
  • Jeanette Moënne-Loccoz, TV presenter
  • Héctor Morales Bettancourt, actor
  • Felipe Morandé, academic
  • Kike Morandé, TV presenter
  • Cecilia Morel
    Cecilia Morel
    Cecilia Morel Montes is the spouse of the President of Chile Sebastián Piñera, and as such is the First Lady of Chile; she is also the Sociocultural Area Director of the Presidency, for her husband's presidency .-Early Years:Cecilia is the fourth of seven children born to Eduardo Montes Chaigneau...

    , current First Lady of Chile (2010-)
  • Alfredo Moreno Charme
    Alfredo Moreno Charme
    Alfredo Moreno Charme is a Chilean diplomat and politician. He has served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile since March 11, 2010, under President Sebastián Piñera.-References:...

    , businessman and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2010-)
  • Luis Moulian
  • Tomás Moulian, sociologist and writer
  • Vasco Moulian, actor
  • Nathalie Nicloux, actress and humorist
  • Maite Orsini Pascal
    Maite Orsini
    Maite Orsini Pascal is a Chilean actress and model.-Biography:Over the past two decades, Maite has played important roles in different TV series such as Los Venegas and Fuera de control . During her teenage years, she appeared in a vast number of commercials and got a few modeling gigs...

    , model
  • Catalina Parot, politician and current Minister of National Assets (2010-)
  • Françoise Perrot, model
  • Nicole Perrot
    Nicole Perrot
    Nicole Perrot is a Chilean professional golfer. She is the first Chilean-born player to win on the LPGA TourPerrot was born in Viña del Mar, Chile. She won the 2001 U.S. Girls' Junior and was runner-up at the U.S. Women's Amateur that same year. She turned professional the following year. She...

    , golf player
  • Magdalena Petit
    Magdalena Petit
    Magdalena Petit Marfán was a Chilean writer, notable by its popular novels La Quintrala, Los Pincheira and Los Hijos del Caleuche, inter alias. Also she wrote theater pieces, essays and biographies....

    , writer
  • Augusto Pinochet
    Augusto Pinochet
    Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, more commonly known as Augusto Pinochet , was a Chilean army general and dictator who assumed power in a coup d'état on 11 September 1973...

    , Army General and military dictator (1973-1990)
  • Lucía Pinochet
    Lucía Pinochet
    Inés Lucía Pinochet Hiriart is the eldest daughter of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and Lucía Hiriart de Pinochet....

    , politician
  • Óscar Pinochet de la Barra
  • Tancredo Pinochet
  • Belus Prajoux
    Belus Prajoux
    Belus Prajoux Nadjar is a retired professional tennis player from Chile.Prajoux won six doubles titles on the ATP Tour during his career. He was a member of the Chile Davis Cup team, and played on the team that reached the final of the 1976 Davis Cup...

  • Jeannette Pualuan, singer
  • Jaime Ravinet
    Jaime Ravinet
    Jaime Ravinet de la Fuente Jaime Ravinet de la Fuente Jaime Ravinet de la Fuente (born October 17, 1946 in Santiago, Chile, is a Chilean politician, lawyer, academic and businessman. From 1990 to 2000 he was Mayor of Santiago, before becoming the Minister for Housing, Urban Planning and National...

    , politician
  • Manuel Recabarren Rencoret
    Manuel Recabarren
    Manuel Martín José Recabarren Rencoret was a Chilean political figure and liberal politician. He served several times as minister....

  • María Eugenia Rencoret
  • Pedro Reszka Moreau
  • Francisco Reyes Morandé
    Francisco Reyes Morandé
    Eugenio Francisco Reyes Morandé , distinguished Chilean television, theatre and film actor.Made his debut in the year 1989 in the serie Sor Teresa de Los Andes of TVN, transforming himself in one of the elite actors from the television channel. From his debut, his career has been filled with success...

    , actor
  • Celine Reymond, actress
  • Álvaro Rudolphy Fontaine
    Álvaro Rudolphy
    Álvaro Gonzalo Rudolphy Fontaine is a Chilean actor who works in theater, soap operas and film. He has obtained numerous awards, among them the Apes Prize in 2001 to the best Actor in his role in Amores de mercado and the Altazor Prize in 2008 for his role in Alguien te mira.He was raised in...

    , actor
  • Pedro Ruminot, comedian
  • Jacqueline Saintard
  • René Schneider Chereau
    René Schneider
    General René Schneider Chereau was the commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army at the time of the 1970 Chilean presidential election, when he was assassinated during a botched kidnapping attempt. His murder virtually assured Salvador Allende's eventual overthrow and death in a coup three years later...

    , Army General
  • Augusto Schuster Picó, actor
  • Christian Sève, actor
  • Paulette Sève, actress
  • Alain Soulat
  • Juan Subercaseaux
    Juan Subercaseaux
    Monsignor Juan Subercaseaux Errázuriz was a Chilean Roman Catholic archbishop. Juan Subercaseaux was of French and Basque descent.-Biography:...

  • Luis Subercaseaux
    Luis Subercaseaux
    Luis Subercaseaux Errázuriz was a Chilean diplomat and athlete. He is claimed to be the first Chilean and South American sportsman to have competed in the Olympic Games, at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens....

  • Ramón Subercaseaux
  • María Gracia Subercaseaux, photographer
  • Guillermo Teillier, politician
  • Anita Tijoux
    Anita Tijoux
    Anamaría Merino , commonly known by her stage name Ana Tijoux or Anita Tijoux, is a French-Chilean musician. She became famous in Latin America as the female MC of hip-hop group Makiza during the late 1990s. In 2006, she crossed over to the Latin mainstream pop due to her collaboration with Mexican...

    , singer, rapper
  • Macarena Tondreau, singer and TV presenter
  • Philippe Trillat, actor and painter
  • Gabriel Valdés Subercaseaux
    Gabriel Valdés
    Gabriel Valdés Subercaseaux was a Chilean politician, lawyer and diplomat. Valdes served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile under President Eduardo Frei Montalva from 1964 to 1970...

    , politician
  • Julia Vial, TV presenter
  • Manuel Camilo Vial
  • Roberto Viaux
    Roberto Viaux
    Roberto Urbano Viaux Marambio was a Chilean Army General and the primary planner in two failed coup d'état attempts in Chile in 1969 and 1970...

    , Army officer
  • Ramón Vinay
    Ramón Vinay
    Ramón Vinay was a famous Chilean operatic tenor with a powerful, dramatic voice. He is probably best remembered for his appearances in the title role of Giuseppe Verdi's tragic opera Otello....

    , operatic tenor

See also

  • Basque Chilean
    Basque Chilean
    Many Basques arrived in Chile in the 16th,17th,18th and 19th century from their homeland in northern Spain and parts of southwestern France, as conquistadors, soldiers, sailors, merchants, priests and labourers...

  • Italian Chilean
  • Greeks in Chile
    Greeks in Chile
    The Greek community in Chile are estimated to number from 90,000 to 120,000 and reside either in the Santiago area or in the Antofagasta area, mostly.-Immigration:...

  • British Chilean
    British Chilean
    The British Chileans are people of British ancestry, in full or in part, who reside in Chile. The British have been very important in the formation of the Chilean nation. They include Chileans of English, Scottish and Welsh ancestry. The numbers of Scottish and Welsh are higher in the Patagonia and...

  • German Chilean
  • Syrian Chilean
    Syrian Chilean
    Arab Chileans, are immigrants to Chile from the Arab world. Most are Christian and are the descendants of immigrants from the Ottoman Empire, from the lands that are now Occupied Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan...

  • Palestinian Chilean
    Palestinian Chilean
    The Palestinian community in Chile is believed to be the largest Palestinian community outside of the Arab world. Estimates of the number of Palestinian descendants in Chile range from 350,000 to 500,000...

External links

  • (in Spanish and French)
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